Your Lung Cancer Treatment Options at Fox Chase

A lung cancer diagnosis can leave you worried or even frightened. You’re not alone: many patients have faced this journey. However, Fox Chase will be with you every step of the way. Today, your treatment options are more sophisticated and diverse than ever before.

After your diagnosis, your physician will work closely with you to help you understand your condition and which treatments have the greatest chance of helping you return to good health. We’ll develop a customized treatment program for you that will depend on:

  • The stage, type, and grade of your tumor
  • Whether it has spread to other tissues
  • Your age, health history, and personal goals

At Fox Chase, you may be connected with a nurse navigator. The nurse navigator’s goal is to make sure you see as many members of your treatment team as possible in one day. Together, these specialists all weigh in on your case and even meet once a week to discuss it. These specialists create a tailored plan for you. Then we set it in motion right away.

Your plan might include one or more of the following treatment options:


In 90% of cases at Fox Chase, this means minimally invasive surgery, which uses small incisions and tiny scopes, to remove the tumor.

Systemic therapy

This means chemotherapy, targeted drug therapy, immunotherapy, or other options.

Radiation therapy

We use high-energy X-rays or other types of radiation beams to eliminate cancer cells or halt their growth.

Clinical trials

At Fox Chase we are constantly investigating newer drugs and treatments. One of these new treatments might be right for you.

Other innovative techniques

These can include radiofrequency ablation, which uses imaging techniques such as ultrasound to guide an instrument that emits heat or cold and destroys cancer cells.

At Fox Chase, we make it our goal to treat lung cancer in the least invasive way possible. This means we work to reduce the negative effects of treatment on your body and quality of life. For example, we use innovative surgical techniques and combination therapies, such as radiation and systemic therapy that give you the best chance of successfully eliminating your cancer.

Our physicians are also actively involved in lung cancer clinical trials, developing new therapies for treating lung cancer. Through these trials, we are able to offer our patients access to promising treatments and experimental therapies that may not be available elsewhere.

Treatment for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

The prognosis, or chance of recovery, and treatment options for non-small cell lung cancer depend on the following:

  • The stage of the cancer: the size of the tumor, and whether it’s located only in the lung or has spread to other places in the body
  • The type of lung cancer
  • Whether the cancer has mutations or changes in certain genes, such as the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene or the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene
  • Whether there are signs and symptoms, such as coughing or trouble with breathing
  • Your general health — for example, whether you’re having difficulty breathing, are at a healthy weight, or have other health conditions

Treatment for Small Cell Lung Cancer

The prognosis (chance of recovery) and treatment options for small cell lung cancer depend on the following:

  • The stage of the cancer (whether it is in the chest cavity only or has spread to other places in the body).
  • The patient’s age, gender, and general health.
  • For certain patients, prognosis also depends on whether the patient is treated with both chemotherapy and radiation.