About lung cancer

What you should know after a lung cancer diagnosis

What you need to know now

After a lung cancer diagnosis, there's a lot of information to take in at once. Let's start with the most important.

What is non-small cell lung cancer?

There are two main types of lung cancer: non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and small cell lung cancer (SCLC). NSCLC is the most common type of lung cancer. In fact, about 80%-85% of lung cancer cases are NSCLC.

80-85% of all lung cancer cases are non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)

There are several biomarkers found in NSCLC. These biomarkers are used to determine what kind of cancer you have and if you can take a targeted therapy.You may also hear biomarkers referred to as mutations.

EGFR is an important NSCLC biomarker

EGFR stands for epidermal growth factor receptor. Knowing if your cancer is EGFR mutation positive is a critical step in deciding on your treatment.
Learn more

NSCLC staging

Your doctor will perform tests to determine your lung cancer stage. Non-small cell lung cancer stages are usually described with Roman numerals (for example, stage I, stage II, stage III, and stage IV) and sometimes in combination with letters (for example, stage IIA and stage IIB). The lower the stage number, the less the cancer has spread.

Cancer staging can be very complicated. Don't be afraid to ask your doctor to explain in more detail why it matters and what your stage means for you.

Stage 0
Abnormal cells are present but have not spread to nearby tissue

Stage I
Cancer is located only in the lungs and has not spread to any lymph nodes.
The tumor is no larger than a few centimeters

Stage II
Cancer is in the lungs and may have spread to nearby lymph nodes on the same lung

Stage II has two subtypes:

Stage IIA: The cancer has not spread to nearby lymph nodes

Stage IIB: The cancer may have spread to nearby lymph nodes

Stage III
Cancer is in the lung and may have spread to the lymph nodes. There may now be separate tumors on the same lung where the cancer started

Stage III has three subtypes:

Stage IIIA: Cancer may have spread to lymph nodes on the same lung, into the space between the two lungs, to the heart, or to another nearby part of the body

Stage IIIB: Cancer may have spread to lymph nodes near the collarbone on either side of the chest, into the space between the two lungs, to the heart, or to another nearby part of the body

Stage IIIC: Cancer may have spread to lymph nodes near the collarbone on either side of the chest, to the chest wall, the inner lining of the chest wall, or the area surrounding the heart

Stage IV
Cancer has spread to both lungs, to fluid in the areas around the lungs or the heart, or to another part of the body, such as the liver or other organs

Stage IV has two subtypes:

Stage IVA: Cancer may have spread to distant parts of the body as a single tumor

Stage IVB: Cancer may have spread to distant parts of the body as multiple tumors

Understanding Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Find out more about lung cancer

If you’d like to learn more about NSCLC, diagnostic testing, and types of treatments, visit the Lung Cancer Alliance website.

Learn more now
TAGRISSO safety information

Testing for biomarkers is important because it can determine the best treatment for your cancer.

Learn about testing

TAGRISSO is a once-daily pill for metastatic non-small cell lung cancer with certain types of abnormal EGFR genes.

Learn about TAGRISSO

A disease in which abnormal cells divide out of control, at a very fast rate. These abnormal cells can spread to other nearby organs and tissues.

One of two main types of lung cancer. NSCLC is the most common.

A biological molecule found in blood, other body fluids, or tissues. A biomarker is a sign of a normal or abnormal process, or of a condition or disease. Biomarkers for NSCLC can include EGFR, ALK, PD-L1, BRAF, and ROS1. Testing for biomarkers is an important part of a complete lung cancer diagnosis.

A protein found on the surface of some cells. When EGFR mutates, it plays a role in causing cancer cells to grow excessively and spread as tumors. EGFR is one of the NSCLC biomarkers.

The measurement of cancer in the body. The stage is determined by the size of the tumor, whether cancer has entered the lymph nodes, and if the cancer has spread from where it started to other parts of the body.

A group or layer of cells that work together to perform a specific function.

A cancer treatment that is designed to work specifically on the processes that cancer uses to grow rapidly and spread.

Important Safety Information

TAGRISSO may cause serious side effects, including:

  • lung problems. TAGRISSO may cause lung problems that may lead to death. Symptoms may be similar to symptoms from lung cancer. Tell your doctor right away if you have any new or worsening lung symptoms, including trouble breathing, shortness of breath, cough, or fever
  • heart problems, including heart failure. TAGRISSO may cause heart problems that may lead to death. Your doctor should check your heart function before you start taking TAGRISSO and during treatment as needed. Tell your doctor right away if you have any of the following signs and symptoms of a heart problem: feeling like your heart is pounding or racing, shortness of breath, swelling of your ankles and feet, feeling lightheaded
  • eye problems. TAGRISSO may cause eye problems. Tell your doctor right away if you have symptoms of eye problems which may include watery eyes, sensitivity to light, eye pain, eye redness, or vision changes. Your doctor may send you to see an eye specialist (ophthalmologist) if you get eye problems with TAGRISSO
Important Safety Information

TAGRISSO may cause serious side effects, including:

  • lung problems. TAGRISSO may cause lung problems that may lead to death. Symptoms may be similar to symptoms from lung cancer. Tell your doctor right away if you have any new or worsening lung symptoms, including trouble breathing, shortness of breath, cough, or fever
  • heart problems, including heart failure. TAGRISSO may cause heart problems that may lead to death. Your doctor should check your heart function before you start taking TAGRISSO and during treatment as needed. Tell your doctor right away if you have any of the following signs and symptoms of a heart problem: feeling like your heart is pounding or racing, shortness of breath, swelling of your ankles and feet, feeling lightheaded
  • eye problems. TAGRISSO may cause eye problems. Tell your doctor right away if you have symptoms of eye problems which may include watery eyes, sensitivity to light, eye pain, eye redness, or vision changes. Your doctor may send you to see an eye specialist (ophthalmologist) if you get eye problems with TAGRISSO

Before taking TAGRISSO, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions, including if you:

  • have lung or breathing problems
  • have heart problems, including a condition called long QTc syndrome
  • have problems with your electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium, calcium or magnesium
  • have a history of eye problems
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. TAGRISSO can harm your unborn baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant during treatment with TAGRISSO or think you may be pregnant
    • Females who are able to become pregnant should use effective birth control during treatment with TAGRISSO and for 6 weeks after the final dose of TAGRISSO
    • Males who have female partners that are able to become pregnant should use effective birth control during treatment with TAGRISSO and for 4 months after the final dose of TAGRISSO
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if TAGRISSO passes into your breast milk. Do not breastfeed during treatment with TAGRISSO and for 2 weeks after your final dose of TAGRISSO. Talk to your doctor about the best way to feed your baby during this time

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, or herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take a heart or blood pressure medicine

The most common side effects of TAGRISSO are:

  • diarrhea
  • rash
  • dry skin
  • changes in your nails, including: redness, tenderness, pain, inflammation, brittleness, separation from nailbed, and shedding of nails
  • mouth sores
  • tiredness
  • decreased appetite

Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

These are not all the possible side effects of TAGRISSO. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-fda-1088.

What is TAGRISSO?

TAGRISSO is a prescription medicine for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that has spread to other parts of the body (metastatic). TAGRISSO is used:

  • as a first treatment if tumors have a certain abnormal epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene(s)
  • or
  • for a certain type of EGFR gene that has been treated with an EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) medicine that did not work or is no longer working

Your doctor will perform a test to make sure that TAGRISSO is right for you.

It is not known if TAGRISSO is safe and effective in children.

Please see full Prescribing Information including Patient Information.

You may report side effects related to AstraZeneca products by clicking here.