Lung Cancer - Treatment Overview
Dealing with your emotions
If you have been recently diagnosed with lung cancer, you may feel
denial, anger, and grief. Reactions vary from person to person. Talk to your doctor about steps you can take to help with your
If you are having a hard time moving forward with your life, talk
with your doctor. Your cancer treatment center may offer counseling services.
You may also contact your local chapter of the American Cancer Society to help
you find a support group.
Having cancer can change your life in many ways. For support in managing these changes, see the topic
Getting Support When You Have Cancer.
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.6