Lung Cancer

Our acclaimed lung cancer program combines expertise and innovation with compassionate care.

Find your care

Our lung cancer specialists deliver compassionate care and lifesaving treatments. For more information, connect with a cancer care specialist at 888-662-8252.

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Why choose UCLA Health for lung cancer care?

At UCLA Health’s Lung Cancer Program, we are dedicated to discovering new ways to treat lung cancer. We provide care through the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of only 51 cancer centers recognized by the National Cancer Institute for innovative cancer research and clinical care.

Our team of lung cancer specialists works together to determine the best care plan for you. UCLA Health patients also receive:

Expertise in lung cancer: As nationally recognized leaders, UCLA Health’s lung cancer experts offer access to the most advanced diagnostics and treatments available.

Coordinated, compassionate care: Our team of caring specialists collaborates and carefully manages every detail of your treatment plan.

Access to the latest research: As a Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) in lung cancer, we focus on turning research into treatments. Our experts are always investigating new therapies for lung cancer while delivering world-class care.

Superior care close to home: UCLA Health offers lung cancer services in multiple community cancer care centers across the greater Los Angeles region. This means you can receive high-quality care that’s convenient for you and close to your home.

Our lung cancer services

From diagnosis through treatment, UCLA Health provides comprehensive lung cancer services, including:

Diagnosis

Your team will order one or more of the following tests, depending on your symptoms and genetic predisposition:

Sputum cytology: A screening that analyzes a mixture of saliva and mucus, called sputum, for signs of cancer cells.

Advanced lung imaging: A series of tests that could include chest X-rays, MRI, CT and positron emission tomography (PET) scans.

Bronchoscopy: A procedure that uses a small camera to capture images of the lung’s airways. Your care team might request a biopsy of the airways to check for cancer.

Pleural biopsy: A procedure to collect a piece of the membranes that surround the lungs, called pleura, to check for cancer cells.

Mediastinoscopy with biopsy: A procedure to sample lymph nodes from your chest to look for cancer.

Lung biopsy: A procedure to sample a piece of lung tissue for microscopic examination.

Cancer support

Our comprehensive services include expert rehabilitation and compassionate support to improve your quality of life. We offer:

Pulmonary rehabilitation: A set of therapies used before or after surgery to decrease complications and improve lung function. Pulmonary rehabilitation could include breathing exercises, medication management and help to stop smoking.

Simms/Mann-UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology: We encourage you to prioritize self-care and wellness throughout your cancer journey. The Simms/Mann Center offers a diverse range of integrative services and programs, including stress management, nutritional consultations, counseling and support groups for patients and family members. Explore our services.

Lung cancers we treat

Lung cancer begins with abnormal cells in the lungs. When abnormal cells grow uncontrollably, tumors form. There are two main types of lung cancer:

Non-small cell lung cancer: A form of cancer that begins in the lungs. Non-small cell is the most common type of lung cancer. Common subtypes include:

Adenocarcinoma: A type of lung cancer that begins in the outer part of the lungs. Adenocarcinoma is common among current and former smokers.

Large-cell carcinoma: A rapidly growing lung cancer found in any part of the lung. Large-cell carcinoma’s quick-spreading nature can make it hard to treat.

Squamous cell carcinoma: A form of lung cancer that begins in cells that line the bronchial tubes.

Small cell lung cancer: A rapidly growing type of cancer that forms around the air tubes, called bronchi. Because small cell lung cancer spreads easily, it is usually diagnosed after the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

Our lung cancer treatments

As a leader in lung cancer care, UCLA Health offers patients the most advanced treatment options available, including:

Nonsurgical lung cancer treatments

Some types of lung cancer may be treated without surgery. Treatments include:

Chemotherapy: A treatment that uses anti-cancer drugs to kill lung cancer cells. Chemotherapy regimens vary based on the type and the stage of lung cancer. 

Immunotherapy: A treatment that stimulates your immune system to help fight the cancer. Immunotherapy is used for people with advanced lung cancers.

Radiation therapy: The use of high-energy X-rays to destroy cancer cells without damaging the surrounding healthy tissue.

Radiofrequency ablation (RFA): The use of high-energy radio waves to destroy tumors. A CT scan helps guide a probe to the lung tumor, where heat from an electrical current destroys the cancerous tissue.

Targeted therapy: A treatment regimen that spares healthy cells by attacking abnormalities in the growing cancer cells.

Clinical trials: Research studies of promising new lung cancer treatments. Patients who meet certain criteria may be able to participate.

Lung cancer surgery

The lungs have five sections called lobes. During surgery, doctors may remove only the tumor, one or more lobes, or an entire lung. Surgeons may perform:

Wedge resection: Surgery to remove the tumor and a small portion of lung tissue around it. This procedure may be used for small tumors or to biopsy a tumor.

Segmental resection: Surgery to remove the tumor and a larger portion of surrounding lung tissue. This procedure may be used for small tumors or to biopsy a tumor.

Lobectomy: Surgery to remove the whole lobe that contains the tumor. This is often the preferred type of surgery.

Pneumonectomy: A procedure to remove an entire lung.

Our expert team

UCLA Health’s lung cancer specialists are dedicated to the prevention, detection, treatment and research of lung cancer. We prioritize patient-centered care, working together to create a treatment plan that best suits you.

Contact us

Call 310-829-5471 to request an appointment with a lung cancer specialist at UCLA Health.