Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Lung Cancer Health Center

Select An Article
Font Size

Lung Cancer Surgery

Surgery

Surgery is the preferred treatment for patients with early stage NSCLC. Unfortunately, 60-80% of all patients who have advanced or metastatic disease are not suitable for surgery.

  • People who have NSCLC that has not spread can tolerate surgery provided they have adequate lung function.

  • A portion of a lobe, a full lobe, or an entire lung may be removed. The extent of removal depends on the size of the tumor, its location, and how far it has spread.

  • A technique called cryosurgery is sometimes used for NSCLC. In cryosurgery, the tumor is frozen, which destroys it. This treatment is mainly for relief of fatigue.

  • Cure rates for small peripheral cancers are around 80%.

  • Despite complete surgical removal, a large proportion of patients with early stage cancer have recurrence of cancer and die from it.

Surgery is not widely used in SCLC. Because SCLC spreads widely and rapidly through the body, removing it all by surgery is usually impossible.

Recommended Related to Lung Cancer

General Information About Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC)

NSCLC is any type of epithelial lung cancer other than small cell lungcancer (SCLC). The most common types of NSCLC are squamous cell carcinoma, large cell carcinoma, and adenocarcinoma, but there are several other types that occur less frequently, and all types can occur in unusual histologic variants. Although NSCLCs are associated with cigarette smoke, adenocarcinomas may be found in patients who have never smoked. As a class, NSCLCs are relatively insensitive to chemotherapy and radiation therapy...

Read the General Information About Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) article > >

An operation for lung cancer is major surgery. Many people experience pain, weakness, fatigue, and shortness of breath after surgery. Most have problems moving around, coughing, and breathing deeply. The recovery period can be several weeks or even months.

WebMD Medical Reference from eMedicineHealth

Reviewed on August 10, 2005
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

lung cancer overview slideshow
SLIDESHOW
what is your cancer risk
HEALTH CHECK
 
Using GPS to Detect Lung Cancer
VIDEO
mans hand putting out cigarette
Article
 
15 Cancer Symptoms Men Ignore
FEATURE
Lung Cancer Risks Myths and Facts
SLIDESHOW
 
cancer fighting foods
SLIDESHOW
Improving Lung Cancer Survival Targeted Therapy
VIDEO
 
Lung Cancer Surprising Differences Between Sexes
VIDEO
Pets Improve Your Health
SLIDESHOW
 
Vitamin D
SLIDESHOW
Lung Cancer Surgery Options
VIDEO
 

WebMD Special Sections