Lung cancer can be incredibly debilitating when it is not treated correctly. Sadly, there are several kinds of lung cancer that can affect the type of treatment that is more or less likely to work. These are small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer, which tend to be the most common.
The effectiveness of each treatment also varies depending on the stage that lung cancer is diagnosed. Because of this, there is currently a great deal of research going into the treatments of lung cancer and how it can be identified earlier. Check out Power for more details. Here are the main methods used to treat lung cancer.
Firstly, surgery can be the best treatment for lung cancer that is localized. This means that there is a tumor or growth in one area where cancer cells have formed. In cases such as these, surgery can be done to remove the affected cells. However, this isn’t always the case.
Because cancer cells grow significantly faster than other cells in the body, there are instances when surgery cannot be done to remove lung cancer.
This treatment method is typically followed with chemotherapy or radiation, to prevent the cancer cells from growing back or getting worse. Of course, a patient needs to fully recover from surgery before having additional treatment.
Another main treatment for lung cancer is chemotherapy. This process typically involves shocking the cells in the body to the treatment of a high potency to prevent cancer cells from returning. Chemotherapy also aims to shrink the size of existing cancer in the body.
This treatment can be given through an IV or in tablets. However, most patients receive a combination of the two. Sessions are usually scheduled by specialists, depending on the type of cancer that someone is suffering from. There will be some time between each session so that the body can recover and begin repairing itself.
This is similar to chemotherapy because it can shock cells in the body and reduce the size of cancer or tumors. Certain parts of the body are exposed to radiation in small amounts to destroying cancer cells. There are a number of ways that this can be used to treat lung cancer.
In cases of non-small cell lung cancer where the patient is not strong enough to undergo surgery, radical radiotherapy can be the best course of action. Other instances of using radiation for lung cancer include exposing the brain to very small amounts of radiation. This is done as a preventative measure to stop cancer from spreading to the brain.
Similarly, radiation can be administered to slow the spread of cancer and to stop it from getting any worse. This is usually done in palliative care when there is little that specialists can do to remove cancer. Some of the symptoms are made more manageable in this way, such as coughing up blood and severe pain.
Like chemotherapy, targeted therapy can be an effective treatment for lung cancer. This is because it involves using a combination of medicines to prevent the growth of cancer cells. Of course, the results of this treatment are subject to the type of cancer.
Because of this, careful testing needs to be done to determine what type of growth and the type of cancer. Specialists can then recommend targeted therapy if they believe that it will work. This is normally in the form of pills, but it can be administered through an IV directly into the patient’s vein.
Targeted therapy tends to be the most effective method for advanced cases of non-small cell lung cancer, and this can be subject to the outcome of a biopsy. There are certain proteins that doctors need to test for in cancer cells, which will determine how likely targeted therapy is going to be effective.
Lung cancer is an incredibly complex condition, which is why there are many approaches to each patient’s treatment. Specialists will need to carry out testing beforehand so that they can decide on the type of cancer and how they will approach treatment.
In some cases, the goal is to prevent cancer cells from regrowing in other areas of the body such as the brain. On the other hand, other types of lung cancer can be treated to shrink the size of a tumor using powerful medicines. Thankfully, there is constant research taking place in order to find out more about the different types of lung cancer treatments.