Treatment Options

Treating Lung Cancer

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Because lung cancer doesn’t have standardized screening tests, it is commonly found either by accident or after symptoms begin to develop. The appropriate treatment is determined by the stage of the cancer — how large it is and how far it has spread. These are the common treatments for lung cancer:

Surgery is used to remove part of the lung or sometimes the entire lung to remove the tumor in slow-growing cancers. For cancers that have spread to the lymph nodes or other organs, surgery also may be combined with chemotherapy and radiation.

Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells and stop new ones from growing. It can be used alone or with other treatments. It is often used alone when cancer has spread to other parts of the body. But it can also be used with surgery or radiation to improve the effectiveness of treatment, or after surgery to kill any remaining cancer.

Radiation therapy is used to treat lung cancer, along with chemotherapy, if surgery is not an option. Radiation therapy kills cancer cells by using powerful X-rays or other forms of radiation. It also can be used to relieve cancer symptoms and pain if cancer has spread to the bones.

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