Is a 5 cm lung tumor

The size of a lung tumor can indicate whether it is already spreading

15.12.2005

It is important to detect lung cancer as early as possible, before daughter tumors have formed in other organs. The later these are discovered, the more difficult or impossible it is to remove them surgically - especially in the brain. American researchers have now shown that the size of a lung cancer can indicate how urgent it is to look for possible daughter tumors.

The extent of a non-small cell lung cancer (measured by its mass) can provide an indication of whether daughter tumors have already formed in the brain (brain metastases). This is what a group of scientists around Dr. H. Aziz from the “St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Patterson, New Jersey in Chest. You had 35 lung cancers
This is the space in the rib cage between the two lungs, in which the thoracic viscera are housed - i.e. the heart, associated nerves, vessels and lymph nodes. The pleuras (pleura and pleura), which line the two pleural cavities with the lungs, form a partition between the mediastinum and the lungs. To the front and back, this space is bounded by the breastbone and thoracic spine, from above and below it extends from about the level of the collarbone down to the diaphragm.
-Patients (16 men and 19 women) between the ages of 41 and 95 were examined in whom no brain metastases had been found during the computed tomography examinations in the past 2 years. In a control group of 35 patients with non-small cell lung cancer, however, daughter tumors had already formed in the brain at the time of diagnosis.

The earlier it is discovered, the sooner it is possible to operate
The comparison of the two groups showed the following: Patients without brain metastases had an average tumor measuring up to 3.31 cm. In contrast, daughter tumors already appeared in the brain when the tumor had reached an average size of 4.87 cm. As the scientists state, the calculated borderline runs at 3.9 cm: From this or a higher value, there is a high probability that brain metastases have already formed. The point at which the tumor spreads in the lungs, on the other hand, seems to be less decisive for the development of brain metastases.

In this respect, according to the researchers, doctors should look specifically for daughter tumors in the brain as soon as a patient has a bronchial carcinoma with a size of 3.9 cm - even if he does not yet have any symptoms that would indicate it. The earlier brain metastases are discovered, the sooner they can be operated on. According to the authors of the study, this could reduce the risk of movement disorders and paralysis that a brain tumor can trigger and improve the quality of life of a cancer patient in the remaining days of their life.

Source: Summary (abstract)