In general, surgeons try to remove as little lung as needed to eliminate the cancer. However, removal of the lymph nodes draining the tumor helps reduce the chance of the cancer coming back and provides better tumor staging.
Chemotherapy is considered a systemic therapy. That means the drug enters the bloodstream and circulates throughout your body to reach and destroy cancer cells in the lungs and beyond. It’s an effective way to destroy cancer cells that break away from the main tumor and travel in the bloodstream to lymph nodes or other organs.
Advances in radiation treatment, now allow concentration of the radiation beams on the tumor to minimize the damage to the surrounding tissue. In addition, it may be used to kill any cancer cells that remain in the lung area after surgery or chemotherapy. Radioactive iodine is not usually used for the treatment of lung cancer.