Published: Sept. 2, 2011
Updated: Sept. 2, 2011
In addition to treatment through surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and targeted therapy, the following minimally invasive surgical procedures and surgical alternatives offer patients faster and less painful recoveries.
An endoscopic stent may be placed to open an airway blocked by abnormal tissue. An endoscope (a thin, lighted tube with a lens) will be used to guide the surgeon in placing the stent.
Laser therapy uses a beam of high-energy light to kill cancer cells. Laser therapy may be used to treat small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer.
In PDT, patients are given a light-activated drug that is absorbed by cancer cells. Surgeons then shine a laser on the tumor to “turn on” the drug, killing the cells. Because PDT has minimal side effects, it can be used as often as needed (unlike chemotherapy and radiation treatments).
Duke surgeons were among the first nationwide to successfully use PDT to treat early-stage lung cancer, and have since trained several colleagues from other parts of the country in the technique.
Cryosurgery (cryotherapy) uses an instrument that sprays liquid nitrogen to freeze and kill abnormal or cancerous cells. Cryosurgery may be used to treat non-small cell lung cancer.
Electrocautery involves using a heated probe or needle to kill abnormal tissue. Electrocautery may be used to treat non-small cell lung cancer.
Stereotactic radiosurgery is a non-surgical procedure where high doses of radiation are delivered to a precise location in the body. Advanced imaging technology (such as CT, MRI, and PET scanners) is used to determine the size and location of the tumor. The radiation is focused directly at that area, sparing nearby tissues.
Supportive care is an integral part of lung cancer treatment, no matter the stage of the disease. Your patient care team will work with you to treat your symptoms and improve your quality of life throughout treatment. Learn about the support services in place with the Duke Lung Cancer Program.
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