After treatment for lung cancer

After treatment, you will have regular check-ups and chest x-rays. Your appointments will be every few months at first but eventually they may be once a year. Appointments are a good opportunity for you to talk to your doctor or nurse about any concerns you have. But if you notice any new symptoms between appointments, you can contact your doctor or nurse for advice.

Beginning to recover

Now your primary cancer treatment has ended, you may feel ready to get on with your life and look forward to the future. But it’s common to have days when you feel less positive, or to have days when you still feel some of the effects of treatment.

To begin with, it’s important not to expect too much of yourself and to accept that it will take you time to recover. If you think about everything you’ve been through, then it’s not surprising that your recovery is likely to be gradual.

You may have new challenges to cope with, such as physical effects caused by your cancer or its treatment. It usually takes time to adjust to these and to find out what’s now normal for you.

After your treatment is over, you’ll see your specialist for regular check-ups. However, it’s important to remember that support is available to help you with any physical or emotional problems you have in between these appointments.

The experience of cancer may also make you think about what’s important in your life, and you may make positive changes as a result.

We have more information on coping with your feelings after treatment.

Back to Treating

Making treatment decisions

Your doctors may tell you there are different options for your treatment. It can be difficult to make a decision, but information and support will help.


Chemotherapy is the main treatment for small cell lung cancer. There are a number of different drugs.


Radiotherapy may be used alongside chemotherapy to treat small cell lung cancer. It can also be used on its own to ease symptoms.

Surgery for lung cancer

Surgery is usually only possible for people with small cell lung cancer when the cancer is found very early and is limited.

Tumour ablation

Ablation treatments use heat or laser light to treat very early stage lung cancer.

Clinical trials

Many people are offered a trial as part of treatment. Find out more to help you decide if a trial is right for you.