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Surgery for Lung Cancer Patients


KatieB

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Surgery for Lung Cancer Patients

Ben M. Hunt, MD, MSc and Brian E. Louie, MD, MHA, MPH, FRCSC, FACS

Introduction

Surgery is one of the main options for treating patients who are diagnosed with lung cancer. Sometimes

surgery is the only treatment necessary, and sometimes surgery is combined with chemotherapy and/or

radiation therapy. It is not always easy to determine which treatment or combination of treatments may be

necessary. Therefore, meeting with a surgeon who is specially trained in lung surgery is an important step

in the management of lung cancer.

Many patients are nervous about surgery. We hope that this chapter will prepare the patient and his or her

support team for meeting with a surgeon and for surgery.

This chapter has been divided into 7 sections to

address the following questions:

1. When is surgery used to treat lung cancer?

2. What types of surgery are used to treat lung cancer?

3. How do I prepare for surgery?

4. What can I expect the day of surgery?

5. What can I expect during the hospital stay?

6. What is the recovery from lung surgery like?

7. Am I cured?

When Surgery is used to Treat Lung Cancer

The first important decision about surgery is choosing when to operate and when not to operate, because

not everyone with lung cancer will benefit from surgery. There are two categories of lung cancer: small cell

lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer (Figure 1). Surgery is not usually used to treat people with small

cell lung cancer, and most of this chapter will discuss non-small cell lung cancer.

MORE: http://lungcancercap.org/choices/pdf/2_ ... 052312.pdf

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Katie, I was so blessed to be able to have surgery. When I was first diagnosed, I didn't know that surgery was a preferred option in situations like mine, where the tumor was only found in one lobe, and had not spread. The adjunct chemotherapy was used to ensure that if cancer cells had escaped that the chemo would destroy any that were left in my body.

What a blessing it was.

Judy in MI

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Thanks for teh testimonial Judy. I'm so glad this was a successful option for you and it is also a successful option for many that find their cancer early or localized.

I wish for early detection testing for everyone so that surgery will be more of a curative option for the majority.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks Katie for your comments,

Early surgery was indeed a factor in my survival,were it not for my daughters insistance to visit my GP because of what I regarded as having a trivial silly wee persistant cough,and did'nt want to visit my GP,I may well not be here today.Subsequent tests proved me wrong,I did in fact have a cancerous tumour in my upper right lung.

So,the moral of the tale,please, if you feel something is not right with your body,remember ,you are its expert,go and have it checked out,however trivial it may seem.Reassurance is important,particularly if you can appreciate the earlier cancer is discovered the prognosis is improved.

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Thank you Katie,

Very valuable information. I was one of the stage 3A people who had chemo/radiation then surgery followed by adjuvant chemo. Surgery was in July, 2005 and I am NED today. I am thankful for this websites, my family, church, friends, co-workers and also the wonderful doctors that I had and have.

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  • 3 months later...

Early surgery here too. I had a tumor in RML that was contained, however, there were several lymph nodes involved. Chemo to mop up stray cells. Went to doc for followup bloodwork today. 1 year and everthing still looks good. Chest Cat in Dec. and if it is all clear, no Pet till next summer. Yey for early treatment!!! I was lucky it was found on an incendental xray

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I also had surgery early on followed by chemo and then a clinical trial of Tarceva. I have issues as a result of the loss of lung capacity and copd. When my upper lob was removed they also took 22 (I believe it was) lymph nodes...17 were bad.. it was almost out the door. As you can see from my tattoo(inspired by three dear friends) I'm doing fairly well so far. I think that for sure the results were far and away better then the long term problems. As with Sandy mine was found by chance on a xray when I went to see my dr for a totally unrelated problem.

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  • 3 months later...

I had a lower rt lobectory Apr 2011, no aftercare needed, they said. Recurance discovered June 2012, watched until fall 2012 when it did the trick they thought they might see. (not a fan of that thought process) In my experience, surgery was nothing compared to chemo, and I am just getting started. I have one of the best onc in the region, I feel the same about the surgeon (who I have heard drs say the same of him) so feel I had excellent care. Now to learn from you and get through this.

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I had surgery the first time around...they said they got it all, and I guess they did, but my onc failed to tell me how high the chances were to recur at the spot between the lobes. I don't fault him, there was so much going on. I have two places, nodules he calls them. They are small. I get why they are classified as inoperable, but I just don't understand why, if I ask specifically, I cannot have them removed, knowing they will pop up somewhere else. These will at least be gone.

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