Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
Non-small cell lung cancer is essentially a grouping of cancers that originate within the tissue of the lungs. Often referred to as simply NSCLC, it's the most predominant form of lung cancer, encompassing squamous cell carcinomas, adenocarcinomas and large-cell carcinomas. Like any other form of the disease, the "last" stage of lung cancer is classified as stage IV, which actually means that the abnormal cells are no longer contained within the lungs themselves. With stage IV lung cancer, the disease has now metastasized into your lymph nodes as well as other areas of the body, both neighboring and distant. This may include the adrenal glands, kidneys, liver, bones and even brain.
As the cancer progresses to this final stage, treatment options are pretty much the same as other stages of the disease, except for the surgical removal of diseased tissue. While the forms of treatment still entail chemotherapy, radiation therapy, biological therapy and clinical trials; the approach of care really revolves around palliative therapy, which means you're more so treating the symptoms associated with lung cancer so you can improve quality of life.
Small Cell Lung Cancer
Small cell lung cancer is also a form of cancer that originates within the tissue of the lungs, but this type of disease affects only the "small cells" of your body. Also known as SCLC, it's a more aggressive form of lung cancer, as it can progress quite quickly within the body, which makes the staging of the disease quite different from all other cancers. With small cell lung cancer, the last stage of the disease would be considered extensive-stage. This means that the cancer has not only spread to the lymph nodes, but it's also moved into both neighboring and distant areas of your body, such as the adrenal glands, kidneys, liver, bones and brain, much like stage IV of non-small cell lung cancer.
In extensive-stage small cell lung cancer, you'll more than likely go through a series of both radiation and chemotherapy to reduce the size of the malignant tumor as well as control the growth of abnormal cells throughout the body. You may then turn to additional radiation therapies to treat the areas of metastasis. However, with extensive-stage small cell lung cancer, it's quite possible for the cancer to go in remission through treatment.
Bone cancer is a form of cancer that has originated within the tissue of the bone. It's probably one of the rarer types of the disease, as most cancers affecting the bone have metastasized from other areas of the body, such as the lungs. When you're diagnosed with primary bone cancer, the staging follows along the same line as small cell lung cancer, since there isn't necessarily a numeric categorization to the disease. With bone cancer, the final stage would be metastatic, meaning that the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes as well as other area of the body, typically the lungs. With metastatic-stage bone cancer, treatment involves both chemotherapy and radiation therapy to impede the rapid division of cancerous cells as well as kill malignant tissue.