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Lung Cancer Diagnosis, Treatment & Recovery

Expertly-trained physicians, state of the art facilities, lung nurse navigators and our compassionate and caring nurses and support staff at The Medical Center of Aurora (TMCA) are available for you to help ensure that you understand your diagnosis and the procedures or treatments that may be recommended.

Learn about Lung Cancer, Our Team and Symptoms

Lung Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment

Lung cancer is most commonly found on some type of an imaging study. Various imaging techniques, including chest x-rays, CT scans, PET scans and MRI are used to clinically stage lung cancer and provide your doctors with the information necessary to formulate a treatment plan.  Treatment for lung cancer is based on the stage of your cancer, and sometimes an invasive procedure such as a biopsy or a bronchoscopy may need to be done to complete your staging workup.

The surgeons and staff at TMCA are some of the best in the region at treating the two main types of lung cancer:

  • Non-small cell lung cancer
    • Includes adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and carcinoid tumors
  • Small cell lung cancer

Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is often treated with surgery alone if it is diagnosed during the early stages, Stage I or Stage II. If the cancer is diagnosed at Stage III, then often a combination of treatments may be offered, which could include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.

Stage IV lung cancer is often treated with chemotherapy alone and sometimes radiation depending on the extent of disease and the symptoms the patient may be having.

Molecular testing of your cancer for known genetic mutations will be done if chemotherapy is recommended as part of your treatment. There are many targeted chemotherapy drugs available today that can target the exact genetic mutation of your tumor and provide a survival benefit over traditional chemotherapy.  About 20 percent of patients with NSCLC will carry a mutation and possibly benefit from targeted therapy.   

Small cell lung cancer (SCLC), either limited or extensive stage, is most often treated with chemotherapy and radiation. Surgery does not play a role in most patients that are diagnosed with small cell lung cancer.

Your Recovery Journey

Our highest priority is to help return you or a loved one to your best health after a lung cancer diagnosis. Each patient is different, reacts differently to treatment and takes a different recovery path. When you entrust us with your lung cancer care, we make sure you have every possible form of support you need during your treatment and recovery.