Lung cancer or lung carcinoma is a condition characterized by the formation of malignant tumor in the lungs followed by uncontrollable cellular growth in the lung tissues. As the cells spread very fast, something needs to be done immediately. The common symptoms of this critical condition include chest pain, shortness of breath and weight loss. The main cause of lung cancer is long term smoking or prolonged consumption of tobacco. This is the reason why cigarette smoking is injurious to health. Well, it may also result from an exposure to asbestos, radon gas, air pollution, etc. It is diagnosed through chest radiography, computed tomography. The diagnosis of the condition is confirmed through biopsy. Avoid staying in polluted air or smoking tobacco. It is the leading cause of deaths in the USA due to cancer. There can be two kinds of lung cancer, namely, small-cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. Lung cancer treatment relies on the stage of cancer and how far the cancer has spread.
The various treatment options for lung cancer
When it comes to the treatment of lung cancer, it involves a combination of treatments like chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy or may be surgery. It is difficult to treat lung cancer since when the time the cancer is diagnosed, it has spread already. If cancer is diagnosed at the earliest, the person can survive for 5 years time and this decreases dramatically in case the cancer is at the advanced state. You can do certain things to avoid lung cancer. Smoking cessation is the number-1 step you may take.
Chemotherapy is the most commonly used treatment. This is basically the drugs that are used for the prevention of cancer cells from dividing and growing swiftly. The dividing cells are killed off through chemotherapy. The effectiveness of the entire treatment is largely dependent on the cancer stage that has been diagnosed. There can be major side effects and patients should be informed of the same beforehand. Chemotherapy is the main treatment for cancer and can help in the prevention of the disease, i.e. stop it from spreading or killing the cells when they divide. Chemotherapy may lead to impairment of mitosis or the food source for cancer cells may be targeted which includes the hormones and enzymes they need for growth. They may lead to a suicide of cancer cells which is called apoptosis medically or even stop new blood vessel growth, if these are supplying any cancerous tumor in order to starve and weaken the same.
Regular chemotherapy sessions are required by patients over a sustained time period and this will be informed by the oncologist. There will be a plan made for treatments and their duration. Treatments can range from one dose on a single day to several weeks based on the cancer stage and type. There are rest periods for recovery needed by patients who need multiple doses of chemotherapy. Other methods like immunotherapy are also effective depending on the condition of the patient, stage of the cancer and several other factors.
How to treat lung cancer?
The treatment of cancer in the lungs just like breast cancer treatment requires a specialist approach. The team of doctors will attend to the patient’s need. To remove the cancer of lung, surgical oncologist is required. Then, general surgeon is also needed to treat lung cancer surgically. Radiation oncologists will treat cancer in the lung with radiation therapy followed by medicines. There will also be specialists to help in pain management.
How is the diagnosis done?
If anyone shows the symptoms of lung cancer, he will be prescribed a number of tests. Physical examination will suggest whether there are symptoms of lung cancer at all. If there is airway obstruction, breathing difficulty and the person is given to smoking, chest X-Ray, CT Scan and other tests will be prescribed as per the need. CT Scan is far better than usual X-Ray of the chest. Needle biopsy, blood tests, bronchoscopy can be prescribed.
Best treatment options
If cancer has not spread to other organs, surgical removal of lung is needed. Combination of radiation therapy, surgery, chemotherapy may be needed. For the treatment of lung cancer, immunotherapy and targeted therapies are required. The doctor takes into account the extent to which the tumor has increased in size and then suggests the treatment. Different kinds of therapies may be recommended.
Radiation therapy is an effective treatment
Among all kinds of treatments, radiation therapy is a suitable treatment for lung cancer. It can be employed for both SCLC and for NSCLC. Here, the high-energy X rays destroy cancer cells. The number of sessions needed for the treatment will be discussed with by the doctor. Cervical cancer treatment involves the use of radiation therapy, chemotherapy, surgical procedures just like in the treatment of lung cancer.