Stage 4 lung cancer or metastatic lung cancer is the Phoenix karaoke that forty per cent of patients reach when diagnosed as having the illness. The major question asked at this stage is if there is yet some hope and what is the life expectancy.
Cancer stages depend on the type of the cancer. Small cell cancer stages are limited stage, extensive stage and recurrent. Occult, stages 0, 1, 2, 3 and 4 in addition to recurrent stage, concern the non-small cell type.
Stage 4 lung cancer is not curable but scientists are up to date with clinical experiments to improve life expectancy of patients. Metastatic lung cancer indicates a malignant tumor of any volume, with or without nodes, that has spread to other sections of the lung or to a different area of the body. Oncologists define cancer stages by the size of the tumor, lymph nodes and how wide is the progression of the disease to organs other than the lung itself.
The survival rate for Stage 4 lung cancer depends on many factors such as age, the health background and how the illness has developed in the body. Only a few victims would stay among us farther than eighteen months after the diagnosis. Life expectancy at this stage is eight to twelve months.
Eliminating all the tumors using surgery is impossible. However, treatment is still to be considered although the survival rate is very limited at this stage. Chemotherapy and targeted chemotherapy are recommended, if the patient can bear them. At this stage treatment would improve the life quality of the victim and help tolerating lung cancer symptoms. Radiation therapy would act as palliative more than curative. Accordingly, this therapy is helpful in relieving symptoms such as breath difficulties, bone pain due to the disease infecting the bones and headaches or weaknesses, in the case of a brain metastasis.
Psychological support is very recommended when the patient reaches the stage 4 lung cancer, once patients discuss about the options they have at this stage and make a choice, whether to follow a treatment or not. They have a better attitude towards their situation despite the end of life concerns and survival matters. By doing so, patients feel supported by both the doctors and family members in addition to the friends. To help a cancer victim at this stage relatives should be a good listener, notwithstanding the difficulty of the situation.