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The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation
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Squamous lung cancer staging

Hi, new to group and looking for help.

My father has recently been diagnosed with squamous cell lung cancer T2a N1 M1a right lower lobe and given a prognosis of non treatable 6-9months.

Can anyone stage this for me; can it be staged? Given a prognosis of 6-9 months I can only presume stage 4 as we haven't been advised only signed off to palative care.

8 Replies

Hi Spja1, Sorry to hear about your father. I am afraid I cant help much regarding staging. there is a web site which gives all the stagings which may help.


Otherwise I would have a word with your fathers lung cancer nurse specialist, who should be able to explain everything for you.

Also the Roy Castle helpline is a good source too.

I wish you and your father all the best. :) xx


Many thanks


Hi, sorry to read of your dad's news. It can be quite baffling to be thrown into this world of different scientific terms, members of medical teams that we were unfamiliar with before as well as dealing with the emotional fall out. The T relates to the tumour size and in your dad's case means it is less than 5cm across, the other letters relate to the extent to which the cancer has spread beyond the initial spot in the right lower lobe. Squamous relates to the specific type of NSCLC (another is adenocarcinoma) There are 3 lobes in the right lung and 2 in the left lung and many people on this site have had one, two, three lobes removed in different combinations or whole lung removed. Surgery isn't always possible for a number of factors. The N relates to the amount of lymph node spread and the M relates to spread beyond the original organ site where the tumour started. This link may help


Often the staging is gained from intervention either surgery or biopsy which would allow pathology/cytology to be done on the tumour itself and check for specific mutations which could determine the actual treatment based on what that shows. There are many people online here and who I've met who were told 'several months' by their clinician only to live years beyond this especially when given targeted treatments so do not give up. New treatments and modified treatments are being developed all the time and there is a global race on to come up with more effective LC treatments in every discipline - surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, biological targeted treatments and immunotherapy.

I'd urge you to not to assume anything - ask for answers from the medics and nurses and seek support/help from here or the helpline who can help put the very scary statistics that you find online into perspective for your dad.

From what you've written, without treatment, they predict -9 months - what about with treatment? Palliative care can also involve treatment.

Clearly which treatment is taken is your dad's choice what he seeks or opts for - there are more options than even a few years ago so if your dad is willing, seek information to help inform his decisions. We are all different and statistics are just that - we can be our own statistic…. good luck to you all.

1 like

Thanks janetteR57 you have given a lot more information than our local hospital!

They advised that inoperable, chemo ruled out due to other medical conditions/history and radiotherapy not suitable. I did ask about immune therapies and clinical trials but advised none.


Hi Spja1,

The link I have enclosed is from the UK cancer site. cancerresearchuk.org/about-... The other link is American and might be slightly different. I was staged as T4 N2 M1a NSCLCright lung adencarcinoma and that was 2.5 years ago. I was given about 6 - 12 months and my treatment is pallative as I am classed as terminal because it is incurable.

Everyone is different so the prognosis the Docs give is often very general and it also depends how you respond to treatment.

You need to ask what they mean by 'prognosis of non treatable 6-9months'. Its the non treatable bit that I would like answers to. I remember at the start I would mis hear and put different meanings on what they said as my brain just couldn't deal with it. Once I was told we will stop the chemo as its not working. Death sentence to me. What they meant is they will stop that one and try a different one.

I am not saying this is what will happen to your Dad but quite often we misinterpret the information. Make sure someone goes with him and also they write down what is said its so much easier to check back later.



Thank you Jeanne.

I'm glad you are doing so well.

Dad has other medical conditions which ruled out chemo, unable to use radiotherapy as it's the lung lining and too large an area / unable to remove. No immune therapy or clinical trials.

I was with him but you are right, being in shock you only hear selective words. Although this was noted in the follow up letter to his GP and macmillian/ district nurse care.

Seeking another consultation for more in depth details.

Thanks again


Hi Spja1

I am so sorry to hear that chemo is not any good. I have a tumour and its also in the lining/fluid of my lung which is why I am terminal as they cannot operate.

His lung nurse should be able to help with demistifying things a bit. They are generally very easy to talk to will help with advice and information. I hope the other consultation is useful.



Dear Spja1

Welcome to the forum and so sorry to hear about your Father. There have been great responses and information from the replies that you have had, of which there is not a lot to add to.

I have placed these 2 links below for clinical trials, new trials come forward at different times, so may be worth checking out these sites to see if one may become available for your Father. If there is a local trial centre in your area, it may be worth registering your Father's details, if he is interested, and they will contact you if a new trial has been approved of to recruit. Your Fathers lung cancer nurse may know of the local cancer trial centres, if not you can all us and we can tell you who to contact. Our nurse led helpline number is 0800 358 7200



We have a variety of information on our website roycastle.org

If you wish to discuss anything you can call us on our free nurse led helpline number on 0800 358 7200

All the best

The Roy Castle Support Team


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