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early stage?


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Hi everyone, I was wondering what they classify as early stage? I was dxed as stage 2b. Had my right lung and 17 lymph nodes removed which 2 had shown to be effected.That was in August 05. Since then all my checkups have looked good and I hope and pray they stay that way.Also had chemo following my surgery.Does the stage mean anything about the chance of recurrence?Thank you and may God bless us all.

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I can see that you are concerned about a recurrence of the cancer. We all have this concern and some of us handle it better than others. I had stage 3A nsclc. I had 6 weeks of daily radiation and weekly chemo before surgery because I had two lymph nodes to ight up on the CT and the PET scans. During surgery my surgeon removed 20 lymph nodes and none tested to be cancerous. He even removed one rib bone to get to all that he had to get to. I had two sessions of chemo after surgery. My surgery was in July,2005. My scans have been clear since. I hope and pray to remain cancer free, and I pray for the same for you and all of us.


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There is no strict definition of early stage, and most oncologists would consider it to be stage I and II, and possibly resected stage IIIA, although stage III is generally considered "locally advanced".

Stage IIB NSCLC would be anticipated to have a recurrence rate without chemo in the range of 60%, but the available evidence suggests that chemo can improve survival at 5-years by up to 10-15%. Most of the recurrences happen within the first two years, although they certainly can occur later. I would estimate that the chance of recurrence now is well below 50%, and decreasing with every favorable follow-up scan and check-up.

I hope that helps.

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