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Lung Cancer

In 2002, an estimated 169,400 people (90,200 males and 79,200 females) in the United States were diagnosed with lung and bronchus cancer. Approximately 154,900 lives (89,200 males and 65,700 females) were claimed by it. Lung and bronchus cancer accounted for 25% of all US female cancer deaths and 31% of all male cancer deaths in the year 2002.

While chemotherapy may provide some shrinkage of the tumor, it is not a cure. In addition, the cure rate for lung cancer treated with radiation therapy is very low. That’s why when cancer is localized to the lung, surgery may offer a better chance for recovery.

The most common surgical procedure for lung cancer is called a lobectomy. This surgery is usually performed through a 6 to 10 inch long incision around the side of the chest. The purpose of the surgery is to remove the tumor and the section of the lung in which the tumor was located. During a lobectomy, the surgeon always removes the lymph nodes from areas inside the chest.

For patients whose tumors are more advanced, a program of chemotherapy before surgery appears to double or triple the cure rate. The program is now sometimes being used to treat larger tumors that have not spread from the lung.

When surgery is not the best option available, our radiation oncologists use 3-D conformal radiation therapy (IMRT), to deliver the highest possible radiation dose targeted precisely to the tumor while minimizing radiation exposure to normal lung tissue and other organs in the chest.

Texas Surgical Associates