The treatment of stage 3 lung cancer is the most controversial of all lung cancer stages, partly because this group is so varied. Due to the poor survival rate, the National Cancer Institute states that everyone with stage 3 lung cancer should be considered a candidate for clinical trials –- studies that evaluate new treatments or combinations of treatments for lung cancer.
In some stage 3A lung cancer cases, surgery can be performed to remove the tumor, and is usually followed up with adjuvant chemotherapy (chemotherapy after surgery). In most cases, the tumor is considered inoperable. For those that are relatively healthy, a combination of chemotherapy or chemotherapy and radiation therapy is often recommended. If individuals are unable to tolerate chemotherapy, radiation therapy can be used alone to treat symptoms such as pain and shortness of breath.