Linking you to resources and support in the lung cancer community!

My partner has NSCLC sqaumous and is in the middle of his first 6 cycles of chemo. Family and friends who have had cancer or know of those who have or had cancer ask "what is his cancer number?".  We get CBC and blood lab reports every week but no one has ever mentioned his CANCER NUMBER in this journey so far. How important is this number? Does it decrease with chemo? Any info would be appreciated.

Thanking responders in advance,


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Cher,  There are a couple different numbers...  One is the stage of cancer - that will be a I, II, III or IV.  Another is based on the size of the mass/tumor found (T), whether or not nodes have been effected (N) and if the cancer has spread to other organs (M).  In my case, I had a pretty good sized mass that was not found in any nodes, and had not spread to other organs.  So I was  a T2N0M0, stage Ib.  That being said, numbers are just numbers, and each and every cancer patient is an individual as so is their cancer, and their prognosis.  It is important not to get too 'hung up' on numbers.  They are really just identification tools and have no real significance in regards to treatment or survival.


Good luck to you and your partner!



Hi Cher, I am sorry you are dealing with this but we here will try to help as much as we can. I  think the number you are asking about is the stage number. If it is I'll try. In General terms they describe how non small cell lung cancer has progressed in your body. If the cancer is small Cell lung cancer it usually is described as extensive and non extensive. I'm not to familiar with small cell but I'm sure someone is going to add to this discussion. I can tell you that I was staged at 3A. Non small cell lung cancer. The tumor 
Was in my right lung but had spread to the lymph
Nodes in my center chest. If it were beyond being close to the site if the original tumor then it would have been staged at a four. If the tumor was still in one lung and not outside the lung it would have been staged either one or two depending on size primarily. I am sure there is more to this and I know recently they have updated the staging numbers. As always check with the doctor before you try to really figure this out. It is very important to have the right info and go in the right direction. When you first get diagnosed a lot of info
Is thrown at you with a lot of people assuming if your quiet and don't ask questions you know all the information. Do never be afraid to ask anything they want you to be informed. On the Internet as I'm sure you know there are a lot of misinformation. Again if you hear something that alarms you ask the professionals.
God bless, John  

Just wanted to echo what Erin and John said and add that another number you may hear about is SUV(Standard Uptake Value). That is just a value that expresses how much a tumor brightens on a PET scan. It isn't very standard really as it can vary by equipment and the radiologist doing the analysis. Again, it's not really a good idea to get hung up on numbers. We are all individuals and we have to look at our situations individually. That doesn't mean we can't lean on each other to share info and comfort though.  Good luck, God bless and keep the faith...



My dear David you said it so well we are all different and we have to look at our situations individually I my self was diagnosed in 1993 as having a stage 4 incurable lung cancer & today i am cancer free i had to work with my Oncologists and also do my part As a man thinks in his mind,so is he in his body ,the strongest thing in your body is your thinking!The body is soft,pliable,and even plastic to your thoughts.We are all capable of doing so much more than we think we are ....God bless and keep the faith and believe in your inner power .........


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