Dr. Amit Chakraborty

Dr. Jitesh Rajpurohit

Surgical Oncologist

Blogs | 25 May 2023

Stage 1 Lung Cancer: Signs, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

Stage 1 Lung Cancer

It’s easy to think of cancer as a one-size-fits-all disease, but the fact is that there are many different types of cancer, each with its own unique symptoms, diagnosis procedures, and treatment options. 

According to the American Lung Association, more people die from lung cancer each year than from breast, prostate, and colon cancers combined. Although stage 1 lung cancer is often treatable, it’s important to diagnose and treat it as early as possible for the best chance of a cure. 

In this blog post, we will discuss 

  • what is stage 1 lung cancer, 
  • the symptoms of stage 1 lung cancer,
  • how it is diagnosed, 
  • and the treatment options available.

Let’s take a closer look at stage 1 lung cancer so that you can better understand this deadly disease and seek treatment if you or your loved ones are diagnosed with it.

What is Stage 1 Lung Cancer?

Stage 1 lung cancer is the earliest stage of the disease, and it is also the most treatable. The cancer is limited to one lung and has not spread to any other parts of the body.

In some cases, the tumor may be small enough that it can be removed with surgery. However, even if the tumor cannot be surgically removed, there are still several treatment options available that can effectively manage the cancer.

The symptoms of stage 1 lung cancer

The symptoms of stage 1 lung cancer

They can vary depending on the size and location of the tumor. However, some common symptoms include:

  • A persistent cough that does not go away
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest  pain
  • Hoarseness
  • Wheezing
  • Blood in the sputum (coughed-up mucus)

If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to see a doctor right away so that the cause can be determined. In many cases, these symptoms are caused by other conditions such as a cold or flu.

However, if you have these symptoms and you smoked cigarettes in the past, it’s important to get them checked out by a doctor just to be safe.

How is Stage 1 Lung Cancer Diagnosed?

If your doctor suspects that you may have stage 1 lung cancer, they will likely order one or more tests to confirm the diagnosis. The most common test used to diagnose lung cancer is a CT scan, which uses X-rays to create detailed images of the lungs. Other tests that may be used include an MRI, a PET scan, and a biopsy.

In some cases, the tumor may be large enough to be detected on a chest X-ray. However, this is not always the case. If the tumor is smaller, it is more likely to be seen on a CT scan or other imaging test.

Once the tumor has been found, a biopsy will usually be performed to determine if it is cancerous. There are several different types of biopsies that can be performed, but the most common is called a needle biopsy. This involves using  a needle to remove a small sample of tissue from the tumor so that it can be examined under a microscope.

The stages of lung cancer

Lung cancer is typically divided into four main stages: stage 0, stage I, stage II, and stage III. Stage IV is sometimes used to describe cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, but this is not always considered to be a true stage of lung cancer.

Stage 0

This is the earliest stage of lung cancer and is also known as carcinoma in situ. At this stage, the cancer is still limited to the lining of the airways and has not spread deeper into the lungs.

Surgery is usually the only treatment necessary at this stage.

Stage I

This is the second stage of lung cancer. At this stage, the cancer has spread beyond the lining of the airways and into the nearby tissues. However, it is still confined to one lung and has not spread to any other parts of the body.

Surgery is the most common treatment at this stage, but radiation therapy may also be used.

Stage II

This is the third stage of lung cancer. At this stage, the cancer has spread to both lungs and may also have metastasized (spread) to nearby lymph nodes. Surgery is still an option at this stage, but it is often not possible to remove all of the cancerous tissue.

In some cases, radiation therapy or chemotherapy may be used in addition to surgery.

Stage III

This is the fourth stage of lung cancer. The cancer has spread to nonregional nodes. Surgery is no longer an option at this stage and treatment typically focuses on relieving symptoms and prolonging life.

Radiation therapy and chemotherapy are the most common treatments at this stage.

Stage IV

This is the final stage of lung cancer. At this stage, the cancer has spread widely throughout the body and is considered to be terminal. Treatment at this stage focuses on relieving symptoms and improving quality of life.

Radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and palliative care are the most common treatments at this stage.

Lung cancer staging is important because it helps to determine the best course of treatment. In general, the earlier the stage of lung cancer, the more likely it is that treatment will be successful

How is Stage 1 Lung Cancer Treated?

The most common treatment for stage 1 lung cancer is surgery. The goal of surgery is to remove the tumor and any surrounding tissue that may be cancerous. In some cases, the entire lung may need to be removed.

This is known as a pneumonectomy. In other cases, only a portion of the lung may need to be removed. This is known as a lobectomy

Radiation therapy is sometimes used in addition to surgery, particularly if the tumor is large or if there is a high risk of cancer returning. Chemotherapy is not typically used at this stage but may be recommended in some cases.

SSO Hospital is the best hospital in Mumbai for treating Lung Cancer

After treatment, regular follow-up appointments will be necessary to monitor for any signs of cancer returning. These appointments may include imaging tests such as CT scans or X-rays. Blood tests may also be performed to check for certain biomarkers that can indicate the presence of cancer

What Is the Prognosis for Stage 1 Lung Cancer?

The prognosis for stage 1 lung cancer is generally very good. The 5-year survival rate for people with this stage of lung cancer is approximately 80%.

However, the survival rate will depend on a number of factors, such as the size and location of the tumor, the type of lung cancer, and the person’s overall health

It is important to remember that lung cancer can return even after successful treatment. For this reason, regular follow-up appointments are essential to ensure that any new tumors are detected early and treated promptly.

If you have been diagnosed with stage 1 lung cancer, it is important to talk to your doctor about your treatment options and what you can expect.