Chemotherapy is a treatment option that makes use of anti-cancer medicines to kill the cancer cells. It will break the growth of cancer cells in the patient. Chemotherapy is the major treatment option for small cell lung cancer. Usually, small cell lung cancers respond positively to chemotherapy. It is done by circulating the drugs in the bloodstream around the body. It can even treat the cells of other parts of the body which is affected by the lung tumor. The patient can do chemotherapy own his/her own. Chemotherapy for small cell lung cancer can be given before, after or at the same time of radiotherapy. The combination of drugs used for the therapy can differ according to the health condition of the patient.

If the patient has non-small cell lung cancer, the doctor may suggest a chemotherapy in the following instances:

  • If the cancer is in early stages, it will be given after the surgery

  • If the cancer is locally advanced or spread to the other parts

  • Before, after or apace with the radiotherapy process

In the cases of early stage non-small cell lung cancer, giving chemotherapy after the surgery will help to reduce the recurrence of cancer. Before the procedure, the doctor will discuss the possible results and risks. He/she may even explain the side effects of the drugs used for chemotherapy. Patients who are otherwise healthy will show good results after the procedure. Various types of drugs are used along or in combination with the procedure.

Chemotherapy is given either by an injection into the vein or through a drip. Sometimes, it can be tablets or capsules that the patient can swallow. As per the kind of drug used, the dosage and intake pattern may also differ. Usually, treatment is recommended every 3-4 weeks. After the session, the patient may need to take a rest for some time to get over any kind of side effect caused by the drug. There are various factors which may determine the number of treatment one need to undergo for. In some cases, the patient may need to stay at the hospital for a night or a few days after the therapy.