Lung cancer treatment typically includes one or more types of therapy—surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy, angiogenesis inhibitors, or immunotherapy. Other treatment options include clinical trials, which can give access to promising new medications, and palliative care to address symptoms and side effects from treatment or the lung cancer itself.

Your treatment plan, and the treatment options available to you, depend on the type and stage of your lung cancer. Make sure to work with your healthcare team to understand all the possible options before making any treatment decisions. If you have non-small cell lung cancer, this includes undergoing biomarker testing.

If you choose not to undergo treatment for your lung cancer, hospice care can help manage pain and other symptoms caused by lung cancer, with a focus on quality of life.

Treatment Options by Type of Lung Cancer

Treatment for non-small cell lung cancer may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, targeted therapy, angiogenesis inhibitors, or a combination of these options. Small cell lung cancer may be treated by chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, immunotherapy, or a combination of these options.

Learn more about the approved treatment approaches for your type and stage of lung cancer through these buttons or scroll down to learn more about specific treatment types.

Non-small cell lung cancer        Small cell lung cancer

Types of Treatment

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Surgery is a treatment that removes a cancerous tumor during an operation. It’s most often used when lung cancer is caught early.
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Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy (also known as radiotherapy) uses high-powered energy beams to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. The goal is to target the cancerous portions while avoiding healthy tissue.
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Chemotherapy uses drugs to stop the growth of cancerous cells and is a widely used treatment across all stages and types of lung cancer.
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Targeted Therapy

Targeted therapy drugs focus on and attack specific parts of cancer cells that are driving cancer growth, while causing less harm to normal cells.
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Immunotherapy is a treatment strategy that enhances the body’s natural immune system instead of directly targeting cancer cells. The goal is for the immune system to be strong enough to fight cancer cells.
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Angiogenesis Inhibitors

Angiogenesis inhibitor drugs focus on stopping the formation of blood vessels that help cancerous tumors grow.
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Clinical Trials

Clinical trials give access to a wide range of new treatments that are not yet available, with the added benefit of being under close medical supervision.
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Palliative Care

Palliative care, sometimes called supportive care, is given in addition to standard treatment. The goal is to improve quality of life by focusing on managing symptoms of the disease and side effects of treatment.
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Hospice Care

Hospice care is an end-of-life form of palliative care focused on comfort and quality of life. Hospice care is intended for people who choose not to have curative treatment or for whom other treatment options have been unsuccessful.
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