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    Lung Cancer Treatments

    Your doctors will plan your lung cancer treatment based on what you need. It will depend in part on:

    • What type of the disease you have
    • Its stage
    • Whether the cancer has spread in your body
    • The side effects the treatment may cause
    • Your age and general health
    • Your preferences and goals

    Ask your doctor to explain the recommended treatment plan, including its benefits, side effects, and how it might make you feel during and after it.

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    Understanding Lung Cancer -- Diagnosis and Treatment

    If a routine physical exam reveals swollen lymph nodes above the collarbone, a mass in the abdomen, weak breathing, abnormal sounds in the lungs, dullness when the chest is tapped, abnormalities of the pupils, weakness or swollen veins in one of the arms, or even changes in the fingernails, a doctor may suspect a lung tumor. Some lung cancers produce abnormally high blood levels of certain hormones or substances, such as calcium. If a person shows such evidence and no other cause is apparent, a doctor...

    Read the Understanding Lung Cancer -- Diagnosis and Treatment article > >

    Surgery

    This is an option when the cancer hasn’t spread too far in your body. It’s usually the best way to treat non-small cell lung cancer.

    Your doctor can remove the part of the lung that has the tumor and the tissue around it. Or you may need to have your entire lung removed. You might also need radiation or chemotherapy after surgery.

    After the operation, you’ll need to stay in the hospital for about a week to heal before you go home to recover.

    If you have small-cell lung cancer, it might not be possible to remove it in an operation.

    Radiofrequency Ablation

    If you have non-small cell lung cancer and can’t have surgery, this treatment may be an option.

    Your doctor guides a thin needle through your skin until it touches the tumor inside your lung. Then an electric current passes through it to heat and kill the cancer cells.

    Radiation

    Doctors use a machine to point high-energy X-rays at a tumor to destroy it. It works for both non-small cell and small-cell lung cancers.

    You get radiation treatments a few days at a time over several weeks. You might get it before surgery to shrink a tumor to make it easier to remove, or after surgery to kill any cancer cells left behind. Some people get it in combination with chemotherapy.

    It can also help relieve some of the symptoms of lung cancer, such as pain or bleeding.

    Chemotherapy

    These medicines kill cancer cells in the body. It’s an option for both types of lung cancer.

    You might get chemo before or after surgery, combined with radiation therapy. Or it might be your main treatment if surgery won’t work for you.

    Your doctor may prescribe one type of chemo drug or a mix of different ones. You’ll get them through an IV at a treatment center or hospital. You may need a few rounds of treatment over several weeks.

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