The doctor will want to know how far your non-small cell lung cancer has spread if you have it. This is referred to as staging. You may have overheard others describe their cancer as being in stage 2 or stage 3. Your doctor will want to know what stage of cancer you have in order to determine the best treatment option for you. The stage refers to the cancer’s progression through the lungs. It also determines whether the malignancy has spread to local organs or distant organs.