Many types of doctors and specialists are involved in diagnosing and treating lung cancer. Your primary care doctor may refer you to various specialists whose titles are unfamiliar to you. Here is a list to give you an idea of the types of specialists you may encounter and the roles they will play in your diagnosis.


Specializing in cancer treatment, an oncologist will help you set a plan of treatment following a cancer diagnosis. A clinical oncologist is broken up into three different types:

  • Radiation Oncologist. Uses therapeutic radiation to treat cancer.
  • Medical Oncologist. Specializes in using medicine—including chemotherapy and other drugs—to treat cancer.
  • Surgical Oncologist. Handles the surgical portions of cancer treatment, such as surgical removal of tumors and surgical resection.



A pulmonologist is a doctor who specializes in treating diseases of the lungs, including lung cancer, COPD, and tuberculosis. With cancer, a pulmonologist aids in diagnosis and treatment. They are also called pulmonary specialists. 

Thoracic Surgeon

Specializing in surgery of the chest (thorax), these doctors perform several types of surgery on the throat, lungs, and heart. These specialists are often grouped with cardiac surgeons.

Find an oncologist or a cardiothoracic surgeon near you.