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What kind of doctor treats lung cancer?

There are a number of doctors in different specialties who are all very important to accomplish the best treatment for the patient with lung cancer. These doctors make up the lung cancer "team," and this type of multispecialty involvement is felt to be the optimal approach for diagnosis and staging of the tumor as well as for consideration of all appropriate treatment options. The most common doctors treating lung cancer are thoracic (chest) surgeons, medical oncologists and radiation oncologists. However there are a number of other physicians who frequently participate in the diagnosis and workup of patients with lung cancer. Radiologists are the doctors who perform and evaluate, chest x-rays, chest CT (computed tomography) scans and PET (positron emission tomography) scans. Such tests are critical in diagnosis and staging. The radiologists can also make recommendations about any other x-rays that may be necessary. Pulmonary physicians are specialists in diseases of the lung; they have expertise in evaluating lung problems, and are often one of the early specialists who help to evaluate the patient with possible lung cancer. Pathologists are the doctors that evaluate biopsies of tissue taken from the lung or lymph nodes and they help determine the type of cancer and the extent of cancer.

A team of doctors treat lung cancer. Oncologists, surgeons, radiologists and radiation oncologists all treat lung cancer collaboratively.

Tim Mcguire
Administration Specialist

Thoracic surgeons, medical oncologists and radiation oncologists treat lung cancer.

  • Thoracic surgeons use surgical methods to diagnose, stage and treat lung cancer, and to relieve certain cancer-related symptoms.
  • Medical oncologists help patients make decisions throughout their treatment. And are involved in the ongoing evaluation and management of patients’ treatment with chemotherapy agents and other drugs.
  • Radiation oncologists determine the type, daily dose and number of radiation treatments that are appropriate for each patient’s cancer.

The contents of this website are for informational purposes only and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Nor does the contents of this website constitute the establishment of a physician patient or therapeutic relationship. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Dr. Raja M. Flores, MD
Cardiothoracic Surgeon

Lung cancer patients should consult more than one kind of doctor, including an oncologist, radiologist and surgeon. In this video, Raja Flores, MD, thoracic surgeon, discusses why you shouldn't rush into lung cancer surgery.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.