Does surgery improve life expectancy for patients with stage 3 lung cancer?

If so, not much. Albain et al tried to show that surgery improved survival in operable iiia, but there was no statistical benefit. The subset that got just a lobe removed possible benefited, but would need a larger study to prove. Those that had the entire lung removed actually faired worse. For most patients, it is not the thing that makes a difference, but response to chemo/rt signals benefit.
Depends on type. Stage III is divided into stage iiia and iiib. Surgery is an option for patients with stage iiia. Surgery may increase survival in conjunction with preoperative chemotherapy +/- radiation in patients who do not require a pneumonectomy (removal of whole lung) and patients with small lymph nodes (non-bulky) and cancer in lymph nodes in one area or "single station" only.

Related Questions

Can anyone tell me the life expectancy for someone with small cell lung cancer at the limited stage 3 level?

Months to years. There are essentially two stages of small cell lung cancer, limited or extensive. However, you are describing mediastinal disease. So if this person gets a good response with chemo and rt, then prophylactic cranial irradiation should be given. The survival if a complete or near complete response is measured in months to years. Rare to survive past 5 years but there have been cases.
6-12 months. Small cell carcinoma of the lung is generally very aggressive and spreads quickly through the lymphatics and blood. Stage iii would indicate positive lymphatic involvement. Standard therapy would be chemotherapy and radiation, but metastatic spread is to be expected.
Small Cell. Limited disease is highly treatable and curable in 20 - 25% of patients. Limited means no cancer seen outside the chest after staging tests. Chemotherapy is the cornerstone, chest radiotherapy improves survival, as does preventive brain radiotherapy to all responders. Median survival about 22 months. 60% of sclc presents as stage iv, or ed, about 35% in stage iii.

Is it unusual for elderly patients to completely lose their appetite after lung cancer surgery?

No. Surgery may temporarily cause anorexia as the body uses all resources to heal. This may cut appetite. The key is to fine foods that the patient really likes. In extreme cases your doctor can prescribe medication to boost appetite. Adequate nutrition is key for complete healing after surgery.
Appetite/Lung Ca. Particularly squamous lung cancer is an appetite thief. Many show up with major weight loss, a sign that points to worse outcome. It is not the treatment, but radiotherapy and chemotherapy can briefly cause diffiuclt swallowing. Successful treatment sometimes brings appetite back. Megace (megestrol) can stimulate appetite for some, but not all.

Is it unusual for a lung cancer patient to have surgery with no radiation?

No. Early stage lung cancer is often treated by surgery alone.
No. Ideally we woul like to do surgery on lung cancer which means the cancer was resectable. In these cases the disease will be early stage and not require further therapy.
Depends on stage. Early stage lung cancer (stage I and ii) the standard therapy for the physically fit patient is upfront surgery. If there is cancer found in the lymph nodes after the operation, than adjuvant chemotherapy may be indicated (adjuvant = after surgery). If all of the tumor was removed, radiation is not generally required.

Can you go from stage 4 lung cancer to stage 3 if you improve a bit?

Response. Initial staging is used to plan treatment and gauge prognosis. After treatment is started the terms used to describe the progress include remission, complete response and partial response. You can go from stage 4 to no evidence of disease (very rare), you will be considered a stage 4 in complete remission.
Treatment response. When a patient with stage IV cancer who has received treatment and responded to the treatment and achieved some clinical improvement, this improvement will not change the initial stage to a lower stage. Merely, we call it as a treatment response- which could be divided as a partial response, major response or complete response/complete remission- which can happen in stage IV cancer.
Stage confusion. Stage and staging tells you where the cancer is, what the prognosis is, and what the treatment might be with options. You do not change stage once treatment begins. The tumor either responds or doesn't. Complete repsonse (? Remission in leukenmia?) is the goal, shrinkage is ok. The idea is that as long as the cancer responds, you stay on that regimen...Maybe.

Patient has stage three lung cancer. She is swelling in her feet and hands. Why is that? What should she take or do for that?

Depends. This could be due to many factors. This be from the medications, from getting excess fluid, from impaired venous drainage or kidney function, or simply from another process. Go see your oncologist and they will help determine the cause.
Swollen feet+hands. Bilateral upper and lower extremity edema may have multiple causes which may or may not be related to lung cancer diagnosis. Liver dysfunction is one of the primary causes. Discuss with your medical oncologist.