Forty percent of patients with newly diagnosed non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) have stage IV disease. Treatment goals are to prolong survival and control disease-related symptoms. Treatment options include cytotoxic chemotherapy and targeted agents. Factors influencing treatment selection include comorbidity, performance status (PS), histology, and molecular genetic features of the cancer. Radiation therapy and surgery are generally used in selective cases for symptom palliation.
Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS). In this test, a small ultrasound probe at the end of the endoscope is placed
down the throat to the chest area. The ultrasound can help find cancer behind the breast bone or in lymph
nodes in the area. EUS may also be used to guide a biopsy of the lymph nodes, the lung, or other areas.
If you have non-small cell lung cancer, your doctor may check for tumor markers (biomarkers), such as EGFR, ALK, and KRAS, that are caused by gene changes (mutations) in cancer cells. This can help your doctor choose the treatment that will
work best for you.
Tests before surgery
A person whose lungs aren't working well may not be a good
candidate for surgery. If surgery to remove cancer in all or part of a lung is being
considered, the following tests may be done:
Screening tests help your doctor look for a certain disease or condition before you have any symptoms. This can increase your chances of finding the problem early, when it's more treatable.
Studies haven't yet shown that routine screening for lung cancer saves lives or prevents lung cancer. But it may help people who have the highest risk for lung cancer—people 55 and older who are or were heavy smokers. Talk to your doctor about the pros and cons of lung cancer screening.
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
September 19, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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