- 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 therapies 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.
Your doctor will talk to you about treatment choices. Give yourself time to take in the information you have learned. The most important things 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 cancer or helping you live longer. Age alone should not keep you from having treatment. Older people can benefit from treatment as much as younger people as long as their general health is good.
If time permits, it is often a good idea to get a second opinion. A second opinion may give you more information and help you feel good about the treatment plan you choose. Your doctor should not mind your doing this. If your first doctor has done tests, the results can be sent to the second doctor so that you will not have to have them done again.
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 nurse practitioners, nurses, respiratory therapists, social workers, and other health professionals.
Last Medical Review: 02/23/2012
Last Revised: 01/17/2013