Understanding your treatment options

Your lung cancer diagnosis and medical history are unique to you. This means your treatment will be too. Although your lung cancer may appear to be the same as someone else’s, your treatment and care may be different.

Your lung cancer team will talk through your treatment options
Your lung cancer team will talk through your treatment options

You may also respond differently to treatment, and this may be down to several factors, such as having a health condition they don’t have or a different level of fitness. This means something that works for them may not be as effective for you, even though you both may have the same type of lung cancer and similar symptoms.

Your doctors will consider carefully the best options for you and talk them through with you. They may recommend one or more for you.

Listen to all the options and keep an open mind. Don’t make a snap decision – take time to think and talk things through with the people closest to you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, especially if you don’t understand something. If there is more than one treatment offered, don’t worry about making a ‘wrong decision’ – what you think is best for you is the right treatment.

Dr Tom Newsom-Davis, Consultant Medical Oncologist

Understand your treatment options

Many treatments have side effects, and some can be difficult to deal with, so you will need to weigh these up against the possible benefits.

Ask your medical team about possible benefits and side effects of any treatments offered to you. You may get offered more than one type of treatment.

Treatments are developing all the time, and although the outcomes for many other cancers may be better, those for lung cancer are showing signs of significant improvement. In some cases, however, there may not be anything currently effective in controlling or reducing the cancer. In this situation, any treatments would focus on managing symptoms.

The decision to have treatment is entirely yours, and it won’t start without your permission. Your medical team will talk to you in detail about their recommendations, but make sure you ask plenty of questions, so you fully understand what is involved. Just because they give you treatment options doesn’t mean you have to take them.