Lung Cancer Treatment

Lung Cancer Treatment

Treatment for lung cancer depends on the type and stage of lung cancer. Options typically include one or more treatments, including surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy or targeted drug therapy. Talk with your doctor to choose a cancer treatment plan based on a number of factors, such as your overall health, the type and stage of your cancer, and your preferences.

Our Lung Cancer Program leverages the expertise of thoracic surgeons, medical oncologists and radiation oncologists to provide comprehensive treatment options. Our patients also have access to highly skilled interventional radiologists, pathologists, genetic counselors as well as our lung nurse navigator, who is happy to answer any questions about our Lung Cancer Program.

A Multidisciplinary Approach

During weekly multidisciplinary thoracic oncology conferences, the most challenging and complex lung cancer cases are discussed with specialists from radiology, pathology, surgery and oncology, so that we can customize each patient’s treatment plan and offer the best chance for a cure.

Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are studies that involve people and are a critical part of oncology research. These studies test new ways to prevent, detect, diagnose, or treat cancer. Northside's Research Program is one of the largest community-based oncology/hematology programs in the nation. It is one of only a handful of programs that offers Phase I-IV clinical research. People who take part in cancer clinical trials have an opportunity to contribute to scientists’ knowledge about cancer and to help in the development of improved cancer treatments. They also receive state-of-the-art care from cancer experts. Learn more about Clinical Trials at Northside.

Pulmonary Diagnostic & Therapeutic Endoscopy

Northside’s GI and Pulmonary Endoscopy Centers offer diagnostic and therapeutic procedures to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of lung conditions. Northside's team of pulmonologists (physicians specializing in pulmonary conditions), pulmonary therapeutic specialists and endoscopy nurses are ready to collaborate with you and other related health care specialists, including anesthesiologists, respiratory therapists, and radiologists, to develop an individualized plan of care. Learn more about our pulmonary endoscopy services.

Prior to procedure: You have the option of completing some of your admission documents before you arrive for your pulmonary endoscopy procedure.

Patient Pre-Registration Information
Here you will find additional links, instructions, answers to frequent questions and contact information should you need assistance from a hospital representative.

Patient Data Base Form
Please print a copy, complete the requested information about your medical history and medications, then bring this copy with you to your procedure.


Surgery is considered if a tumor is small enough or in an ideal location within the chest. However, this also depends on a pre-operative evaluation to determine the patient’s lung and heart function.


Chemotherapy is a form of treatment used to stop cancer cells from growing.
At Northside's Infusion Centers, chemotherapy is dispensed on an outpatient basis by registered nurses who are certified in chemotherapy administration. These nurses also provide ongoing physical assessments.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy uses high energy X-rays to kill cancer cells. Radiation may be used before the surgery to shrink a tumor or after surgery to kill remaining cancerous cells. Learn more about radiation therapy at Northside.

In lung cancer patients, radiation is usually performed post-surgery if the cancer has spread. With stage I lung cancer, in a patient who is not a candidate for surgery, a special type of high-dose precision radiation can be given called Stereotactic Ablative Radiation (SABR) or Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT). If you have a larger tumor beyond stage I and are not fit for surgery, a standard course of radiation with chemotherapy is recommended. Radiation treatments last about 6-to-7 weeks.

Radiation treatment is highly complex in lung cancer patients and may include the use of External Beam Radiation Therapy (EBRT), in the form of 3-D Conformal Radiotherapy (3D-CRT) or Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT), to deliver high doses of radiation in varying intensities to the tumor without affecting nearby healthy tissue.

For treatment variables such as motion of the tumor and surrounding lung, a special 4-D scan is often performed that can capture images during different moments as you breathe. If a 4-D scan is performed a special immobilization device will be used to assist in controlling your breathing. The high-dose targeting of the lung tumor is accomplished in 3-5 treatments within 10 days, essentially “ablating” the tissue, comparable to the affects surgery.

These conformal treatment techniques attempt to minimize the side effects as much as possible while not compromising the effectiveness of eradicating tumor cells.  Radiation will continue to kill cancer cells up to three weeks after you complete your treatments.  Afterwards, the healing process begins.

New baseline PET/CT scans are not performed until 8-12 weeks after radiation is complete to allow time for inflammation to subside completely. 

Targeted Therapy

Targeted therapies are designed to only treat the cancer cells, and therefore, minimize damage to normal, healthy cells. In order to become cancer cells, healthy cells must go through a process called carcinogenesis. Targeted therapy disrupts this process and the cellular changes necessary for development and growth.


Northside Hospital - Atlanta

1000 Johnson Ferry Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30342
(404) 851-8000

Northside Hospital - Cherokee

450 Northside Cherokee Blvd.
Canton, GA 30115
(770) 224-1000

Northside Hospital - Forsyth

1200 Northside Forsyth Drive
Cumming, GA 30041
(770) 844-3200

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