The authors describe a unique surgical approach involving the synergistic action of a medication exposed to laser light to kill non-small cell lung cancer. Two case studies illustrate the role of nurses in the care of patients who receive this therapy.

Approximately 172 570 new cases of lung cancer are diagnosed every year.11 Most patients are treated with thoracotomy or a combination of surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Patients with non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) may choose photodynamic therapy. Two groups of patients meet the specified criteria for this procedure. One group consists of patients with bronchoscopic evidence of early stage I NSCLC. The patients in the other group have end-stage obstruction caused by the tumor and receive photodynamic therapy for palliation of signs and symptoms. Photodynamic therapy often is performed on an outpatient basis. However, patients...

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