Lung Cancer Treatment
Surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, targeted treatments and immunotherapy— either alone or in combination— are all used to treat lung cancer. Treatments vary depending upon a patient’s health, age, lifestyle and stage of lung cancer. Primarily, treatments for lung cancer include:
- Surgery to remove the tumor
- CyberKnife radiosurgery therapy
If you are a patient who has been diagnosed with lung cancer, please speak with your physician about the best treatment options for you. Interested in a second opinion? Contact Us.
Lung cancer treatment options
Traditional surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy, including CyberKnife, can be used (either alone or together) for the treatment of lung cancer.
Lung cancer surgery
The goal of surgery is the complete removal of the lung tumor and the nearby lymph nodes in the chest.
Surgery is effective in removing most stage 1 and 2 non-small cell lung cancer.
Radiation & chemotherapy for lung cancer
Radiation and chemotherapy are sometimes used to help prevent the cancer from returning or used prior to other treatment.
Receiving chemotherapy before radiation or surgery may help people with lung cancer by shrinking the tumor enough to make it easier to remove with surgery, increasing the effectiveness of radiation and destroying hidden cancer cells at the earliest possible time. If a tumor doesn’t shrink with chemotherapy, the medication can be stopped right away, allowing the doctor to try a different treatment.
For non-small cell lung cancer that is stage 3 or 4 and for small cell lung cancer, surgery and CyberKnife radiosurgery are most likely not an option. In these cases, traditional radiation alone, or in tandem with chemotherapy, or chemotherapy alone provides patients with the best results.
The side effects of chemotherapy and traditional radiation therapy depend on the individual and the dose used, but they can include fatigue, nausea and vomiting, hair loss, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and hair loss.
CyberKnife for lung cancer treatment
CyberKnife therapy is a type of radiation that uses 3D, real-time image guidance to locate the tumor and to correct for breathing and movement during treatment. The CyberKnife treatment causes the least amount of damage to healthy tissue. Learn about CyberKnife Therapy
Anova Cancer Care offers only CyberKnife radiosurgery treatments for early non-small cell lung cancers (stage 1 or 2a) as an alternative to surgery.
Other types of machines can be used to deliver radiosurgery treatments, but these machines do not do it autonomously or with continuous image-guided tracking. Without this capability, patients may be required to hold their breath and to wear an abdomen restricting brace to limit movement of the lungs during treatment.
Regardless of breath holding or restricting techniques there will be movement during radiation treatment that can cause harm to the healthy tissue surrounding the tumor.
CyberKnife eliminates the need for restricting patient movement, offering a much more comfortable treatment experience. Patients treated with the CyberKnife for early lung cancer have practically no damage to their healthy lung tissue.
CyberKnife radiation therapy targets only cancerous tissue, keeping health tissue in tack. This limits the impact on a patient’s quality of life and reduces the chance of any side effects from the treatment itself.