Lung Cancer Treatment

Lung cancer including small cell and non-small cell lung cancers are among the most complex tumors to treat. Our top thoracic specialists will carefully evaluate your health and customize your treatment to provide you with the most advanced, effective and least invasive treatments available, based on the stage and biology of your cancer. Treating lung cancer requires comprehensive care from a variety of specialists.

At Hackensack Meridian Health your care team includes thoracic surgeons; thoracic medical oncologists who oversee chemotherapy, immunotherapists, radiation oncologists; pathologists; radiologists; nurses; social workers; and others with expertise in the care of people with lung cancer. We don’t just care for you, but about you. In fact, according to Press-Ganey surveys, 99 percent of our patients report satisfaction with their care.

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What Treatment Options are Available for Lung Cancer?

Your treatment plan is individualized. It is based on a number of factors, including type and stage of lung cancer, and your health status. It is important to discuss the goals of lung cancer treatment with your doctor. 

Surgery
Surgery is still considered the standard for treating early-stage lung cancer. Removing the tumor and surrounding lung tissue margin gives the best chance for cure when the lung cancer is confined to the lungs. Your surgeon removes the lung cancer with a margin of healthy tissue.  This may be performed by robotic-assisted surgery or video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS).   Surgical resection of lung cancer is generally performed as:

  • Wedge Resection: removing a small piece of the lung that contains the tumor
  • Segmentectomy: remove a large portion of the lung but not the entire lobe
  • Lobectomy: removal of an entire lobe of the lung (there are three lobes on the right and two on the left). Most common surgery performed for lung cancer.
  • Pneumonectomy: Removal of an entire lung.

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If you have a larger lung cancer or it has spread from the lungs, your doctor may recommend chemotherapy or radiation.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. It may be given intravenously through a  vein or taken orally. Chemotherapy can be used before surgery to shrink the tumor (for larger tumors), or it can be used after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells.

Radiation Therapy
Radiation therapy used x-rays and protons to kill cancer cells.  It is usually used in combination with chemotherapy for locally advanced lung cancer.  It can also be used for focused therapy (stereotactic body radiotherapy), where there is maximum effect on the cancer cells with minimal injury to normal, healthy lung tissue.  This type of radiation is usually used in people who have small lung cancers who can't undergo surgery.

Targeted Drug Therapy 
Targeted drug therapy focuses on specific gene abnormalities present within cancer cells, causing them to die. 

Our Research and Clinical Trials for Lung Cancer

We have the largest clinical research team in New Jersey. Our thoracic oncologists are actively involved in clinical trials that assess new treatments that have the potential to be more effective than existing therapies. 

You may be able to receive an innovative therapy, including investigational drugs that other centers do not offer. More than 100 people with operable and metastatic lung cancer each year enroll in Phase I clinical trials using novel treatments. Your care team will let you know if you may be eligible to participate in a clinical trial

Learn more about our Clinical Trials

Why Choose John Theurer Cancer Center for Lung and Thoracic Cancer Treatment

Quality

U.S. News & World Report recognizes Hackensack Meridian John Theurer Cancer Center as a premier cancer center in New Jersey.

Patient Experience

Your entire care team works together to make sure your experience with us is a positive one.

Excellence

Our average overnight hospital stay following lobectomy for lung cancer is half the national average (two days versus four days).

Innovation

Cancer surgeons at John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center perform more minimally invasive cancer surgeries than any other center in New Jersey.

Our Lung Cancer and Thoracic Cancer Specialists

Our lung cancer specialists know the treatment of lung cancers is complex, and we support you every step of the way with comprehensive, customized care.

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