Mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, grandmas and grandpas. People who smoke. People who’ve never smoked a day in their lives. And no matter who gets it, the journey from diagnosis to recovery can be a lot to handle. If you’re facing lung cancer, you might feel out of control, scared and overwhelmed. These are all normal feelings. And they could change every day, every hour — even every minute.
What we don’t want you to feel is alone. Cleveland Clinic’s compassionate cancer specialists are experts at the top of their game. They can help you navigate this unexpected twist in your life plan with confidence and hope.
Why Choose Cleveland Clinic for Lung Cancer Care?
We see new patients quickly so we can begin the testing process. We want to get answers and start your treatment as fast as possible.
Innovation and research:
Cleveland Clinic providers have studied new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat lung cancer for a long time. We do this through clinical trials and research. What does this mean for you? If you’re eligible — and interested — we can help you join these trials to try new treatment options.
Our successful lung surgery and cancer treatment outcomes are well known and respected. For nearly 20 years, the Society of Thoracic Surgeons has rated Cleveland Clinic as one of the best treatment programs in the nation.
Your team of providers specializes in lung cancer. We’ll plan your care together, focusing on you as a whole person — not just looking at your diagnosis, surgery and treatment. Our psychologists, social workers and therapists will make sure you’re doing well emotionally, too. Meet our team.
Cleveland Clinic has led lung cancer molecular (biomarker) testing for decades. We test every patient to find cell changes that happen with specific lung cancer types. Your providers use this information to craft a treatment plan that best meets your needs.
Cleveland Clinic is a trusted healthcare leader. We're recognized in the U.S. and throughout the world for our expertise and care.
Lung Cancer Screening and Early Detection
When we find and treat your lung cancer in earlier stages, you have the best chance of becoming cancer-free.
If you smoke, you might qualify for lung cancer screening. The goal of screening is to find lung cancer in its earliest stages or when you have no symptoms.
Your first visit will likely include a variety of tests like X-rays, ultrasounds or a CT scan. We’ll do these to see the inside of your lungs. Your healthcare providers will go over the results with you and explain what they mean for your health.
If these tests show an abnormal growth (lung nodule), we’ll do more testing to learn if it's cancer. This sometimes begins with taking a biopsy of the nodule. If cancer is suspected or found, we would then do a staging evaluation where we look to see if there’s cancer anywhere other than your lung. This includes a PET scan and maybe a brain MRI scan. If your cancer is in the early stages, you may have more tests to check how well your lungs and heart are working to see if you can tolerate surgery. Biopsies of the lung lesion are often, but not always done.
One test we might do is a bronchoscopy. This test lets us see the inside of your airway and lungs — without making an incision (cut). We use a tiny camera and light attached to a small, flexible tube called a bronchoscope to collect tissue samples for testing. This procedure is often done with general anesthesia, and you’ll be sent home the same day after recovering from the anesthesia.
Getting a second opinion for lung cancer
Lung cancer can be an emotional and overwhelming diagnosis. There are so many things to think about. So much to digest. Feeling confident that you’re working with a team of healthcare providers you trust completely to give you the best possible care is very important. That’s why we encourage second opinions.
Our highly skilled, experienced cancer specialists will spend time with you to help you better understand your diagnosis and the best treatment options. And since we know that cancer doesn’t wait, we always try to meet with you as soon as possible. Getting a second opinion can help you feel in control of your care and give you peace of mind knowing you’re in the most capable hands.
Providers Who Treat Lung Cancer
LocationsOur lung cancer surgeons see patients at convenient locations throughout Northeast Ohio and Florida.
Lung Cancer Treatments at Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland Clinic offers every available lung cancer treatment. This includes options that are only available in select programs nationwide. Your personalized care plan may include:
Surgery is one kind of lung cancer treatment. When we’re considering this option, we take a close look at your lungs to see how well they work. This helps us make a plan and figure out what’s the right kind of surgery for you.
Over 90% of people with early-stage lung cancer will have robotic- or video-assisted thoracic surgery. Surgeries for more advanced cancers can be more complex. Our experienced surgeons know how to treat these cases and will walk you through each part of the process.
Non-small cell lung cancers that are at the outer edges of your lungs can sometimes be treated with something called radiofrequency ablation (RFA). This simply means, we use high-energy radio waves to heat up and destroy the cancer cells.
Your provider might also recommend radiation therapy, which uses high energy beams to get rid of the cancer cells. Sometimes we use radiation treatment by itself, and sometimes we’ll use it after surgery. Radiation can also shrink tumors and relieve pain, so it’s sometimes used in palliative care.
Your provider might recommend that you use medications to treat your lung cancer. These can kill any remaining early-stage cancer cells after surgery or radiation therapy. Medical oncology can be a primary treatment for you if you have advanced cancer that involves different parts of your body.
These treatments include:
We actively participate in lung cancer research, so we can offer you the newest treatments, sometimes years before they become widely available.
Taking the Next Step
A lung cancer diagnosis can bring unexpected changes to your life. Our expert team will guide and support you at every twist and turn along your cancer journey. You'll get compassionate, personalized care with specialized testing to develop the right treatment for you. But that’s not all. Cleveland Clinic navigators can help you coordinate appointments, manage insurance and answer your questions. And our palliative and supportive care team is here to help you handle symptoms and stress that may be related to your cancer or the side effects of treatment. From diagnosis to treatment and beyond, we’re here to help you get the lung cancer care you need.
Getting an appointment with Cleveland Clinic lung cancer specialists is easy. We’re here to help you get the care you need.
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Learning you have cancer can be stressful, shocking and challenging. From the moment you get the news, you're a survivor. As you face the challenges that go along with cancer treatment and recovery — physical and emotional — we’ll be right there with you.
At Cleveland Clinic, survivorship care is one part of your journey. We offer a wide range of services, resources, clinics and support groups to help with any physical, emotional, financial and spiritual needs you might have related to your cancer diagnosis. Lending a helping hand along the way, we want you to not only survive, but thrive on this journey and beyond.