Surgery For Lung Cancer
A diagnosis of cancer is certainly frightening, especially for those with existing health complications or trepidation about treatment. Choosing surgery for lung cancer is a decision that both patient and doctor must agree upon, but can be the best means of combating even the most aggressive forms of cancer and tumors. Surgery usually involves a treatment of chemotherapy radiation before and after in order to completely scour the afflicted area of cancerous cells, while the operation itself will focus on cutting out all of the afflicted area. In some cases, it is only necessary for a surgeon to remove a small portion of a lung; in other cases the entire lobe of the lung must be removed. While the human body can function with only one lung, this surgery tends to have drastic impact on breathing capacity and capability, often leaving the patient dependent on pure oxygen until the recovery period has passed.
Unfortunately, not all cancer patients may benefit from surgery. In cases where the cancer is at a highly advanced stage, anything short of immediate surgery may result in the tumor, growth, or impacted cells having grown at a rate that cannot be combated by removing the infliction. In these cases, the entire lung must come out or an extremely high dose of radiation must be administered. The survival rate of these procedures is much lower than simple single cell operations, but are not as common. Additionally, cancer in some areas of the lung simply cannot be cut out without completely destroying the respiration system. Other patients, furthermore, may have such problems with breathing or blood flow that they would not survive the procedure. The overall rate of patient death for the surgery is relatively low, at less than five percent. This rate is artificially high, however, as it does not include patients who died without having the surgery.
Most surgery for lung cancer removes only a portion of the lung as is known as lobectomy. The lobe, or oxygen absorbing tissue, of the lung is the only part that needs to be removed. In more severe cases, a segmentectomy is the surgical removal of several lobes or a lobe in addition to a larger portion of the organ. Pneumonectomy is surgery for lung cancer that removes the entire lung, as the cancer is too far advanced to take only a portion of the tissue. Other forms of lung surgery focus on the bronchial tubes leading into the lungs, which are cut out and the severed sections attached to one another.