Pulmonary Metastasectomy

A metastasis is a type of lung tumor that develops when cancer from another body site (for example, the breast or colon) spreads to the lung. When this occurs, the tumors in the lung are referred to as metastatic lung (pulmonary) tumors. Because it acts as a sieve for all of the blood that passes through the body, the lung is a very common site for metastatic tumors to lodge. Fortunately, patients with tumors that spread to the lung from other sites often still have a chance to be cured by surgical removal of these tumors, frequently in combination with chemotherapy.

There are several criteria that generally should be met for it to be reasonable to surgically remove (or "resect") such cancerous lung tumors that originate from other body sites:

a) patients should have their primary tumor site controlled

b) there should be no uncontrollable extra-pulmonary disease (disease outside the confines of the lungs)

c) all visible lung metastases, including bilateral disease, should be resectable while leaving the patient with adequate lung function for a good quality of life

When deciding to undergo lung surgery to treat metastases from different types of cancers, you and your surgeon may discuss:

  • The Rationale for Lung Resection
  • The Number of Tumors
  • The Use of Minimally Invasive Techniques
  • The Type of Cancer that Has Spread to the Lung

See the individual headings above for more information on each.

If you would like to make an appointment to see one of our surgeons for any of these problems, please call (650) 498-6000 and ask for the Thoracic Surgery new patient coordinator, or call (650) 721-2086.

The Division of Thoracic Surgery in the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Stanford School of Medicine is located in the San Francisco Bay Area in northern California. For more information about our services, please contact Donna Yoshida at (650) 721-2086 or Angela Lee, RN, MS, at (650) 721-5402. For new patient Thoracic Surgery Clinic Scheduling, please call (650) 498-6000.