The most common form of lung cancer, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) occurs when malignant cells form in the lung tissue, leading to various symptoms. The committed oncologists and hematologists of Regional Cancer Care Associates (RCCA) have the expertise and compassion to deliver state-of-the-art care to people with non-small cell lung cancer. In fact, patients throughout New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, and the Washington, D.C., area trust these experienced physicians to offer the latest evidence-based treatments for all solid tumors, blood-based malignancies, and benign blood disorders.
There are two main types of lung cancer — small cell and non-small cell. In patients with non-small cell lung cancer, or NSCLC, the cells are large and tend not to grow as fast as they do in small cell lung cancer (SCLC). However, in many cases, cancer has already spread to other parts of the body – or metastasized – by the time the condition is diagnosed. When lung cancer has metastasized, treatment outcomes are not as favorable as they are with localized NSCLC, which makes early diagnosis of the condition critical.
There are several types of NSCLC. The three most common types are:
After diagnosing a patient with lung cancer, a physician will conduct staging, which involves assessing the location of cancer cells and the extent to which they may have spread. The following are the six stages of non-small cell lung cancer:
Non-small cell lung cancer does not always produce symptoms, particularly in its early stages. However, persistent coughing and shortness of breath are the two most frequent signs of the disease. Other non-small cell lung cancer symptoms include:
Smoking is the most significant contributor to development of NSCLC, but other risk factors include:
If physicians believe a person may have non-small cell lung cancer, they will order several tests to make an accurate diagnosis. The following are some tests they may use to determine whether a patient has the disease:
About 63% of people with the early-stage NSCLC live five years or more after their diagnosis, but this percentage drops substantially as cancer advances. Early detection and treatment are key to enabling people to live longer with this cancer. Treatments for non-small cell lung cancer include:
Patients with non-small cell lung cancer can rely on the expert, highly experienced medical oncologists of Regional Cancer Care Associates for cutting-edge, compassionate care. Those cancer specialists serve patients at 25 community-based care centers across New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, and the Washington, D.C., area. To learn more about cancer treatment, contact Regional Cancer Care Associates or visit one of the locations to schedule an appointment.