No matter what type of cancer you have, the rule of thumb is that it is generally easier to treat — and that treatment is often more effective — when the cancer is caught early.
There are a few reasons, starting with the size of the tumor or cancerous region involved. Smaller areas are naturally easier to remove and treat, whether in the skin, lungs, brain or anywhere else on the body. As cancerous tumors grow, they can become harder to remove and it can mean that the extensive damage of doing so further harms the body.
This is perhaps why people have a better chance of getting surgery for early-stage cancer than late-stage. Surgery is also more effective in these early cases. Doctors may be able to operate while the growth is small and cut out all infected tissue. As it grows, they can no longer do so, and they have to use chemotherapy and hope that they can reduce the size of any tumors in that fashion. This does not always work.
You also have to consider the way cancer spreads as it grows. Early-stage cancer may be located in one single area or one single organ. Cancer that has spread can move around the body, sometimes moving in the bloodstream or between lymph nodes. This, again, makes it far harder to treat. Cancerous tissue may be removable in some areas, where it began, but may be unremovable in other areas.
If a doctor misses your cancer or tells you that it’s nothing to worry about, this can delay treatment. It can increase the chances of a fatal outcome. Make sure you are well aware of your legal options.