- Teamwork. At Mayo Clinic, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, thoracic surgeons, pulmonologists, radiologists and pathologists work as a multidisciplinary team to diagnose and treat lung cancer. Other professionals are included as needed.
- Experience. Mayo Clinic doctors have extensive experience diagnosing and treating lung cancer. Mayo Clinic thoracic surgeons have performed many operations to remove lung cancer.
A full range of treatment options to consider. Mayo Clinic doctors will work with you to review all of your treatment options and choose the treatment that best suits your needs and goals.
The range of treatments offered to people with lung cancer includes chemotherapy, radiation, targeted therapy and many types of surgical procedures, such as minimally invasive surgery, surgery to remove a lung (pneumonectomy) and operations intended to relieve pain in situations where lung cancer can't be cured.
- Comprehensive cancer center. Mayo Clinic Cancer Center meets strict standards for a National Cancer Institute comprehensive cancer center, which recognizes scientific excellence and a multidisciplinary approach to cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
Patients may have the opportunity to participate in Mayo's clinical trials when an investigational lung cancer therapy is appropriate for their medical situation. Clinical trials may not provide a cure, but may extend life or improve quality of life.
About lung cancer
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, among both men and women. It claims more lives than colon, prostate and breast cancer combined, yet is among the most preventable cancers. Early detection and treatment make a significant difference in life expectancy following lung cancer diagnosis. Smoking accounts for about 85 percent to 90 percent of lung cancer cases.
Non-small cell cancers
Non-small cell cancers include squamous cell carcinoma (tumor), adenocarcinoma and large cell carcinoma. Bronchioloalveolar cell is a subtype of adenocarcinoma and typically treated in a similar way.
Adenocarcinoma, the most common type of lung cancer, is usually located on the outer surface of the lungs (periphery) and can spread to lymph glands, the bloodstream and other organs. Squamous cell carcinoma may be found in the lining of the large bronchi (air passages) or in the periphery of the lung. Large cell carcinoma usually occurs in the periphery. Read about non-small cell cancer treatment.
Small cell cancers
Small cell lung cancer usually develops in the central areas of the lung. It can spread aggressively and occurs almost exclusively in current or former smokers. This cell type has the strongest association with smoking. Read about small cell cancer treatment.
Below are some helpful Internet resources on this topic. Mayo Clinic does not own or control any of these sites and is not responsible for their content. Inclusion of these sites does not imply endorsement by Mayo Clinic.
National Cancer Institute
National Library of Medicine
American Lung Association
American Lung Association: Get social support
American Cancer Society
Jan. 02, 2014
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- Estimated new cancer cases and deaths by sex for all sites, U.S., 2011. American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/research/cancerfactsstatistics/cancerfactsfigures2013/index. Accessed Sept. 3, 2013.
- Small cell lung cancer. Fort Washington, Pa.: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp. Accessed Sept. 3, 2013.
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- Tarceva (prescribing information). Farmingdale, N.Y.: OSI Pharmaceuticals LLC; 2013. http://www.tarceva.com/patient/considering/index.jsp. Accessed Sept. 3, 2013.
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- Taking time: Support for people with cancer. National Cancer Institute. http://cancer.gov/cancertopics/takingtime. Accessed Sept. 3, 2013.
- Temel JS, et al. Early palliative care for patients with metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer. New England Journal of Medicine. 2010;363:733.
- Moynihan TJ (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Sept. 16, 2013.