Radiation Therapy

The rule of radiation therapy in stage I and II lung cancer is being debated. Even though radiation therapy decreases the recurrence rate in stage I and II carcinoma, this is not translated into improved survival. Therefore at this time for stage I and II nonsmall cell lung carcinoma, only resection is recommended and no additional radiation therapy. One exception is the superior sulcus tumors. Radiation is extremely useful preoperatively for superior sulcus tumors and has been shown to improve disease free survival. This is not the case for T3 lesions invading other portions of the chest wall, and these may simply require en bloc resection without preoperative radiation although this has not been fully defined. Radiation is useful for more advanced malignancies.

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