Cures for Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in the developed world. Here are some frequently asked questions about the symptoms, causes and treatment of the disease.

There are two main types of lung cancer that have different microscopic appearances:

• Small-cell lung cancer (SCLC).

• Non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC)

Following are the mode of treatments for Cures for lung cancer:

Surgery is one of the primary cures for lung cancer for patients with early-stage cancer who are in good general health. The goal of surgery is to totally eliminate all the tumor cells and thereby provide a cure. Even if a tumor recurs after an attempt to remove it, the recurrent tumor often can be removed in a second operation. Surgery is a possibility even if there are multiple tumors, or metastases, provided they are all close together at a site that the surgeon can reach. Unfortunately, lung cancers tend to develop in smokers more than 50 years of age, who very often have other lung disease or serious medical conditions that magnify the risk of surgery.

Radiation therapy or radiotherapy is one of the cures for lung cancer that delivers high-energy x-rays that can destroy rapidly dividing cancer cells. It has many uses in lung cancer:

o As primary treatment

o Before surgery to shrink the tumor

o After surgery to eliminate any cancer cells that remain in the treated area

o To treat lung cancer that has spread to the brain or other areas of the body

Besides attacking the tumor, radiotherapy can help to relieve some of the symptoms it causes such as shortness of breath. When used as an initial treatment instead of surgery, radiotherapy may be given alone or combined with chemotherapy. Today, many patients who have a small lung cancer that can be easily reached by an x-ray beam, but who are not candidates for surgery, are receiving curative doses of radiotherapy. These patients may include the elderly, those with chronic heart failure, and those receiving a blood-thinning drug that puts them at risk of surgical bleeding.

Chemotherapy is one of the cures for lung cancer that involves drugs that are toxic to cancer cells. The drugs are usually given by direct injection into a vein or through a catheter placed in a large vein. Often given after surgery to get rid of small groups of cancer cells that may remain, chemotherapy also may slow tumor growth and relieve symptoms in patients who cannot have surgery.

This treatment is used in all stages of lung cancer and can prolong life even in elderly persons as long as they are in good general health. Some chemotherapy drugs increase damage done to tumors by the radiation treatment of cancer cells. Others keep the tumor cells at a stage where they are most susceptible to radiation treatment, or impair the ability of cancer cells to repair themselves after a course of radiation therapy. Evidence is mounting that a combination of these drugs integrated with radiotherapy is more effective than radiotherapy alone, but there is a substantial risk of serious side effects.

Chemotherapy is one of the most effective cures for lung cancer can cause many distressing side effects, such as severe nausea with vomiting and damage to the white blood cells needed to combat infection, but there now are ways to counter some of these effects. Some lung cancer patients will have to decide whether it is worth suffering side effects and having a poorer quality of life in order to remain alive for a somewhat longer time.

If you really want Cures for lung cancer, it is to be kept in mind that pain relief is a very important part of treating lung cancer.

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One thought on “Cures for Lung Cancer

  1. Lynne Eldridge MD says:

    Thanks for your wonderful summary on lung cancer, and especially for addressing alternative approaches to pain management! As the New York Times Company Guide to Lung Cancer, I am well aware that traditional approaches to lung cancer treatment often fail (the 5 year survival rate is 15%), and pain management is not addressed enough for too many.

    Lynne Eldridge MD

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