Facebook Twitter Instagram You Tube Pinterest LinkedIn RSS Podcasts Video Library Blog
 - Northwestern Memorial Hospital - Chicago


The goal of treatment for lung cancer is to cure the cancer whenever possible and improve each and every patient's quality of life. However, the treatment options vary and depend on a number of factors, including:

  • The stage of the cancer (stage refers to the size of the tumor and whether it has spread to other parts of the body)
  • The type of lung cancer
  • Whether the patient is experiencing symptoms, such as coughing, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing
  • The patient’s overall health
  • Personal preferences

Sometimes patients decide not to undergo any treatment for their lung cancer because they believe, after discussing options with their doctor, that the side effects of treatment outweigh the potential benefits. In this case, doctors will often prescribe care to comfort the patient and alleviate the symptoms, such as pain or coughing, that the patient is experiencing.

Treatment options for non-small cell lung cancer

Stage Common Options


Surgery; sometimes chemotherapy


Surgerychemotherapy and radiation


Combined chemotherapy and radiation; sometimes surgery, depending on treatment results


Chemotherapy; sometimes radiation


Chemotherapytargeted drug therapyclinical trials
and supportive care

Treatment options for small cell lung cancer

Stage Common Options
Limited Combined chemotherapy and radiation;
sometimes surgery


Chemotherapyclinical trials
and supportive care


If you are concerned about lung cancer or other lung diseases, please contact your physician to discuss ways to reduce your risk and whether or not you should be screened for cancer. If you do not have a physician, you may request a first time appointment with a member of our thoracic oncology team by calling 312-695-3800 or call our Physician Referral Service at 1-877-926-4664. You may also request a first time appointment online.

Last UpdateApril 19, 2011


To make an appointment with a physician, please call 1-877-926-4664.

New patients can request an appointment online.