Types of Treatment for Lung Cancer
Soon after the person is diagnosed of lung cancer, the oncologist and patients choose the most appropriate treatment. Some of the important considerations while deciding the treatment method include:
- Symptoms the patient
- Patient's ability to carry on normal daily activities
- Need for bed rest
- Patient's opinion about quality of life.
Below mentioned are different types of treatment for lung cancer
Chemotherapy is also known as systemic therapy as it treats the entire system or body. It kills cancer cells that metastasized from the original tumor.
In chemotherapy strong medicines are used to slow down growth of cancer cells by stopping their reproduction and by killing them. There are many types of chemotherapy drugs, and they may be given in combination with each other, and also in combination with surgery and radiation. A medical oncologist prescribes, but it may be given by an oncology nurse.
Chemotherapy drugs can be administered in intravenously or can be taken orally in the form of capsule, tablet, or liquid form. However, in most of the cases chemotherapy is given intravenously.
Radiation therapy is the effective treatment method for lung cancer. It makes use of high- energy rays kill or shrink the cancer cell. These rays are similar to X-rays but are a bit stronger in intensity.
Till date lung cancer is treated from an external energy source but studies are going on to study the use of implanted radioactive seeds in or near the effected lung. This kind of radiotherapy is known as brachytherapy.
Surgery offers the greatest chances of significant survival in the early stages of lung cancer .i.e. when cancer cells are not spread over the other parts of the body. Depending upon the condition of cancer, your doctor may opt for surgery in the initial stages of lung cancer .i.e. immediately after diagnosis or may take it after chemotherapy or radiations.
Specialist of lung cancer surgery is known as thoracic surgeon. In this surgery, the surgeon removes the tumor and surrounding tissue margin. Two major type of lung cancer surgery include:
- Curative surgery: Removal of tumor in early stage of cancer and aims to completely remove the cancerous tumor including wedge, a lobe, or an entire lung. The surgery is done when the tumour appears to be confined to one area.
- Palliative surgery: aim of palliative surgery is to ease symptoms and make the patient more comfortable. Some of its example includes laser surgery for the removal of an obstruction or opening of an airway.
Some of the new advances in the treatment of lung cancer includes:
- Chemotherapy regimens
- Targeted therapies
- Photodynamic therapy
- Lung cancer vaccines
- Gene therapy
Read more articles on Lung Cancer Treatment
Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team Jan 04, 2012
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