Although other diseases do not have a direct effect on the lung cancer, they can have an effect on the type of treatment offered to the patient. A wide variety of diseases (for example, diabetes or high blood pressure) will slightly increase the risks of treatment for lung cancer but do not create a major problem. However, patients with severe heart disease (blocked heart arteries or faulty valves) or lung disease (like advanced emphysema) may be too ill to undergo surgery for lung cancer and instead be referred for radiation or chemotherapy. In the vast majority of cases, some form of lung cancer therapy can be selected that will help a patient no matter what additional diseases are present.
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