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How Do You Know If You Have Stage 1 Lung Cancer?

Stage 1 lung cancer indicates that cancer has developed from the abnormal cells in your airways. However, the tumour has not yet migrated to your lymph nodes and is contained in your lung.

Lung cancer in stage I is often known as the early stages. Most people can anticipate a lifespan of five years or more, and it is often curable.

One of the most prevalent cancers in all types of cancers is lung cancer. The tumours in stage 1 lung cancer are very small and have not metastasised (spread to other regions of the body). Despite what its name suggests, it is the second-earliest stage of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), the first stage being stage 0.

Stage 1 lung cancer symptoms typically do not appear early. Only 12% to 15% of NSCLCs are discovered when they are still at this stage.

The prognosis is excellent with early intervention, which is nearly always surgery to remove the tumour. In actuality, stage 1 lung cancer is often curable. What Stage Is Lung Cancer Usually Diagnosed?

Types and Classification Of Stages

Non-small-cell lung cancer affects about nine out of ten patients with lung cancer (NSCLC). Small-cell lung cancer is more uncommon and aggressive. With NSCLC, the numbered stages are applied more often.

Your doctor will determine the stage of your cancer based on three crucial factors known as TNM:

Tumour (T). How big is the tumour, and where is it?

Nodes (N). Is there malignancy in the lymph nodes nearby?

Metastasis (M). How far has cancer moved since it was first discovered?

Stage 1 sub types

Stage I non-small-cell lung cancer are distinguished by doctors depending primarily on the size of the tumour.

This enables them to assess the severity of your cancer and select the most appropriate treatment.

IA stage. Only inside your lung is where your tumour is located, and it is only 3 cm in size. That is approximately walnut-sized. Depending on how big the tumour is, this stage is further divided into:

  • Stage IA1: Not extremely invasive or smaller than 1 centimetre.
  • Stage IA2: Greater than 1 centimetre but less than 2 cm in size.
  • Stage IA3: Greater than 2 centimetres but less than 3 cm in size.

IB stage. Your lymph nodes are not covered in cancer. One of two methods is used to gauge Stage IB. The first is if your tumour measures more than 3 but no more than 4 cm in diameter. Alternatively, if at least one of the following is true and your primary tumour is any size up to 4 centimetres:

  • It is not within two centimetres of where your windpipe divides to the left and right(the carina). However, Your tumour is in your major airway (the bronchus).
  • Your lung’s surface membrane has been infected by cancer, which has spread there.
  • Your lung is inflamed or collapsed (pneumonitis).

How Do You Know If You Have Stage 1 Lung Cancer?

Symptoms of lung cancer stage 1

You might be unaware that you have early-stage lung cancer, as symptoms of lung cancer stage 1 are rarely apparent till the disease has worsened. lung cancer symptoms stage 1 typically include

  • a new cough or one that intensifies
  • blood or blood-stained mucus being coughed up
  • rib, shoulder, or chest pain
  • fatigue or a loss of weight
  • infections that don’t go away or return, such as pneumonia or bronchitis

Any symptoms should be discussed with your doctor right away. How quickly you find lung cancer directly affects your chances of survival.

Stage 1 lung cancer treatment

Surgery is best treatment for early Lung Cancer if patient not fit for surgery, targeted therapy, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy, if surgery is not an option, are the usual Stage 1 lung cancer treatments.

The following surgical procedures are often included in Stage 1 lung cancer treatment:

  • Lobectomy: The lobe of the lung afflicted by lung cancer is removed by the surgeon during a lobectomy. The most frequent procedure for lung cancer treatment is this one.
  • Wedge resection: In this operation, a tiny wedge-shaped portion of the lung surrounding the tumour is removed.
  • Segmental resection: often known as a segmentectomy, involves cutting out one to four segments of the lobes of the lungs. Two to five lung components make up each lung lobe.
  • Sleeve resection: With the sleeve resection procedure, the malignant lobe and a portion of the major bronchus that connects it to the lung are removed. An unaffected lobe is then joined to the bronchus’ remaining end.

Other Stage 1 lung cancer treatment options could be

Targeted therapy: This form of cancer treatment employs medications to specifically target genes and proteins crucial to developing and progressing several types of lung cancer. After surgery, targeted therapy could be administered.

Radiation therapy: When surgery is not an option, radiation therapy, such as stereotactic body radiation therapy, may be suggested. This radiation treatment uses specialised machinery to precisely deliver radiation to malignancies over a number of days. As part of a research trial, certain patients with stage 1 lung cancer may get radiation therapy following surgery.

Chemotherapy: In a clinical trial, certain patients with stage 1 lung cancer may get chemotherapy following surgery, just as those who receive radiation therapy.


No matter what stage, receiving a lung cancer diagnosis is upsetting news. You may experience shock upon learning that you have cancer, even in its early stages. However, after the tumour has been removed, the prognosis for stage 1 non-small cell lung cancer is very good. You will get through your therapies if you maintain a strong physical and mental state. Ask your doctor about your disease to educate yourself. Recognise your options for treatment and what to anticipate from them. You can enquire about each treatment’s objectives as well as its potential adverse effects and how to deal with them. Your confidence in receiving the finest treatment for your cancer will increase due to your knowledge.

Seek assistance. Ask your friends and family for support on emotional, practical, and other levels. Relate to others. People with cancer might be able to relate to you in a way that is more difficult for others. You are not alone in your struggle with lung cancer.


30% to 50% of people who had stage 1 lung cancer treatment are predicted to experience a lung cancer recurrence. Even after successful surgery, this can still occur nearby or in other parts of the body. Most of the time, recurring cancer does not develop in the same location as the original tumour. Often, the lymph nodes in the lungs and airways are the primary sites where lung cancer spreads. Additionally, it could expand to different organs, including the liver, bones, or brain. If lung cancer spreads in this manner, the prognosis is substantially worse.

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