NCCN Guidelines for Patients
: Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
Part 6: Overview of cancer treatments
Par t 1
Par t 2
Par t 3
Par t 4
Par t 5
Par t 6
Par t 7
Par t 8
Par t 9
Removal of the tumor by surgery is the time-honored way to try to cure lung
cancer. It is commonly used to treat stages I, II, and some III cancers but is
rarely used to treat stage IV cancers. Surgery is preferred over other local
treatments. If you will have surgery, a board-certified thoracic surgeon
who often treats lung cancer should be on your treatment team.
Lung surgery methods
Removal of a lung tumor can sometimes be done with one of two methods.
The classic method is thoracotomy. Thoracoscopy, also called VATS, is a newer
method. It is also used to do biopsies as described in Part 3.3. Not enough
research has been done to know if one method is better than the other.
Before either surgery, you will be asked to stop eating, drinking, and taking
some medicines for a short period of time. If you smoke, it is important to stop.
General anesthesia is used for both surgeries.
status to identify doctors
who finished training
in a specialized field of
A controlled loss of
wakefulness from drugs
doctor who’s an expert in
surgery within the chest