Thoracic Surgery > Lung Cancer
In the United
States, approximately 170,000 people are diagnosed with cancer of the
lung and bronchus, annually. This disease is the number one cancer
killer in the nation, claiming 154,900 lives per year. This number
exceeds the combined total of deaths due to cancers of the colon,
breast, and prostate. The reason for this unfortunate statistic is
secondary to lung cancer typically being discovered late in the disease
process. Only 10-15% of lung cancers are found at an early stage.
Treatment options for lung cancer include surgery, chemotherapy and
radiation therapy. For localized tumors, surgery offers the best chance
for cure. More advance cancers are better served with chemotherapy and
radiation therapy. Intermediate stage cancers may benefit from a
combination of the three treatments. The surgeons of Phoenix Cardiac
Surgery work closely with lung specialists, medical and radiation
oncologists to develop individualized treatment strategies for our
For cancers that are amenable to surgical removal, the goal of the
operation is to remove the entire cancer and lymph nodes in the chest.
The operation is conducted with a general anesthesia and typically
involves an incision on the side of the chest, called a thoracotomy. The
amount of lung removed is dependent upon the size and location of the
cancer. Lymph nodes within the chest are removed and checked for cancer
cells by hospital pathologists. Knowing if the cancer has spread to
lymph nodes allows physicians to accurately stage the cancer, and later
determine if chemotherapy and radiation therapy would be beneficial to
the patient. Following surgery, patients are admitted to the hospital
for about 4 to 7 days prior to discharge home.
The surgeons of Phoenix Cardiac Surgery are experienced with the
surgical treatment of lung cancer. Our goal is to completely remove the
lung cancer, while preserving as much lung function as possible.