What to Know First About Your Treatment Choices for Lung Cancer
Lung cancer can be treated. Your treatment depends on all of these things:
The type of lung cancer you have
The size and location of the tumor
Your general health
If the cancer has spread to other parts of your body
Treatments can control the lung cancer and improve your quality of life by controlling symptoms of the disease. Right now, there are no treatments that cure extensive lung cancer, which is cancer that has spread to the opposite side of the chest from where it started or to distant parts of the body. But treatment may be able to cure lung cancer if it is found when it is limited, meaning it is confined to the same side of the chest where it started.
Once you know the type and stage of lung cancer you have, it is time to decide on a treatment plan. Talking about your treatment choices will be one of the most important meetings that you will have with your doctor.
Deciding on the best plan may take some time. Talk with your doctor about how much time you can take to explore your options before you must make a decision. You may want to get an opinion from another doctor before deciding on your treatment plan. And you may want to involve your family and friends in this process.
Understanding the goals of treatment for lung cancer
These are the goals of lung cancer treatment:
Types of treatment for lung cancer
There are several ways to treat lung cancer, depending on the stage of the cancer and other factors:
Radiofrequency ablation (RFA). RFA can be used to treat some small tumors near the outside of the lungs, especially in people who can't or don't want to have surgery. A metal probe is passed through the chest wall and into the tumor, and high-energy radio waves are used to heat and destroy the tumor.
Your doctor may suggest that you get more than one type of treatment. Getting two or more treatments is called combination treatment.
Sometimes new treatments are available in a clinical trial. You can ask your doctor if there is one you should consider.
Some people use complementary therapies. That means they get traditional cancer treatment along with other therapies that are supportive. You may talk about this option with your doctor or nurse.