Treatment

There are a range of cancer treatments for lung cancer patients.

Please click on one of the cancer treatments below for further information:

Before patients can undergo treatment, they need to give their consent. This is an important process to ensure that they understand what their treatment involves.  

 

Surgery  

Surgery may be the most appropriate treatment for patients with localised lung cancer. Surgery to remove the cancer is a major operation and it will take a number of weeks to recover from it. 


Lung surgery in Northern Ireland is provided at the Royal Victoria Hospital and Belfast City Hospital by thoracic surgeons.

Patients are prioritised by:

  • clinical care pathway
  • clinical urgency
  • theatre availability 
  • job specialisation of surgeon

The majority of patients are seen in the outpatient clinic by the surgeon expected to carry out the operation.  Patients are given an approximate date of surgery or waiting time by their surgeon and will be kept up to date by the Lung Scheduling office staff.

Patients coming to Royal Victoria Hospital or Belfast City Hospital for surgery may be asked to come up to meet one of our medical team for a pre assessment appointment before surgery to ensure they are fit and safe for surgery. In some cases patients are asked to have an anaesthetic assessment. If patients require this then they may need to be admitted overnight.

Patients undergoing surgery at  Belfast City Hospital will be admitted to Level 5 of the Tower block.  If they are having surgery at the Royal Victoria Hospital, they will be admitted into Ward 4A. Both are specialised wards. 

A few of the surgical procedures performed as a lung cancer treatment have been outlined below:

  • Lobectomy : This form of surgery is one which removes larger lung cancer tumours. This surgery removes a lobe of the lungs. There are 3 lobes in the right lung and 2 lobes in the left lung. A lobectomy can be performed as open surgery or as a video assisted thoroscopic surgery.

 

Source : Macmillan Cancer Support (2011) - Lobectomy

 

  • Pneumonectomy : This type of surgery removes larger cancer tumours of the lungs. It involves the surgical removal of the lung. The surgeon makes an incision in the chest while the patient is under general anesthesia. Part of the rib may then be removed to allow for adequate working space for the doctor. The lung is then collapsed and blood vessels are tied off. The diseased lung's air tube is then clamped and cut. The lung is then removed through the incision. The doctor will then check to see if the air tube is leaking air, and then the incision is closed with staples or stitches.Patients who have heart/respiratory problems are not deemed suitable candidates for this type of surgery.

 

 

Source : Macmillan Cancer Support (2011) - Pnemonectomy 

 

  • Wedge Resection : This type of surgery is performed on patients with small cancer tumours in the lungs. It removes the tumour and the surrounding tissue. A wedge resection removes a triangle shaped slice of the affected tissue.

 

Source : Macmillan Cancer Support (2011) - Wedge Resection