If lung cancer is localized and has not spread beyond the original site, surgical removal of the cancer is the most common treatment. The goal is to remove as much of the cancer as possible while keeping as much lung tissue and function as possible. Chemo- and/or radiation therapy may be used before the surgery to shrink the tumor or after to try to kill off any remaining cancer cells after surgery.
Surgical removal is not always an option since most lung cancers are found in advanced stages. In this case, surgery may be done to relieve symptoms.
Surgery can be a cure for stage 0 and other early stages of lung cancer in those who have small cell lung cancer and carcinoid tumors.
A thoracotomy is a surgical method for opening the chest wall in order to access the lungs. An incision is made along the back in a C-shaped manner, and the chest wall is opened. This give access to the lungs and other structures, including lymph nodes, which can be removed if needed during a procedure.
Options for lung cancer surgery are based on type, stage, size, and locations of tumor, include:
A number of minor procedures can help relieve symptoms and improve quality of life. As cancer grows, it affects the body's ability to function properly. In the case of lung cancer, tumors cause problems that can can interfere with breathing.
Surgery may also be used to remove tumors that spread to other areas, such as the brain or an adrenal gland and are causing problems
Procedures to relieve symptoms may include:
Carcinoid tumors. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114031/Carcinoid-tumors. Updated July 18, 2017. Accessed August 30, 2017.
Non-small cell lung cancer. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: https://www.cancer.gov/types/lung/patient/non-small-cell-lung-treatment-pdq. Updated March 31, 2017. Accessed August 30, 2017.
Small cell lung cancer. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: https://www.cancer.gov/types/lung/hp/small-cell-lung-treatment-pdq. Updated January 20, 2017. Accessed August 30, 2017.
Lung Carcinoid Tumor. American Cancer Society website. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/lung-carcinoid-tumor.html. Updated February 24, 2016. Accessed August 30, 2017.
Lung cancer (non-small cell). American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003115-pdf.pdf. Updated May 16, 2016. Accessed August 30, 2017.
Lung cancer (small cell). American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003116-pdf.pdf. Updated May 16, 2016. Accessed August 30, 2017.
Lung Cancer. American Lung Association website. Available at: http://www.lung.org/lung-health-and-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/lung-cancer/learn-about-lung-cancer/?referrer=http://www.lung.org/lung-health-and-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/lung-cancer/learn-about-lung-cancer/what-is-lung-cancer/lung-cancer-basics.html. Updated November 3, 2016. Accessed August 30, 2017.
Management of resectable non-small cell lung cancer. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T906057. Updated June 30, 2017. Accessed August 30, 2017.
Small cell lung cancer. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115654/Small-cell-lung-cancer. Updated June 23, 2017. Accessed August 30, 2017.
Last reviewed September 2016 by Michael Woodsd, MD, FAAP
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Copyright © 2012 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.
What can we help you find?close ×