Your treatment depends on the type of lung cancer, where it is, it's size, whether it has spread, and your general health. A team of doctors and other professionals discuss the best treatment and care for you.

Preparing for treatment and life afterwards (prehabilitation)

There are things you can do to help you feel more in control of your physical and mental health when preparing for treatment. In the hospital, preparing for treatment is also called prehabilitation or prehab.

Treatment for small cell lung cancer (SCLC)

The type of treatment you have for small cell lung cancer will depend on the stage of your cancer. 

Treatment for non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)

Find out about how your team decides on the types of treatment you might have and treatment by stage.


The type of surgery you might have depends on where in the lung your cancer is, how big it is, and your general health. 


Chemotherapy uses anti cancer (cytotoxic) drugs to destroy cancer cells. You might have it as part of your treatment for lung cancer.


Radiotherapy uses high energy x-rays to destroy lung cancer cells.


Chemoradiotherapy means having chemotherapy and radiotherapy together. 

Immunotherapy and targeted cancer drugs for non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)

Immunotherapy and targeted drugs are sometimes used to treat stage 3 or 4 NSCLC. 

Photodynamic therapy (PDT)

Photodynamic therapy kills cancer cells by using a combination of a light sensitising drug and a very bright light.

Laser therapy

Laser therapy uses a focused beam of light to destroy cancer cells.

Microwave ablation

Microwave ablation uses high frequency microwave energy to heat and destroy cancer cells. 

Radiofrequency ablation

Radiofrequency ablation uses heat made by radio waves to destroy cancer cells. 

Diathermy (electrocautery)

Diathermy treatment uses an electrical current to heat and destroy cancer cells.

Follow up

After treatment for lung cancer, you have regular appointments with your doctor or nurse to see how you are. 

Last reviewed: 
13 Nov 2019
Coronavirus and cancer

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