Q- What is Cancer Recurrence?

Lung cancer recurrence is the return of lung cancer after treatment and more than three months of remission (in which there is no evidence of the disease). A recurrence can be of the same cancer type or in the same location as before, or it can be of a different type and location.

Types of Lung Cancer Recurrence: recurrence can be defined by where it occurs:

  • Local recurrence: When cancer comes back in the lung near the site of the original tumor.
  • Regional recurrence: Cancer recurs in lymph nodes near the initial tumor site
  • Distant recurrence: When lung cancer recurs far away from the original tumor, such as in the bones, brain, adrenal glands, or liver.

Symptoms of Lung Cancer Recurrence- Symptoms depend on where it occurs

Location of Lung Cancer Recurrence
Local or in lymph nodes 

•Persistent cough

•Coughing up blood

•Shortness of breath




•Impaired vision

•Double vision

•Weakness on one side of the body

•Loss of coordination


•Abdominal pain

•Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)



Deep pain in the chest, back, shoulders, or extremities

Q- What is Cancer Progression? 

Progression is the term for when cancer spreads or worsens. If the remission duration for lung cancer does not exceed three months, the cancer is called disease progression rather than recurrence, indicating that the disease was still active even if tests did not detect it.

Q- What is Metastatic Lung Cancer?

Lung cancer begins in the lungs, but it has a high chance of spreading (metastasizing) beyond the lungs and adjacent lymph nodes to other areas of the body if it isn't treated early. Lung cancer that has spread to other parts of the body is referred to as advanced lung cancer.

Advanced lung cancer is a term usually applied to cancer that has reached stage 3B or 4.  Most of the Non-small cell carcinoma when diagnosed is at stage 4. Advanced lung cancer can also result from the growth of stage 1, 2, or 3A tumors.

Stage 3B: Tumors of any duration that have spread to lymph nodes on the other side of the chest, spread around the collarbone, or invaded other structures in the chest are classified as stage 3B non-small cell lung cancers. 

Stage 4: Tumors that have spread to the area between the layers lining the lungs or to another part of the body are classified as stage 4 non-small cell lung cancers. The most popular sites of lung cancer spread are the bones, liver, brain, and adrenal glands.

Among Advanced Non-small cell lung cancers, there are subtypes that include:

1. Lung adenocarcinoma: Most common type of lung cancer to affect women, non-smokers, and young adults.
2. Squamous cell carcinoma:
Around 30% of non-small cell lung cancer is this type 
3. Large cell carcinoma
These tumors, which begin in the central part of the lungs, are often associated with smoking. 

Making up the remaining cases of advanced non-small cell lung cancer are rarer forms of cancer, and, in some cases, tumors that have characteristics of more than one of the common types (these are defined as "other").

Click here to learn about the "Symptoms of Advanced Lung Cancer Symptoms"

Watch the below video on "Types of Advanced Lung Cancer"


References- 1. (2019). Cancer.Org; American Cancer Society. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/lung-cancer/about/what-is.html

2. What Does Advanced Lung Cancer Mean? (n.d.). Verywell Health. Retrieved November 5, 2020, from https://www.verywellhealth.com/all-about-advanced-lung-cancer-3956363