You lung cancer treatment

Our patients work with their care team to identify the lung cancer treatments best for them.

Your lung cancer treatment plan considers the tumor's location and size, if the cancer has spread, and your general health.

Choosing the best lung cancer treatment plan may be overwhelming. That's why we encourage our patients to seek a second opinion.

Lung cancer treatments

These options may be a part of your lung cancer treatment plan.

Surgery may remove a lung tumor and some of the surrounding lung tissue. The stage of lung cancer usually determines which type of lung surgery is appropriate:

  • Wedge resection cuts out the tumor rather than taking out an entire lobe of the lung.
  • Lobectomy removes an entire lobe of one lung.
  • Pneumonectomy removes the entire lung.

Video-assisted thorascopic surgery (VATS) usually does not require a long hospital stay.

During video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery, a surgeon places a scope (a tube with a tiny camera on the end) through a small incision in between the ribs. This helps the surgeon see inside the chest to remove a lung tumor or diseased lung tissue.

Traditional lung surgery often requires a hospital stay of 5 to 7 days. Hospital stays after VATS usually last 1 to 3 days.

Chemotherapy uses drugs given by mouth or injection to kill cancer cells.

Radiation therapy uses high powered X-rays or radioactive seeds to kill cancer cells. /p>

For lung cancer treatment, radiation therapy may be used to:

  • destroy lung cancer cells
  • shrink tumors
  • keep cancer cells from dividing and spreading
  • relieve symptoms
  • treat cancer that has spread beyond the lungs.

Dealing with cancer treatment side effects

Cancer treatment can cause many side effects. Here's how to deal with some common side effects.

Source: Virginia Piper Cancer Institute; Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Laser Services
Reviewed By: Katie Schwarzkopf, manager, Lung Program at the Virginia Piper Cancer Institute - Abbott Northwestern.com
First Published: 09/11/2009
Last Reviewed: 04/10/2013

Cancer rehabilitation

Whether you are a lung cancer survivor or are undergoing cancer treatment, you may face symptoms that interfere with daily life. Our cancer rehabilitation team can help you overcome:

  • weakness
  • inability to exercise/fitness
  • difficulty with balance or walking
  • thinking and memory problems
  • tight or painful muscles and joints
  • difficulty with daily living tasks
  • difficulty with hand dexterity
  • swelling (edema)

For an appointment, call 612-863-8947.


Cancer research

Participating in a clinical trial may help you take a more active role in your health care. You may also gain access to new drugs, treatments and disease management practices.