Non-small cell and small cell lung cancer can be treated with radiation therapy in several ways. It may be used after surgery to destroy any remaining cancer cells and reduce the chances that the cancer will return. Radiation therapy may also be used as the main treatment for people who are not healthy enough to have surgery.
If you have small cell lung cancer that is localized to the chest, your radiation oncologist will probably recommend a combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. SCCA has several radiation oncologists with expertise in treating lung cancer, like Shilpen Patel, MD.
Radiation therapy is typically given five days a week for a period of six to eight weeks, using a machine that looks much like a regular X-ray machine. Each patient’s treatment is individualized for him or her, and the number of treatments is unique.
The procedure is not painful, and each treatment lasts only minutes. However, radiation to the chest can lead to esophagitis and other painful side affects. Radiation therapy for lung cancer is provided at the Cancer Center located on the first floor of University of Washington Medical Center.