Treatment of locally advanced Non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)

How is locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer treated?

Locally advanced non small cell lung cancer is also known as the stage 3 of non small cell lung cancer. This stage is further divided into stage 3A and 3B and the treatment options for these stages are different.

Picture of a patient being treated for locally advanced stage NSCLC

Read more on staging of non-small cell lung cancer

  • Treatment for stage 3A – NSCLC

Treatment at this stage may include a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The treatment options also depend on factors like the size of tumor, which lymph nodes has the cancer spread to,the patient’s overall health and how well the treatment is being tolerated by the patient.

If the patient is in good health, the first treatment is usually chemotherapy hat is often combined with radiation. Surgery is followed after if the doctor feels that the remaining tumor can be removed and if the patient is in good health. In very select cases, Surgery is followed by Adjuvant Chemo-radiotherapy.

  • Treatment for stage 3B – NSCLC

At stage 3B, the tumor is locally advanced and amenable to resection along with its spread to the lymph nodes near the other lung or in the neck and may also spread to important areas of the chest. At this stage the cancer cannot be completely removed by surgery. Hence the chemotherapy and radiation is the main line of action. This kind of treatment also depends on the health of the patient, if the patient is healthy chemotherapy and radiation may even cure the cancer and if the patient is not healthy enough, radiation alone is often the treatment that is given.

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