Doctors Who Treat Lung Cancer
Many types of doctors are involved in
diagnosing and treating lung cancer. Your primary care doctor may refer you to
various specialists whose titles may be unfamiliar to you. Here are a few types
of specialists you may meet and the roles they play in lung cancer diagnosis
An oncologist will help you set up a treatment
plan following a cancer diagnosis. Oncology is divided into three different specialties:
- Radiation oncologists
use therapeutic radiation to treat cancer.
- Medical oncologists
specialize in using drugs like chemotherapy to treat cancer.
- Surgical oncologists
handle the surgical portions of cancer treatment, such as removal of
tumors and surgical resection.
A pulmonologist is a doctor who specializes in
treating diseases of the lungs, such as lung cancer, COPD, and tuberculosis.
With cancer, a pulmonologist aids in diagnosis and treatment. They are also
called pulmonary specialists.
These doctors specialize in surgery of the
chest (thorax). They perform operations on the throat, lungs, and heart. These surgeons
are often grouped with cardiac surgeons.
Prepare for Your Appointment
which doctor you are scheduled to see, some pre-appointment preparation can
help you make the most of your time. Make a list of all your symptoms, even if
you do not know if they are directly related to your condition. Call ahead to
see if there is anything you need to do in advance of your appointment, such as
fasting for a blood test. Ask a friend or family member to go with you to help you
recall all the details of your visit afterward, Prepare a written list of any
questions you have to take with you.
Here are a
few questions prepared by the Mayo Clinic to help you get started:
there different kinds of lung cancer? Which kind do I have?
other tests will I need?
stage of cancer do I have?
you show me my X-rays and explain them to me?
treatment options are available to me? What are the side effects of the
much do the treatments cost?
would you tell a friend or relative in my condition?
can you help me with my symptoms?
Support and Resources
Here are some additional resources from which you can find more
information and emotional support during your treatments.
Institute - 800-422-6237
Society - 800-227-2345
Lung Cancer Alliance -