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When lung cancer is diagnosed, it is staged according to a classification system that indicates where it started, if it is spread and where. A cancer that comes back or spread is still referred to by the stage assigned when the cancer was first diagnosed. The TNM staging system is used to stage lung cancers other than mesothelioma:
The numbers or letters that appear after T, N, or M provide further information, including severity. This classification system is complex and may be difficult for a patient to understand. Doctors can interpret the classification and help a patient to better understand what the stage means.
Mesothelioma is diagnosed in four stages:
As with staging other types of lung cancer, it is useful for patients diagnosed with mesothelioma to discuss the stage their cancer has been assigned with doctors who understand the classification system and what the specific stage means for a patient’s prognosis.
As a leading treatment center for lung cancer, Johns Hopkins offers its patients personalized care, specialized treatment, and pioneering therapies to extend life.
To make an appointment or if you have questions, call 410-955-LUNG (5864).