Surgery, radiation and chemotherapy are standard treatments for lung cancer, notes WebMD. When surgery is a treatment option for cancer, the patient's chances of survival are excellent, and there is a 50 percent chance of surviving for 5 years or longer. However, lung cancer is often undetected in its early stages when surgery is the most successful.
When used as a treatment option for cancer, surgery to remove the tumor and surrounding lung tissue and nearby lymph nodes is undertaken, notes WebMD. Sometimes, the entire lung is removed. Surgery is often problematic for patients with lung cancer because of pre-existing heart and lung problems. The type of surgery recommended depends largely on the patient's overall health, how far the cancer has spread throughout the body and the type of lung cancer.
Surgery is often combined with chemotherapy or radiation or a combination of both, to increase the cure rate of the disease, reports WebMD. After cancer spreads, chemotherapy is usually standard treatment. However, metastatic lung cancer has a very poor prognosis, and chemotherapy goals are not curative, but palliative and designed to improve life expectancy and enhance comfort by shrinking tumors, which lessens symptoms associated with the disease and reduces pain.