Like their younger counterparts, some elderly patients who have early stage non-small cell lung cancer can benefit from a minimally invasive surgical procedure to remove part or all of a lung, according to a study conducted by thoracic surgeons at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and described in The American Surgeon, the journal of the Southeastern Surgical Congress and the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons.
When non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC) are detected at an early, localized stage, surgical removal of the affected area often can prevent metastasis to other tissues and organs. But while some patients, including the elderly, might not be good candidates for the physical demands of open chest surgery, this study of 159 patients between ages 80 and 94 suggests that video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery should be considered a viable option.
"Some patients and their doctors wonder why a person that age should bother to go through any major pulmonary surgery. The reason is that whether the patient is 80 or 95, if they are in reasonably good physical condition without any other major medical problems that are imminently life threatening, the odds are that the cancer is going to progress and the patient will live long enough to go through several unpleasant months with widespread cancer," said Robert McKenna Jr., M.D., thoracic surgeon, surgical director of the Center for Chest Diseases and chief of Thoracic Surgery and Trauma at Cedars-Sinai.
Sandy Van | EurekAlert!
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