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Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Patient Information [NCI] - Treatment Options by Stage

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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, sleeve resection, lobectomy, or pneumonectomy).
  • Chemotherapy followed by surgery.
  • Surgery followed by chemotherapy.
  • External radiation therapy (for patients who cannot have surgery or choose not to have surgery).
  • A clinical trial of radiation therapy following surgery.

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with stage II non-small cell lung cancer. For more specific results, refine the search by using other search features, such as the location of the trial, the type of treatment, or the name of the drug. General information about clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.

Stage IIIA Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Treatment of stage IIIA non-small cell lung cancer that can be removed with surgery may include the following:

  • Surgery followed by chemotherapy.
  • Chemotherapy followed by surgery.
  • Surgery followed by chemotherapy combined with radiation therapy.
  • Surgery followed by radiation therapy.
  • A clinical trial of new combinations of treatments.

Treatment of stage IIIA non-small cell lung cancer that cannot be removed with surgery may include the following:

  • Chemotherapy and radiation therapy given as separate treatments over the same period of time.
  • External radiation therapy alone (for patients who cannot be treated with combined therapy, as palliative treatment to relieve symptoms and improve the quality of life).
  • Internal radiation therapy or laser surgery, as palliative treatment to relieve symptoms and improve the quality of life.
  • A clinical trial of new combinations of treatments.

For more information about supportive care for symptoms including cough, shortness of breath, and chest pain, see the PDQ summary on Cardiopulmonary Syndromes.

Non-small cell lung cancer of the superior sulcus, often called Pancoast tumor, begins in the upper part of the lung and spreads to nearby tissues such as the ribs and vertebrae. Treatment of Pancoast tumors may include the following:

  • Radiation therapy alone.
  • Radiation therapy followed by surgery.
  • Chemotherapy and radiation therapy given as separate treatments over the same period of time, followed by surgery.
  • Surgery alone.
  • A clinical trial of new combinations of treatments.
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