Treatment

Here is Premier Health’s commitment to your patients with lung cancer.

Lung cancer is a common type of cancer we treat at Premier Health. If you have lung cancer, our cancer specialists will work together with you to design a personalized treatment plan.

We provide high quality, patient-focused care with advanced technology, innovative programs, expert caregivers, and screening facilities conveniently located throughout Southwest Ohio.

We’ll consider the type, size, and stage of your lung cancer, plus your age and overall health, to recommend one or more of the following treatment strategies:

  • Surgery to remove the primary (main) cancer tumor or other tumors
  • Chemotherapy/radiation therapy to kill or stop the growth or spread of cancer cells
  • Chemotherapy/radiation therapy to prevent or delay your cancer's return
  • Symptom management for pain or other cancer-related symptoms

How We Treat Lung Cancer

Our focus is always on your individual needs and experience. We can draw on the expertise of our Premier Health Multidisciplinary Treatment Conference, where specialists from the cancer care team meet to review and discuss your medical condition and treatment options. If the team wants additional review and input, we can present your case to the MD Anderson Multidisciplinary Planning Conference.

We may use one or more of the following treatment options as we treat your cancer. We’ll also be there to listen to you and help you and your family cope with the emotional and psychological impact of lung cancer.

Lung Cancer Surgery

Our surgeons perform several types of procedures for lung cancer, depending on the size and location of your tumor, as well as the overall health and condition of your lungs. Surgical procedures we offer for lung cancer include:

Lobectomy. Removal of a lobe (section) of your lung

Wedge Resection. Removal of a small, wedge-shaped part of your lung that contains the cancerous cells and some healthy tissue surrounding the area

Segmentectomy. Removal of a larger portion of your lung than a wedge resection, without removing the whole lobe

Sleeve Resection or Sleeve Lobectomy. Removal of lung cancer located in a lobe and the bronchus, a tube that branches off the trachea and carries air into the lungs. After the portion containing cancer is removed, the ends of the bronchus are rejoined and the remaining lobes are reattached to the bronchus.

Pneumonectomy. Removal of the entire lung affected by cancer

Medical Therapies

Medical therapies often provide additional ways to eradicate cancer cells, either before or after surgery. We have several comfortable outpatient infusion centers where you can receive treatment. In some locations, we offer massage therapy, art therapy, and other services.

At Premier Health, we offer these medical therapies for lung cancer:

Chemotherapy, which can be given as pills, an injection, or through an IV to stop the growth and spread of lung cancer cells. We may use this before surgery to shrink your tumor or after surgery to eliminate any remaining cancer cells. We aggressively treat not only your cancer, but also the side effects of chemotherapy, such as nausea, or pain.

Immunotherapy/biological therapy boosts your immune system to increase your body’s natural ability to fight cancer. It is used when cancer cells have tested positive for specific gene changes.

Tumor-targeted therapy involves analyzing your tumor and selecting a combination of drugs to combat your specific type of lung cancer. At Premier Health, we offer several variations with multiple combinations, although targeted therapy isn’t an option for every person.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy uses radiation beams of intense energy to destroy cancer cells while keeping normal organs safe. At Premier Health, we offer four types of radiation therapy for people with lung cancer. Radiation treatments may be given before, after, or instead of surgery. Your doctor will talk with you about which approach is best for your unique circumstances.

Radiation therapy options include:

  • Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT). SBRT is an alternative to surgery for a localized tumor that hasn’t spread. Another name for this technique is stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR). High doses of radiation are delivered to the tumor by a linear accelerator machine while the patient lies on the treatment table. Before the radiation treatment, the patient undergoes CT imaging, enabling the radiation therapy team to precisely pinpoint the tumor’s exact location. This treatment uses intensely focused, multiple radiation beams efficiently to destroy the localized tumor. If your doctor has recommended SBRT, you will generally have two to five treatments, with each treatment taking about 20 to 25 minutes. The advantages are that you don’t have to stay in the hospital overnight and there is no incision.
    • Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). Our radiation oncology specialists deliver high-energy X-rays from multiple angles to your tumor. A computer performs advanced calculations so a linear accelerator machine can deliver the radiation precisely to the tumor, while limiting damage to the healthy tissue surrounding the cancer. You will receive treatments over multiple days.
    • 3D Conformal Radiation. This radiation therapy is called external beam radiation and often is used if your tumor has an irregular shape or is located close to healthy tissues and organs. Our newer linear accelerator allows your doctor to see your tumor in three dimensions and sculpt radiation beams to the tumor’s shape, sparing healthy tissue surrounding the tumor. You’ll receive treatments over several days.
    • High-Dose Rate (HDR) Endobronchial Brachytherapy. We most commonly use this option when a tumor is blocking your airway or other treatment techniques are unsuitable. A miniature (1 mm thick) radioactive source (seed) is placed right next to the tumor to deliver a radiation dose directly to the tumor while keeping nearby, normal organs safe. A small tube carrying the radioactive seed at the end of a wire is inserted through the nose, and the seed is placed near the tumor. Tube placement, CT simulation, and treatment planning and delivery all take place during a single day. The entire procedure takes three to four hours, with treatment delivery taking only a few minutes. This is an outpatient procedure, and the patient is generally not sedated. Your doctor may choose to deliver HDR brachytherapy in one to three sessions.

    In limited applications, to further protect organs in the chest during IMRT or 3D treatment, Premier Health has respiratory gated radiation therapy available. This therapy tracks the tumor and halts the radiation beam momentarily if your breathing or other movements threaten to move the beam outside the targeted area. This prevents exposing nearby organs to radiation.

    Another tool we have to accommodate for motion is a 4D CT scanner. The 4D CT scanner does a series of scans through your breathing cycle in order to capture and model the tumor motion during normal breathing. This helps us accurately map the tumor movement, which is helpful in creating a proper treatment plan.

    Interventional Radiology

    Our interventional radiologists are specially trained to offer you advanced treatments and procedures for difficult-to-treat tumors using image-guided therapies. Radiofrequency ablation, which uses heat to destroy cancer cells, is an outpatient procedure. It can be used for isolated cancer spots in the lungs or to reduce the size of a lung tumor if you are not strong enough to undergo surgery.

    Palliative Care

    When treatments no longer are effective against cancer, Premier Health offers palliative care to help improve quality of life and ease the symptoms of cancer.

    Clinical Trials

    Our cancer specialists actively participate in regional, national, and international research networks. Clinical trials provide another option when standard treatments are not working. Our goal is to connect you with the latest advances in cancer care. Check our current list of cancer clinical trials.

    Your Lung Cancer Care Team

    Treating lung cancer requires a team approach. Our board-certified, fellowship-trained surgical oncologists, medical oncologists, and radiation oncologists communicate regularly to discuss your diagnosis, treatment plan, and treatment progress. We have specialized tumor conferences routinely to discuss complex cases.

    Premier Health is a certified member of MD Anderson Cancer Network®, a program of MD Anderson Cancer Center, the top-ranked cancer center in the United States.

    As an affiliate of MD Anderson Cancer Network®, Premier Health and our certified cancer specialists routinely discuss challenging cases with experts at MD Anderson Cancer Center. 

    If you have an unusual or complex situation, your physician may consult with a cancer expert at MD Anderson to receive input on your case.

    A nurse navigator will be your primary point of contact throughout diagnosis, treatment, and recovery, easing your cancer journey by guiding and linking you to additional services and information.

    We also have pathologists to assist with diagnosis and cancer staging throughout your cancer journey. As needed, we will consult specialists in wound care and hyperbaric oxygen treatment.

    Contact Us

    Premier Health offers an extensive network of experienced cancer specialists, close to home, who welcome your referrals. Find a cancer specialist best suited to your patient’s unique needs.

    Our cancer specialists have access to nationally recognized cancer care protocols and best practices, since Premier Health is a certified member of MD Anderson Cancer Network®, a program of MD Anderson Cancer Center.