Center for Thoracic Oncology
Diseases & Conditions
Pulmonary Metastasis - Treatments
How is Pulmonary Metastasis Treated?
Although lung metastasis is not a heartening diagnosis, we are often able to improve survival and your comfort level via resection, or removal. When the lungs are the only site of spread and the number of tumor nodules is small, cure is still possible in many instances.
It is important to preserve as much of the lung as possible, while removing any growths—and our skilled surgeons are able to do just that. A wedge resection or segmentectomy is ideal, as it only removes a small part of a lung's lobes (a section of the lung, of which there are three on the right and two on the left), usually the tumor and a small area of healthy lung tissue around it. This is a treatment used for early-stage cancer and sometimes to remove a piece of lung where cancer is suspected but not proven.
A lobectomy involves removing an entire lung lobe, and a pneumonectomy is removal of an entire lung. You may have either a thoracotomy, which is when the surgeon makes an incision in the chest, or thoracoscopy, where the tumor is resected via small incisions and use of a video camera. Your unique situation will dictate which method is most appropriate.
Chemotherapy is usually the next line of defense, as it treats the entire body at once, which also helps prevent or decrease further metastasis. Radiation, microwave therapy, and radiofrequency ablation (RFA) can also be effective.