Lung Cancer Treatment Comparison: Surgery vs. CyberKnife

For patients seeking lung cancer treatment, weighing different treatment options can be confusing, as many vary in side effects, overall duration of treatment and procedure requirements. Two options that may be offered to patients are surgery and stereotactic body radiation therapy. Depending on a number of factors such as your overall health and size and location of your tumor, doctors may recommend one or a combination of these options. Below is a comparison of treatments:


In treating lung cancer, a thoracic surgeon performs surgery with the goal of removing the tumor completely along with cancerous lymph nodes in the chest. This approach is common for patients in good health with small tumors. Treatment requires an overnight stay and a period of recovery that varies for each patient depending on the size of the tumor removed and health of the patient.

Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy

Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) is a nonsurgical option recommended to those candidates requiring or requesting a noninvasive option. During treatment, high-dose radiation beams are delivered to tumors in the lung with sub-millimeter accuracy. Treatment is completed within five outpatient sessions lasting between 30-90 minutes. Patients experience few to no side effects and can return to their routines immediately after treatment.

CyberKnife Center of Chicago treats lung cancer patients with SBRT using CyberKnife® technology. To learn more about CyberKnife, request more information.

This is not intended as medical advice to replace the expertise and judgment of your health care team. It is intended to help you and your family make informed decisions, together with your doctor.