If you're diagnosed with lung cancer, your doctor may recommend one or more of the following treatment options based on the stage of your cancer:
Surgery: Your surgeon may remove only a small part of your lung (called a segmental or wedge resection), the entire lobe (called a lobectomy), or the entire lung on one side (called a pneumonectomy).
Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS): At Aurora, minimally invasive techniques are commonly employed. VATS uses smaller incisions and the insertion of a small camera to remove portions of your lung. Smaller incisions generally result in less pain and shorter hospital stays.
Radiation therapy (radiotherapy): This procedure may be used before surgery to shrink your tumor or after surgery to destroy any remaining cancer cells. For some individuals with early stage cancers who are not candidates for surgery because of other medical problems or who do not desire surgery may consider CyberKnife radiosurgery as an option.Your doctor might also recommend it in place of surgery or to relieve symptoms like pain or shortness of breath.
Chemotherapy: Chemotherapeutic drugs may be used to treat your cancer before or after surgery, or if surgery is not an option.
: For some individuals with early stage cancers who are not candidates for surgery because of other medical problems or those who do not desire surgery, CyberKnife radiology is an option. CyberKnife delivers radiation to your tumor with pinpoint accuracy, while sparing the normal, healthy tissue surrounding the cancer.
Palliative treatments: Palliative treatments can relieve or prevent pain or shortness of breath caused by advanced lung cancer.
Photodynamic therapy (PDT): PDT uses drugs called photosensitizes, which are “turned on” by certain types of light, to kill your cancer cells.
Brachytherapy (internal radiation therapy): Brachytherapy involves placing small radioactive seeds into your airway (bronchus), typically for just a short time. These radioactive seeds deliver radiation directly to your tumor while they’re in place.
Tracheal and bronchial stenting: Lung tumors can sometimes cause your airway (also known as a trachea or bronchus) to become blocked, leading to shortness of breath. A stent is a tube used to open an airway or prevent it from collapsing.
Talc pleurodesis: This procedure removes fluid from around your lung and prevents it from coming back. Your surgeon will insert a camera into your chest to drain the fluid, then instill talc, which seals the linings of your lung (pleura) and prevents fluid from building up again.
Tunneled pleural catheters: A tube is placed in your chest to drain fluid from around your lung, and left there so that you can remove additional fluid yourself at home. Once all the fluid is gone, the tube is taken out.
No matter which treatment option you choose you'll have a team of dedicated specialists with you every step of the way. They include medical and radiation oncologists, thoracic surgeons, interventional radiologists, interventional pulmonologists, and cancer nurse navigators.