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Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer: Treatment by Stage

Occult Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Treatment of occult non-small cell lung cancer depends on where the cancer has spread. It can usually be cured by surgery.

Stage 0 Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Treatment of stage 0 non-small cell lung cancer may include the following:

  • Surgery (wedge resection or segmental resection).
  • Photodynamic therapy using an endoscope.

Stage I Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Treatment of stage I non-small cell lung cancer may include the following:

  • Surgery (wedge resection, segmental resection, or lobectomy).
  • External radiation therapy (for patients who cannot have surgery or choose not to have surgery).
  • Surgery followed by chemotherapy.
  • A clinical trial of photodynamic therapy using an endoscope.
  • A clinical trial of surgery followed by chemoprevention.

This summary section refers to specific treatments under study in clinical trials, but it may not mention every new treatment being studied. Information about ongoing clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.

Stage II Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Treatment of stage II non-small cell lung cancer may include the following:

  • Surgery (wedge resection, segmental resection, lobectomy, or pneumonectomy).
  • External radiation therapy (for patients who cannot have surgery or choose not to have surgery).
  • Surgery followed by chemotherapy, with or without other treatments.
  • A clinical trial of external radiation therapy following surgery.

This summary section refers to specific treatments under study in clinical trials, but it may not mention every new treatment being studied. Information about ongoing clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.

Stage IIIA and Stage IIIB Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Treatment of stage IIIA non-small cell lung cancer may include the following:

  • Surgery with or without radiation therapy.
  • External radiation therapy alone.
  • Chemotherapy combined with other treatments.
  • A clinical trial of new ways of giving radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
  • A clinical trial of new combinations of treatments.

Treatment of stage IIIB non-small cell lung cancer may include the following:

  • External radiation therapy alone.
  • Chemotherapy combined with external radiation therapy.
  • Chemotherapy combined with external radiation therapy, followed by surgery.
  • Chemotherapy alone.
  • A clinical trial of new ways of giving radiation therapy.
  • A clinical trial of new combinations of treatments.

This summary section refers to specific treatments under study in clinical trials, but it may not mention every new treatment being studied. Information about ongoing clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.

Stage IV Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Treatment of stage IV non-small cell lung cancer may include the following:

  • Watchful waiting.
  • External radiation therapy as palliative therapy, to relieve pain and other symptoms and improve the quality of life.
  • Chemotherapy.
  • Laser therapy and/or internal radiation therapy.
  • A clinical trial of chemotherapy with or without biologic therapy.

This summary section refers to specific treatments under study in clinical trials, but it may not mention every new treatment being studied. Information about ongoing clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.

WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

Reviewed on August 23, 2006
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