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What is the treatment for advanced lung cancer?

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Most of the time, surgery won’t work for advanced lung cancer because it has spread.

Most people with the disease can have treatment with a mix of radiation, chemotherapy, and targeted therapies -- drugs that attack specific parts of the cancer cells. Your doctor will recommend the therapies she thinks are most likely to help you.

Often, the goal of treatment isn’t to get rid of the cancer but to help you live longer and feel better even with cancer still in your body. Your doctor may call this approach palliative care. It will make you more comfortable by improving your symptoms such as pain, nausea, and coughing. You can also get palliative care along with other treatments such as chemotherapy.

SOURCES:

lungcancer.org: "Types and Staging of Lung Cancer."

National Cancer Institute: "Lung Cancer," "Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Treatment," "Targeted therapy," "Last Days of Life–for health professionals."

University of Pennsylvania OncoLink: "Lung Cancer: The Basics," "What to Expect in End Stage Lung Cancer."

American Society of Clinical Oncology: "Lung Cancer: Treatment Options."

American Cancer Society: "Treatment choices by stage for non-small cell lung cancer," "Nearing the end of life," "What happens if non-small cell lung cancer treatment is no longer working?"

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: "Towards the End of Life: What You and Your Family Can Expect."

Reviewed by Louise Chang on June 01, 2018

SOURCES:

lungcancer.org: "Types and Staging of Lung Cancer."

National Cancer Institute: "Lung Cancer," "Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Treatment," "Targeted therapy," "Last Days of Life–for health professionals."

University of Pennsylvania OncoLink: "Lung Cancer: The Basics," "What to Expect in End Stage Lung Cancer."

American Society of Clinical Oncology: "Lung Cancer: Treatment Options."

American Cancer Society: "Treatment choices by stage for non-small cell lung cancer," "Nearing the end of life," "What happens if non-small cell lung cancer treatment is no longer working?"

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: "Towards the End of Life: What You and Your Family Can Expect."

Reviewed by Louise Chang on June 01, 2018

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How can advanced lung cancer affect your everyday life?

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