Treatment & Care at NCH

Lung Cancer

A Chicago Leader in Early Cancer Diagnosis

NCH is your trusted partner in lung health beginning with prevention and early detection of lung cancer. NCH is committed to diagnosing lung cancer at the earliest possible stage and using state-of-the-art technology for timely treatment. Our advanced diagnostic capabilities and our outstanding medical staff of experts assure effective treatment from a benign nodule to lung cancer. And you'll be personally guided through treatment by a dedicated patient navigator who will be with you every step of the way.

Detection & Diagnosis

Most lung cancers are found after symptoms have occurred. Lung cancer may be diagnosed and staged with the following tests:

  • Chest x-ray
  • Computed Tomography (CT) Scan
  • CT-guided needle biopsy
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan
  • Positron emission tomography (PET) scan
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Bone scan
  • Endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS)
  • Electromagnetic Navigational Bronchoscopy

Early lung cancer can be detected with CT lung screening before symptoms appear.

Treatment 1

Radiation Therapy and Radiosurgery

A local treatment that affects only the part of the body being treated. It uses special equipment to deliver high doses of radiation that destroy cancer cells. CyberKnife Robotic Radiosurgery System, offer patients a new option for the treatment of lung cancer. The CyberKnife® System is used to treat lung cancer patients who cannot tolerate surgery, have an inoperable tumor, or are seeking an alternative to surgery.

Treatment 2


Surgery or surgical resection is often used to remove a tumor. For early stage lung cancer, the preferred treatment for otherwise healthy patients is a lobectomy, in which the surgeon removes a lobe of the lung. Lobectomies can be performed in two ways.

Treatment 3


Chemotherapy is used when cancer cells are thought to be located throughout the body or they are present in a patient’s blood or other fluids, which is often the case with metastatic lung tumors and advanced-stage lung cancer. Chemotherapy medication is delivered orally or through an IV (into a vein), and is given to a patient either as the sole treatment or in combination with surgery or radiation. Chemotherapy affects both normal tissue and the cancer cells, so patients may experience side effects, such as severe nausea and vomiting, infections, fatigue and weight loss. Based on randomized clinical trials chemotherapy is recommended in addition to local treatment for patients with later-stage disease. Disease-free 5-year survival for patients treated with chemotherapy following surgery range from 48-89% depending on how advanced the disease is.

The NCH Cancer Team

Multidisciplinary team of cancer healthcare specialists

Northwest Community Hospital teams of highly experienced, board-certified physicians, including surgeons, pathologists, oncologists, radiologists and other specialists, Patient Navigators, Magnet®-designated nurses, advanced practice nurses, social workers, dietitians and rehabilitation specialists work together to provide the best possible cancer care throughout your cancer treatment process.

These teams meet weekly to review NCH cancer diagnosis and treatment plans — giving our cancer patients the benefit of multiple opinions. NCH's team-based approach to cancer treatment gives you the attention and care you deserve.

Medical Oncologist — Physician who specializes in diagnosing and treating cancer

Surgical Oncologist — Physician specially trained in the surgical treatment of cancer

Radiation Oncologist — Physician who specializes in treating cancer with radiation

Interventional Pulmonologist — A physician specially trained to diagnose and treat conditions in the lung and chest. Learn more about interventional pulmonology

See the Full Team

You are not alone: Get personalized, ongoing support from our lung cancer patient navigator

If you are diagnosed with lung cancer, a specially trained nurse is available to help you and your family every step of the way. This patient navigator will help you understand your cancer treatment options, assist you with scheduling tests and appointments, and help you find the resources you need before and after cancer treatment. She is available to listen and provide support any time you need it.

Learn more about Lung Patient Navigators

NCH Schedule an Appointment

What is navigational brochoscopy?

View all videos in this series
Learn more about Neeraj Desai, M.D.

NCH offers innovative care to relieve the symptoms and complications of patients with lung cancer through its Interventional Pulmonology program.

Learn more

Sidebar Slider
NCH Category Label
Raymond's Story

Raymond's Story

Having smoked for 57 years, this retired salesman heeded his doctor’s advice to have his lungs checked, and he’s glad he did.

Read Raymond's Story

Resource Module 2
Be Informed, Be Healthy

Be Informed, Be Healthy

Find helpful information and smart strategies for healthier living and overall wellness. Health news. Blogs. Tools and tips. Frequently asked questions. And more.

Explore Resources
Wellness & Prevention Shared Resource Icon
Wellness & Prevention

Wellness & Prevention

Take an active role in your own well-being at the NCH Wellness Center. See how to achieve optimal health and prevent disease by staying active.

Visit Our Wellness Center
Billing & Insurance Shared Resource Icon
Billing & Insurance

Billing & Insurance

Health insurance information. Bill payment options and prompt pay discounts. Get information about financial assistance.

View Billing & Insurance Resources