The specific treatment depends on the type of lung cancer and how far it has spread. Treatments include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and targeted therapy. People with lung cancer often get more than one kind of treatment.
- Surgery: Surgery is most commonly used for lung cancer that has not spread to other parts of the body. Surgery for lung cancer can be done in several ways:
- Wedge resection: The surgeon removes the tumor and a small part of the lung.
- Lobectomy: The surgeon removes the lobe of the lung containing the tumor. This is the most common surgery for lung cancer.
- Pneumonectomy: The surgeon removes the entire lung. Patients are able to breathe with their remaining lung.
- Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to kill cancer cells. This may be given in many forms, including pill, injection and via a catheter. Chemotherapy is often used to kill lung cancer cells that have spread to other parts of the body
- Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy is the use of radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. This may also be used to relieve symptoms, such as shortness of breath. Radiation may be:
- External – directed at the tumor from a source outside the body (more common for treating lung cancer)
- Internal – radioactive materials placed into the body in or near the cancer cells
- Targeted therapy: This type of therapy includes drugs or other substances used to block the growth and spread of cancer cells.