NCCN QUICK GUIDE
Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Version 1.2015
What is lung cancer?
It is a disease that causes cells within the lung to grow fast, live longer, and spread into other
tissues. Most lung cancers start in cells that don’t look small (non-small cells).10
Do I have lung cancer?
Your lungs may have small, round masses of tissue called nodules. Your doctors will look at
these nodules for features that suggest there may be cancer. If cancer is likely, fluid or tissue
must be removed from your body and tested for cancer cells.17
How big is the cancer?
The stage that your doctors assign to the cancer tells about its growth and spread. Stage I
cancers are the smallest and haven’t spread. Stage II and III cancers are larger, grown further,
or have spread to lymph nodes. Stage IV cancers have spread to distant sites either within or
beyond the chest.24
What tests do I need?
Medical (health) history and body exam32
Blood tests to count blood cells and levels of chemicals33
CT scan for detailed pictures of inside your chest and belly area33
Lab tests of fluid or tissue from your body37
PET/CT scan to see cell activity which might show cancer33
MRI of your brain if stage IB to look for tumors34
Bronchoscopy to look at your airways34
Tests of lymph nodes in the center of your chest36
Lung function tests if surgery may be an option38
NCCN Quick Guide
This NCCNQuick Guide
sheet summarizes key points from the completeNCCN Guidelines for Patients ® : Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.
These guidelines explain which tests and treatments are recommended by
experts in cancer. To view and download the guidelines, visitNCCN.org/patients
or, to order printed copies,