Treatment for Stage IIIA Non-small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC)

OncoLink Team
The Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
Last Modified: May 7, 2013

Question:

My 69-year-old mother-in-law was recently diagnosed with Stage IIIA (T3N1) non-small cell lung cancer. She also has emphysema with low lung volume but very good lung function. She is going to undergo 3-4 weeks of chemo (taxol and carboplatin once a week) plus daily radiation therapy treatments. The thoracic surgeon will then perform surgery. She has undergone a lung biopsy with CT scan, MRI of the chest, abdomen, and brain, a PET scan, mediastinoscopy, and bronchoscopy. The surgeon is a thoracic surgeon with a specialty in lung cancer. My questions are (1) is the above treatment considered appropriate, (2) is a second opinion necessary, (3) how do we determine if the surgeon is good, and (4) will the emphysema cause substantial problems in her recovery? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Answer:

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