Lung cancer treatment

Treatment for lung cancer will depend on the type of lung cancer you have, the stage of the cancer, how well you can breathe (your lung function) and your general health. Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and small cell lung cancer (SCLC) are treated in different ways, as shown below.

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Treatment options by type and stage

Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)

early (stage I or II)

Usually treated with surgery to remove the cancer and nearby lymph nodes. If surgery is not an option, radiation therapy is offered. Sometimes, chemotherapy may be given after surgery or with radiation therapy.

locally advanced (stage III)

Can be treated with surgery and chemotherapy or with radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Treatment will depend on the number and location of lymph nodes with cancer.

advanced (stage IV)

Depending on the symptoms, palliative chemotherapy and/or palliative radiation therapy may be offered. New targeted therapy and immunotherapy drugs may also be an option.

Small cell lung cancer (SCLC)

early or locally advanced (stages I–III)

Usually treated with chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Surgery is not used.

advanced (stage IV)

Mainly treated with palliative chemotherapy. Palliative radiation therapy may also be given to the brain, spine, bone or other parts of the body where the cancer has spread.


What is the aim of treatment?

For early or locally advanced lung cancer (stages I–III), treatment may be given with the aim of making all signs and symptoms of the cancer go away (curative treatment).

Because lung cancer rarely causes obvious symptoms in the early stages, many people are diagnosed when the cancer is advanced (stage IV). This means the cancer has spread outside the lung to other parts of the body. The goal of treatment will be to maintain quality of life by controlling the cancer, slowing down its spread and managing any symptoms (palliative treatment). Specific treatments to improve breathing are covered in Managing symptoms.


Click on the icon below to download a PDF booklet on lung cancer.


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Instructions for downloading and reading EPUB files

Apple devices

The iBooks application must be installed on your Apple device before you can read the EPUB.
Different ways to download an EPUB file to your Apple device:

  • email EPUB files to yourself and transfer the attachment to iBooks.
  • copy EPUB files into DropBox (or a similar service) and use the DropBox app to send them to iBooks.
  • open EPUB files directly from Mobile Safari and open them in iBooks, where they are saved automatically by downloading the EPUB from the website.

Need more help? Visit: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4059

Kobo

To download an EPUB file to your Kobo from a Windows computer:

  • download and save the EPUB directly onto your desktop.
  • connect your Kobo to your computer using the USB cable and tap “Connect” on your eReader.
  • select “Open folder to view files” to view the contents of your Kobo.
  • navigate to where you have stored your EPUB file in “Finder”, in documents or downloads, and drag and drop it into the Kobo window. You can now disconnect your Kobo to read the eBook.

To download an EPUB to your Kobo from a Mac:

  • download and save the EPUB directly onto your desktop.
  • connect your Kobo to your computer using the USB cable and tap “Connect” on your eReader.
  • open your “Finder” application.
  • select “Kobo eReader” from the listed devices to view the contents of your Kobo.
  • navigate to where you have stored your EPUB file in “Finder”, probably in documents or downloads, and drag and drop it into the Kobo window. You can now disconnect your Kobo to read the eBook.

Turn on your Kobo and your EPUB will be located in “eBooks”, while a PDF will be located in “Documents”.
Need more information? Visit: http://www.kobo.com/help/koboaura/response/?id=3784&type=3

Sony Reader

To download an EPUB file on your Sony Reader™:

  • ensure you have already installed the Reader™ Library for PC/Mac software
  • select the eBook you want from our website and click the link to download it.
  • connect the Reader™ to your computer.
  • open the Reader™ Library software and click “Library” in the left-hand pane and select the eBook to view it.

Need more help? Visit: https://au.readerstore.sony.com/apps_and_devices/

Amazon Kindle 2nd Generation devices

EPUB files can’t be read on the Amazon Kindle™. However, like most eReaders, Kindle™ 2nd Generation devices are able to display PDFs. We recommend that you download the PDF version of this booklet if you would like to read it on a Kindle™.
To transfer a PDF to your Kindle™ via USB cable from your computer or Mac:

  • download the PDF directly onto your computer.
  • connect the USB cable to your computer’s USB port, and the micro USB end of the cable to your Kindle™. Note: the Kindle™ won’t be available as a reading device while it is connected to your computer until it has been disconnected.
  • open the Kindle™ drive and several folders will appear inside. The “Documents” folder is where you will need to copy or drag the PDF to.
  • safely eject your Kindle™ from your computer and unplug the USB cable. Your content will appear on the Home Screen.

Kindle also provides a Kindle Personal Documents Service that allows users to send documents as an attachment directly to your eReader. For more information on this service, visit http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=help_search_1-1?ie=UTF8&nodeId=200767340&qid=1395967989&sr=1-1
For more information on accessing a PDF on your Kindle™, visit www.amazon.com/manageyourkindle, log in to your account and click on Personal Document Settings.
Need more help? Visit https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200375630

Android and PC

You can also download and open eBooks on Android devices and PCs with appropriate apps or software installed. Suitable eReader apps for Android include Google Play Books, FBReader and Moon+ Reader. Suitable software for PCs include Calibre and Adobe Digital Editions.


This information was last reviewed in November 2018
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Support services

Coping with cancer?
Speak to a health professional or to someone who has been there, or find a support group or forum.

Work and cancer
Information for employees, employers and workplaces dealing with cancer.

Cancer information

Making cancer treatment decisions
Decision-making steps, consent and second opinions

Deciding on specialist care
How to find and choose a surgeon, oncologist or other specialist

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