Lung Cancer Treatment

A patient’s lung cancer treatment plan will depend on a number of factors, such as the cellular makeup of the tumor and the stage at which the cancer was diagnosed. However, most patients receive a personalized combination of several main treatments, which include:

  • Chemotherapy to kill rapidly-dividing cancer cells, including those that may not have been removed during surgery. Chemotherapy can be given in oral form (swallowed) or, more commonly, intravenous form (injected into a vein via IV or a catheter).
  • Radiation therapy to destroy cancer cells through radioactive high-energy rays, which are either aimed at the lung cancer from a machine outside the body (external radiation) or implanted directly into the tumor during surgery (internal radiation).
  • Surgery to remove all of the visible tumor, as well as part or all of the affected lung and nearby lymph nodes. Options for surgery include minimally invasive techniques and robotic lung surgery. Surgeons in Moffitt’s Thoracic Oncology Program use the da Vinci® Surgical System for the most enhanced vision system and unmatched precision.

Sometimes, additional therapies might also be used as treatment for lung cancer. For instance, photodynamic therapy (PDT) can be used to treat very small lung cancer tumors, especially those that cannot be removed surgically. With PDT, a special chemical is injected into the bloodstream, where it is absorbed by the body’s cells. Normal cells get rid of the chemical very quickly, but it remains in cancerous cells for a longer amount of time. A light is then aimed at the tumor to kill the cells that have absorbed the activated chemical. Another form of treatment is radio frequency ablation (RFA), which uses high-energy radio waves and alternating high-frequency current to create frictional heating to destroy the cancer cells. 

At Moffitt Cancer Center, we’re proud to be at the forefront of lung cancer treatment, and we offer a comprehensive range of surgeries, chemotherapy drugs and radiation delivery methods, along with clinical trials. Every patient receives a personalized treatment plan, and all therapies are administered by oncologists who specialize in lung cancer. What’s more, each patient’s case is discussed at a weekly tumor board meeting, where a multispecialty team of experts offers suggestions for the patient’s treatment and recovery.

No referral is required to make an appointment with Moffitt’s lung cancer treatment team. Contact us by completing our new patient registration form or call 1-888-663-3488.

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