The standard operation for lung cancer includes removal of the lobe of the lung in which the tumor resides (lobectomy) and dissection and removal of the mediastinal lymph nodes (MLND).
External beam radiation treatment is most often used in conjunction with surgery, but it can also be combined with chemotherapy as an alternative to surgery.
Chemotherapy, the use of drugs to destroy tumors, is usually used along with surgery in lung cancer patients. Chemotherapy can make the tumor more manageable before surgery, or to destroy lingering cancer cells at the tumor site after surgery.
Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)
Photodynamic therapy involves a light-sensitive chemical injected into the body, where it remains longer in cancer cells than it does in normal cells. The chemical is activated with a laser that initiates the destruction of cancer cells. PDT is best used on very small tumors, or to reduce some symptoms of lung cancer.
New treatments are always being tested in clinical trials and some patients with cancer may want to consider participating in one of these research studies. These studies are meant to help improve current cancer treatments or obtain information on new treatments. Talk to your doctor about the clinical trials that may be right for you.