Lung Cancer Treatment
At Allegheny Health Network Cancer Institute, we tailor a treatment plan to the particular type of cancer you have. This targeted approach leads to more effective results. Our experts offer compassionate, advanced lung cancer care, including pioneering radiation therapy options and immunotherapy. We’re skilled at detecting certain lung cancer mutations that respond well to noninvasive targeted oral therapy.
Expert lung cancer treatment at AHN
A lung cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming. Remember, you’re not alone. At the Cancer Institute, you can expect treatment that is:
- Patient-centric: Our Navigation Team helps coordinate appointments, answers questions about symptoms and treatment options, and provides support when it comes to travel and planning. We help you manage the logistics so you can focus your energy on your treatment.
- Compassionate: Cancer treatment is a stressful time. Our compassionate team of caregivers is devoted to improving your quality of life and helping you understand treatment options. We keep you as comfortable as possible every step of the way. Our robust support services help you live the best quality of life during treatment.
- Advanced: Our skilled oncologists and surgeons offer the latest targeted, minimally invasive surgeries or therapies pinpointed to your particular type of lung cancer. These therapies offer better results for your long-term health.
Treatment options for lung cancer
Depending on the stage of the lung cancer, your treatment might include pioneering robotic surgery, award-winning radiation therapies, or the latest forms of chemotherapy. We also offer innovative immunotherapy, which uses your own immune system to fight the cancer. In addition, your doctor considers if you would benefit from the clinical trials available. If you are eligible, you could help test the latest approaches to care.
In some cases, it’s possible to take oral medications that target specific cancer cells. Our skilled team of physicians, oncologists, and surgeons works with you to determine the right course of treatment for you.
Our advanced team of surgeons offers minimally invasive, highly effective surgery options. Two of our most innovative options include:
- Robotic surgery: Thoracic surgeons use robots that mimic their natural movements, but with added dexterity and ability to access hard-to-reach places. We make small, delicate incisions to reach the lung and remove damaged tissue. A robotic-assisted procedure results in a more precise surgery and a shorter recovery time.
- Video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS): This surgery treats diseases of the lung, mediastinum (the space between your lungs), and chest wall. Our surgeons insert a thorascope (small videoscope) and surgical instruments through 1-inch incisions in your abdomen and chest. The surgical team can then perform various procedures, such as tumor removals from your esophagus, lungs, chest wall, sternum, and trachea. This minimally invasive procedure offers a quick recovery time.
AHN has the only radiation oncology program in western Pennsylvania with facilities accredited by the American College of Radiology. The accreditation highlights our expertise and ensures we follow best practices for better outcomes. At the Cancer Institute, you’re receiving the highest-quality care available.
Radiation therapy uses high dose X-rays to target tumor cells. The radiation may damage normal cells during the treatment, but those healthy cells generally repair themselves and recover from treatment
Our skilled team offers several cutting-edge and minimally invasive treatment options, including stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT). This technique was pioneered at AHN and has dramatically improved our ability to control tumors. SBRT is:
- Advanced: SBRT combines precise imagery, targeted tumor mapping, and detailed 4-D visualization of your anatomy.
- Precise: We can pinpoint the location of your tumor and only treat the affected areas, so healthy areas aren’t affected.
- Short: It delivers high doses of radiation in fewer than five treatments.
Our medical oncologists care for patients using techniques like chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and targeted therapy. You typically take these medicines by mouth (oral) or by vein (intravenous). Throughout your care, your physician will coordinate your medication needs. Your Navigation Team can also coordinate care and help you manage side effects.
Advanced medical oncology therapies for lung cancer include:
- Chemotherapy: These powerful drugs kill cancer cells. These drugs can also damage normal cells, causing side effects such as hair loss, nausea, and lowered blood counts. Fortunately, your body’s normal cells can repair themselves, so the side effects are usually temporary. Throughout your treatment, we carefully monitor your wellness. We determine the correct dosage to reduce side effects and maximize the chemotherapy’s effectiveness.
- Targeted therapy: This therapy can sometimes be more effective than chemotherapy, with fewer side effects. It works by attacking specific genes within the surrounding blood vessels, stopping the cancer’s growth. Our team is skilled at detecting certain lung cancer mutations that respond well to these therapies.
- Immunotherapy: This therapy activates your immune system to fight cancer better. We use the latest FDA-approved medications, such as the newly approved pembrolizumab. We also offer many immunotherapy clinical trial options at our various locations, giving you access to the most innovative medications.