What is the most important prognostic indicator non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)?

Updated: Jul 15, 2021
  • Author: Winston W Tan, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Nagla Abdel Karim, MD, PhD  more...
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The most important prognostic indicator in lung cancer is the extent of disease and lymph node involvement. The American Joint Committee for Cancer Staging and End Results Reporting has developed the TNM (tumor-node-metastasis) staging system, which takes into account the degree of spread of primary tumor, the extent of regional lymph node involvement, and the presence or absence of distant metastases (see the table below). [61] The TNM system is used for all lung carcinomas except SCLCs.

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