Lung Cancer - Treatment Overview
After initial treatment for
lung cancer, it is important to receive follow-up
oncologist will schedule regular checkups, usually
every 3 to 4 months, depending on the therapies used in initial treatment.
After 2 to 3 years, regular checkups will occur less often but more than just
once a year, depending on your medical history.
- Checkups may include a physical exam, blood tests,
chest X-rays, CT scans, or other laboratory tests
recommended by your oncologist.
You may be
interested in participating in research studies called
clinical trials. Clinical trials are based on the most
up-to-date information and are designed to find better ways to treat people who
People who do not want standard treatments or are not cured by
standard treatments may want to participate in clinical trials. These are
ongoing in most parts of the United States and in some other countries around
the world for all stages of lung cancer.
Cancer treatment has two main goals: curing cancer and making your quality of life as good as possible. Palliative care can improve your quality of life by helping you manage your symptoms. It also can help you with other concerns that you may have when you're living with a serious illness.
One study of people with non-small cell lung cancer who started palliative care when they were diagnosed with lung cancer found that they not only felt better but also lived a little longer than the people who didn't have palliative care.8
For some people who have advanced cancer, a time comes when treatment to cure cancer no longer seems like a good choice. This can be because the side effects, time, and costs of treatment are greater than the promise of cure or relief. But this isn't the end of treatment. You and your doctor can decide when you may be ready for hospice care.
It can be hard to decide when to stop treatment to prolong your life and shift the focus to end-of-life care.
To learn about supportive care, see: