Radiotherapy for lung cancer/thoracic cancer
There are two types of lung cancer: small cell and non-small cell lung carcinoma. Small cell lung carcinoma tends to be a more aggressive type of cancer, with a much higher risk of metastases. Treatment for both versions varies.
We will run diagnostics to find out which type of lung cancer you have, what size your tumor is and where it is located, and whether your lymph nodes are affected or if the tumor has spread outside of the body. Once we have mapped everything out, we can assess the stage of the tumor. We will discuss your case during a multidisciplinary team meeting (involving various specialists who treat lung cancer) to find a treatment plan that best suits you. Your overall health and personal wishes are important to us when looking for a suitable treatment.
If your tumor is small and the cancer cells have not spread to the lymph nodes, stereotactic treatment may be an option, which has a high success rate. This treatment involves a small number of sessions during which you will receive a high dose of radiation with great precision.
If your lung cancer has spread through the body and causes pain or bleeding, or if your tumor might block the airways of blood vessels, we can give you radiotherapy to alleviate these symptoms. This will shrink the tumor and stop it from growing. We call this a palliative radiation treatment. This will not cure your cancer.
Non-small cell lung cancer
We can offer radiation treatment if your tumor has not spread outside of the chest. You will receive 17 to 30 treatment sessions.
Radiotherapy can be combined with chemotherapy. The chemotherapy can make the cancer cells more sensitive to the radiation. You will receive a small dose of chemotherapy before your radiation sessions.
Small cell lung cancer
If your cancer has not spread outside of the lungs, we will treat you with 4 chemotherapy sessions and 30 radiation sessions. We can deliver radiation twice a day, although in some cases, one session a day is preferred.
We may want to deliver preventive radiation to the brain, even if we did not find metastases in the brain. This will lower the risk of tumor cells in the brain.