Breathing Easier: Surgical Options in Lung Cancer

SAN ANTONIO (November 4, 2011) – When lung cancer patients come to see Daniel DeArmond, M.D., they often feel that life is over, but DeArmond said there are options that many people don’t know.

Dr. DeArmond will discuss lung cancer and its surgical treatment at the November 10 free public lecture at the Cancer Therapy & Research Center at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

“The first question a person with a lung cancer diagnosis should ask is ‘Can I have surgery, and if not, why not?’” said Dr. DeArmond, assistant professor of cardiothoracic surgery in the School of Medicine at the UT Health Science Center.

Early-stage lung cancer patients are often candidates for a minimally invasive surgery called video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) lobectomy. Dr. DeArmond specializes in the surgery, which allows for much faster recovery and far less pain than the traditional lung surgery that cuts through major muscle walls and spreads open the ribs, often cracking them.

“From a cancer treatment standpoint, it’s essentially the same operation, but from a recovery standpoint, it’s usually a totally different story for VATS patients,” he said. “When they go home it’s often as soon as day 3, and their pain is controlled.”

With lung cancer being the second most common cancer affecting both men and women, Dr. DeArmond wants to get the word out that this surgery may be an option for early-stage patients, and may well work better than chemotherapy or radiation for those patients.

Depending on the patient’s needs, Dr. DeArmond may also work in concert with a radiation oncologist and a medical oncologist during the surgery to treat the patient with brachytherapy, a form of radiation therapy where a radiation source is placed inside or next to the tumor.

Thursday’s presentation will be from 6 – 7:30 p.m. at the Cancer Therapy & Research Center, 7979 Wurzbach, San Antonio, Texas, on the 4th floor of the Grossman Building. For more information, call 210-450-1152.

The series is sponsored by H-E-B and the Institute for Integration of Medicine and Science.


The Cancer Therapy & Research Center (CTRC) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is one of the elite academic cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute (NCI) Designated Cancer Center, and is one of only four in Texas. A leader in developing new drugs to treat cancer, the CTRC Institute for Drug Development (IDD) conducts one of the largest oncology Phase I clinical drug programs in the world, and participates in development of cancer drugs approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. For more information, visit

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