Your doctor will explain if surgery is a possible treatment for you. It depends on:
- the type of lung cancer you have
- its stage
- your general health.
A lung operation is major surgery, so you need to be well enough to cope with it. Before surgery, your doctor will arrange for you to have tests to check how well your lungs and heart are working.
Your operation will be done by a surgeon who is an expert in lung surgery. Surgery for lung cancer involves removing the cancer and the lymph nodes in the chest. Your doctor may advise surgery if you are well enough and have:
- non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that is stage 1 or 2, or occasionally stage 3
- small cell lung cancer (SCLC) that is very small and has not spread outside the lung.
After surgery, a doctor looks at the lung tissue they removed in the laboratory. This helps them confirm the type and the stage of the cancer.
You may have other treatments before or after surgery. If you had surgery to remove all of the cancer, you may have chemotherapy after it. This is to reduce the risk of the cancer coming back.
If surgery does not remove all of the cancer, your doctor may advise you to have radiotherapy or chemotherapy.