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What is stage 1 lung cancer?

Stage 1 lung cancer refers to the earliest stage of lung cancer, where cancer cells are found only in the lungs and have not spread to nearby lymph nodes or distant organs. There are two subcategories of stage 1 lung cancer: stage 1A and stage 1B.

In stage 1A lung cancer, the tumor is small, typically measuring 3 cm or less in diameter and is surrounded by normal lung tissue. The cancer has not spread to the nearby lymph nodes or distant sites.

Stage 1B lung cancer is slightly more advanced, where the tumor is larger or has certain other specific characteristics. For example, the tumor may be larger than 3 cm but not greater than 4 cm, or it may have grown into the main bronchus or invaded the pleura (the lining of the lungs). However, like stage 1A, stage 1B lung cancer has not spread to the lymph nodes or distant organs.

Treatment options for stage 1 lung cancer may include surgery to remove the tumor, such as a lobectomy or wedge resection, or stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) for patients who are not suitable candidates for surgery. The specific treatment approach depends on various factors, including the patient’s overall health, tumor size and location, and personal preferences.