Once the patient's cancer is fully staged, decision is then made for treatment plan based on the patient's health and their cancer stage. This discussion is often made in a multidisciplinary conference with specialists, including pulmonologists, radiologists, pathologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, and surgeons. Patients with early stage cancer and good lung function will be good candidates for surgical resection of their cancer. In patients with more severe pulmonary limitations and pulmonary diseases such as COPD, surgery may not be an option, and radiation therapy would be an alternative approach. Localized surgery or radiation therapy are unfortunately not great options for patients with more advanced or metastatic cancer. These patients will often require a combination of chemotherapy and radiation and possibly the addition of targeted therapies based on the cancer's biomarker testing.
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