Lung Cancer Treatment
Treatment options for lung cancer include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, photodynamic therapy, or a combination of these. The type of treatment recommended by the healthcare provider will depend on several factors, including the type of lung cancer; the size, location, and extent of the tumor; and the general health of the patient. Lung cancer treatment is generally provided by a healthcare team, including specialists such as pulmonologists, surgeons, and medical oncologists.
There are several different lung cancer treatment options available for someone diagnosed with the disease.
Some factors that may influence recommendations regarding treatment include:
- The type of lung cancer (non-small or small cell lung cancer)
- The stage of the cancer (see Lung Cancer Stages)
- The patient's age and general health.
In general, treatment options for lung cancer include:
- Radiation therapy
- Photodynamic therapy.
Your doctor can describe your treatment choices and the expected results of each. You and your doctor can work together to develop a treatment plan that meets your medical needs and personal values. Choosing the most appropriate treatment for lung cancer is a decision that ideally involves the patient, family, and healthcare team.
Treatment generally begins within a few weeks after the diagnosis. In most cases, there will be time for patients to talk with the doctor about treatment choices, get a second opinion, and learn more about the disease.
Remembering Questions and AnswersMany people with lung cancer want to take an active part in making decisions about their medical care. They want to learn all they can about lung cancer and their lung cancer treatment choices. However, the shock and stress after a lung cancer diagnosis can make it hard to think of everything to ask the doctor. Often it helps to make a list of lung cancer questions before an appointment.
To help remember what the doctor says, patients may take notes or ask whether they may use a tape recorder. Some also want to have a family member or friend with them when they talk to the doctor -- to take part in the discussion, to take notes, or just to listen.