- How is non-small cell lung cancer treated?
- Surgery for non-small cell lung cancer
- Radiation treatment after non-small cell lung cancer
- Other local treatments for non-small cell lung cancer
- Chemotherapy for non-small cell lung cancer
- Targeted drugs for non-small cell lung cancer
- Treating non-small cell lung cancer that keeps growing or comes back after treatment
- Clinical trials for non-small cell lung cancer
- Complementary and alternative therapies for non-small cell lung cancer
How is non-small cell lung cancer treated?
Choosing a treatment plan for non-small cell lung cancer
If you have lung cancer, your treatment choices may include:
More than one kind of treatment may be used, depending on the stage of your cancer and other factors.
You may have different types of doctors on your treatment team, depending on the stage of your cancer and your treatment options. These doctors may include:
- A thoracic surgeon: a doctor who treats diseases of the lungs and chest with surgery.
- A radiation oncologist: a doctor who treats cancer with radiation therapy.
- A medical oncologist: a doctor who treats cancer with medicines such as chemotherapy.
- A pulmonologist: a doctor who treats diseases of the lungs.
Many other specialists may be involved in your care as well, including physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, respiratory therapists, social workers, and other health professionals.
Be sure to discuss all of your treatment options as well as their possible side effects with your doctors so you can decide which option is best for you. (See the section “What are some questions I can ask my doctor about non-small cell lung cancer?”)
Important factors to think about include the stage of the cancer, your overall health, the likely side effects of the treatment, and the chance of curing the disease, extending life, or relieving symptoms. Be sure you understand the risks and side effects of the treatment options before making a decision.
If time allows, it is often a good idea to get a second opinion. This can give you more information and help you feel more confident about the treatment plan you choose.
Last Medical Review: 09/05/2013
Last Revised: 04/30/2014