Many patients receive chemotherapy for lung cancer. Sometimes, it is the only treatment an oncologist will recommend; other times, it will be combined with other treatments, such as radiation therapy or surgery. Each patient’s specific treatment plan is designed to reflect a number of individualized factors, such as the type and stage of the cancer.
If a patient decides to receive chemotherapy for lung cancer, his or her treatment plan will be designed by a physician known as a medical oncologist. A medical oncologist can:
- Determine which chemotherapy medication – or combination of medications – would potentially be most effective for the patient’s specific diagnosis. The most common chemo drugs for small cell and non-small cell lung cancers include carboplatin, cisplatin and etoposide.
- Decide what dosage will destroy as many cancer cells as possible while keeping side effects to a minimum. The dosage can be adjusted at any point in a patient’s treatment.
- Create a schedule outlining the number of chemotherapy cycles the patient will receive and how far apart each cycle will be
At Moffitt Cancer Center, our medical oncologists work hand in hand with a patient’s surgeons, radiation oncologists and supportive care providers to create a detailed, individualized plan encompassing all aspects of lung cancer treatment. We have a team of medical oncologists who specialize exclusively in providing chemotherapy for lung cancer. As a result, they not only have extensive experience in selecting the most appropriate medications and dosing regimens, but they are also highly skilled in helping patients manage their side effects and improve their quality of life during lung cancer treatment.