Navigating Lung Cancer Navigating Lung Cancer - Page 22

NAVIGATING LUNG CANCER Some of the most common treatments for lung cancer include: Surgery. Surgery is the initial treatment of choice. Each lung is divided into sections, or lobes. The right lung has three lobes: the upper, middle, and lower. The left lung has just two lobes: the upper and lower. Surgery may be able to remove the cancer. In these cases, surgery has the highest cure rate. Depending on the location and stage of the lung cancer, surgeons may remove: • • • part of a lobe (sublobar resection) an entire lobe (lobectomy) an entire lung (pneumonectomy). A person can survive with just one lung. Chemotherapy. Chemotherapy uses medications to kill cancer cells. Most chemotherapy drugs are given directly into the veins through an intravenous (IV) line. Some are pills (oral chemotherapy). In advanced NSCLC, chemotherapy can be used alone or with other cancer treatments. Chemotherapy with radiation therapy is the treatment of choice for SCLC that is limited to a defined area of the chest. A defined area can be safely targeted with radiation. Chemotherapy is usually given without radiation for patients with more extensive SCLC. If chemotherapy is delivered through veins, your doctor may suggest a “port.” A port is a special access line into a major vein in the upper part of the chest or arm. It is placed before chemotherapy begins. Ports are non-invasive. They are placed by interventional radiologists or surgeons. Ports, or other types of long-term access to veins, are commonly used for chemotherapy. This is because treatment often lasts many weeks or months. A port means that patients aren’t stuck with needles at every treatment. Sometimes, chemotherapy is given before surgery (called neoadjuvant). In some people with larger tumors, where surgery is the best first step, chemotherapy is given after surgery (or adjuvant). Chemotherapy with radiation is commonly used to treat patients with Stage IIIA and IIIB lung cancer. Chemotherapy is usually given alone in Stage IV. 20