Lung cancer is the leading cause of death from cancer in men and women. The single biggest risk factor for lung cancer is cigarette smoking. Smoking increases your risk of getting lung cancer and accounts for 80-85% of lung cancer deaths. Other factors such as radon, asbestos, and chronic inflammation are responsible for the remaining lung cancer cases.
Lung cancer treatment is often accomplished by surgery, radiation, chemotherapy or a combination of 2 or 3 of these treatments. Early stage lung cancer can be treated with surgery or radiation. Surgery with a lobectomy is still considered the preferred treatment for early stage lung cancer. Your surgeon removes the lobe containing the lung cancer. In some situations, a sub-lobar resection may be performed. This should not be confused with a wedge resection. Many patients will not be candidates for surgery due to chronic smoking and some patients do not want to have surgery for various reasons.
For these patients a curative treatment with radiation exists. Large radiation doses are delivered over 3-5 fractions to completely destroy the tumor. This technique is called Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy (SBRT) or Stereotactic Ablative Body Radiotherapy (SABR). The physicians at Precision Radiation Oncology are experts in the safe delivery of lung SBRT or SABR using the CyberKnife. The CyberKnife painlessly delivers precise beams of radiation to tumors and lesions, without requiring incisions, hospitalization, or long recovery time. It can serve as an effective lung cancer treatment and is an especially good option for patients with complex tumors or patients who prefer a non-invasive way to treat their cancer.
In advanced lung cancer, radiation and chemotherapy can be delivered together in small daily treatments over 6 weeks.