Lung cancer treatment at Northwestern Medicine takes into account many factors - your overall health, stage of lung cancer at diagnosis and your ability to tolerate therapy.
Treatment options may include:
Drugs are administered, either intravenously or orally, to interfere with the cancer cell’s ability to reproduce. Your experienced medical oncologist will determine the best combination of medications for your stage of cancer.
Targeted cancer therapies are drugs or other substances that block the growth and spread of cancer by interfering with specific molecules involved in tumor growth and progression. Your doctor can target a specific characteristic of a cancer cell. If certain cells are present, your doctor may choose a specific form of chemotherapy.
There are several types of lung surgery. Talk to your doctor about the best choice, based on the size and location of your cancer, its stage and involvement of lymph nodes.
- Segmental or wedge resection (removal of only a small part of the lung)
- Lobectomy (removal of an entire lobe of the lung)
- Pneumonectomy (removal of the entire lung)
- Minimally invasive surgery
The da Vinci® Surgical System is a robotic-assisted minimally invasive approach that allows your doctor to make smaller incisions for less blood loss, fewer complications and faster recovery.
Your radiation oncologist will discuss with you the best options for your diagnosis. These may include:
- Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) - high-precision radiotherapy that uses computer-controlled linear accelerators to deliver precise radiation doses to a malignant tumor.
- Stereotactic Radiotherapy (SBRT) - the delivery of a single high dose radiation treatment or a few fractionated radiation treatments to a malignant tumor. A shortened course of treatment may be available at Northwestern Medicine Cancer Center Warrenville and Northwestern Medicine Cancer Center Delnor for non-operable lung cancers.
- Proton therapy — one of the most precise forms of radiation therapy, proton treatment can be precisely controlled so most of the radiation ends up directly in the tumor, reducing the risk of damage to surrounding healthy tissues. This is especially important when it comes to radiation treatment for lung cancer because the cancer may be close to your heart, healthy lung, esophagus, and other critical organs.
Side effects from cancer treatment can impact your quality of life and your body’s ability to respond to treatment. Northwestern Medicine Cancer Center Warrenville and the Northwestern Medicine Cancer Center Delnor is home to a diverse team of palliative medicine specialists who work with your oncologist to help relieve your pain and manage your symptoms.
Palliative medicine specialists:
- Treat pain and other physical symptoms of cancer, such as fatigue, nausea, trouble sleeping, poor appetite, breathing difficulties, and weight loss
- Treat emotional symptoms, such as depression and anxiety
- Improve your body’s ability to tolerate cancer treatments
- Help you better understand tests, procedures, and options
- Guide you and those who care for you to helpful outside resources
From your initial diagnosis throughout your care, the palliative medicine team can help you remain stronger in your fight against cancer and feel better, every step of the way.
You can participate in clinical trials, which focus on treatment options for lung cancer.
*The Northwestern Medicine Chicago Proton Center (Center) is a joint venture between Northwestern Memorial Healthcare and Radiation Oncology Consultants, Ltd. Both organizations are dedicated to providing proton therapy in Illinois. The physicians that practice at the Center are neither agents nor employees of Northwestern Memorial Healthcare or any of its affiliates. They have chosen this facility as the place they wish to care for and treat their private patients.