If lung cancer returns

For some people, lung cancer does return after treatment, which is known as a recurrence. Lung cancer is more likely to recur in the first five years following diagnosis. This is why it is important to have regular check-ups.

If the cancer recurs, your doctor will discuss your treatment options with you. These will depend on the type of lung cancer and where the cancer has recurred, as well as the stage and grade of the cancer.

It may also be necessary to have another biopsy to check for gene mutations. You may be offered the following:

  • recurrent non-small cell lung cancer – radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, or the option to join a clinical trial
  • recurrent small cell lung cancer – chemotherapy, radiation therapy or the option to participate in a clinical trial.

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This information was last reviewed in November 2016.
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