Lung Cancer Treatment Options

Explore advanced lung cancer treatment options available in China.

Why going to China for cancer treatment?

Treatment for lung cancer usually begins with surgery to remove the cancer. If the cancer is very large or has spread to other parts of the body, surgery may not be possible. Treatment might start with medicine and radiation instead. Your healthcare team considers many factors when creating a treatment plan. These factors may include your overall health, the type and stage of your cancer, and your preferences.

Some people with lung cancer choose not to have treatment. For instance, you may feel that the side effects of treatment will outweigh the potential benefits. When that’s the case, your healthcare professional may suggest comfort care to treat only the symptoms the cancer is causing.

Surgery

During surgery, your surgeon works to remove the lung cancer and some healthy tissue around it. Procedures to remove lung cancer include:

  • Wedge resection to remove a small section of lung that contains the cancer along with a margin of healthy tissue.
  • Segmental resection to remove a larger portion of lung, but not an entire lobe.
  • Lobectomy to remove the entire lobe of one lung.
  • Pneumonectomy to remove an entire lung.

If you have surgery, your surgeon also may remove lymph nodes from your chest to test them for cancer.

Surgery may be an option if your cancer is only in the lungs. If you have a larger lung cancer, chemotherapy or radiation therapy may be used before surgery to shrink the cancer. Chemotherapy or radiation therapy also may be used after surgery if there’s a risk that cancer cells were left behind or that your cancer may come back.

Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy treats cancer with powerful energy beams. The energy can come from X-rays, protons or other sources. During radiation therapy, you lie on a table while a machine moves around you. The machine directs radiation to precise points on your body.

For lung cancer that has spread within the chest, radiation may be used before surgery or after surgery. It’s often combined with chemotherapy treatments. If surgery isn’t an option, combined chemotherapy and radiation therapy may be your first treatment.

For lung cancers that have spread to other areas of the body, radiation therapy may help relieve symptoms.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy treats cancer with strong medicines. Many chemotherapy medicines exist. Most are given through a vein. Some come in pill form. A combination of medicines usually is given in a series of treatments over a period of weeks or months. Breaks in between are used to help you recover.

Chemotherapy is often used after surgery to kill any cancer cells that may remain. It can be used alone or combined with radiation therapy. Chemotherapy also may be used before surgery to shrink cancers and make them easier to remove.

In people with lung cancer that has spread, chemotherapy can be used to relieve pain and other symptoms.

Stereotactic body radiotherapy

Stereotactic body radiotherapy is an intense radiation treatment. This treatment aims beams of radiation from many angles at the cancer. Stereotactic body radiotherapy treatment is typically completed in one or a few treatments. Sometimes this treatment is called stereotactic radiosurgery.

Stereotactic body radiotherapy may be an option for people with small lung cancers who can’t have surgery. It also may be used to treat lung cancer that spreads to other parts of the body, including the brain.

Targeted therapy

Targeted therapy for cancer is a treatment that uses medicines that attack specific chemicals in the cancer cells. By blocking these chemicals, targeted treatments can cause cancer cells to die. For lung cancer, targeted therapy may be used for people with cancer that spreads or comes back after treatment.

Some targeted therapies only work in people whose cancer cells have certain DNA changes. Your cancer cells may be tested in a lab to see if these medicines might help you.

Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy for cancer is a treatment with medicine that helps the body’s immune system to kill cancer cells. The immune system fights off diseases by attacking germs and other cells that shouldn’t be in the body. Cancer cells survive by hiding from the immune system. Immunotherapy helps the immune system cells find and kill the cancer cells.

For lung cancer, immunotherapy might be used after surgery to kill any cancer cells that remain. When surgery isn’t an option, immunotherapy might help control the cancer.

Palliative care

Palliative care is a special type of healthcare that helps you feel better when you have a serious illness. If you have cancer, palliative care can help relieve pain and other symptoms. A healthcare team that may include doctors, nurses and other specially trained health professionals provides palliative care. The care team’s goal is to improve quality of life for you and your family.

Palliative care specialists work with you, your family and your care team. They provide an extra layer of support while you have cancer treatment. You can have palliative care at the same time you’re getting strong cancer treatments, such as surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

The use of palliative care with other proper treatments can help people with cancer feel better and live longer.

Contact a specialist