In case of lung cancer there are several treatment modalities. Three person may be operated, given chemotherapeutics or even subjected to radiotherapy. Depending on the stage of the disease as well as the patohystological type of the tumor even a combination of these modalities is possible.
In case of lung cancer surgery is mainly reserved for non-small cell carcinomas. This happens because small cell carcinoma tends to give local and distant metastases even in early stages of the disease. Still some patients who have small cell carcinoma may be given neoadjuvant chemotherapeutics and after that even they are operated.
The very surgery includes lobectomy, segmectomy or pulmectomy. Lobectomy means that only one lobe of the lung is resected. Segmectomy means that a segment of the lungs is surgically removed and finally pulmectomy means that entire lung (right or left) is resected and removed. The type of the operation depends on the location of the tumor and its spread. Together with lung tissue accompanying lymph nodes are resected as well.
The majority of lung cancers are diagnosed in advanced stages of the disease. Rarely tumors are identified when they are really small and the disease has not spread onto the surrounding lympatics. In this extremely rare case a patient can be operated after simple toracoscopy which includes insertion of a video scope inside the chest cavity and through a hole by usage of precise instruments tumor is resected and removed. What also has to be emphasized is that this treatment option may be conducted in only tumors present on the outer surface of the lungs.
There are several risks of surgical removal of the lung tumor. They includes infections, pneumonia, over bleeding, stroke, heart attack and lethal outcome.The recovery time takes few weeks. Pain is regular but the patients are given painkillers to reduce its intensity. Still patients tend to continue having difficulties with breathing. At first they will experience shortness of breath while walking but as time goes by the rest of the lung will start compensating for the loss and they will breathe much better. However in case of strenuous activities these breathing problems may reoccur.
Not all the people who are suffering from lung cancer are lucky to be operated. This perfidious disease is rarely diagnosed in the very beginning. This happens as symptoms occur late when tumor has already affected large portions of the lungs and spread onto the nearby lymphatics. In this case patients are only left with two treatment modalities chemotherapy and radiation.