What Is Lung Cancer? What Are Its Treatments, Procedures, And Risk Factors?
Lung cancer is the most commonly presenting cancer in the adult male and female smoker population. Patients usually present at an advanced age and are commonly people who have smoked heavily for the past 15 years or recently quit smoking.
Let’s discuss the treatment approach, some of the risk factors that make you prone to developing lung cancer and the different procedures one can undertake for treatment.
Treatments For Lung Cancer
Radiation therapy entails the use of X-rays and protons that are locally targeted towards the malignant lung tissues. During the radiation therapy, you may be asked to lay down on a table with the X-ray machine delivering x-rays on the precise points of your body. This therapy may last for 5 days a week for several weeks in a row. For people with locally advanced disease, radiation may precede surgery. If the disease is advanced, radiotherapy often combined with chemotherapy may be the only recommended treatment option for you. For terminal lung cancer, radiotherapy may be used to help alleviate pain.
Chemotherapy regimen drugs are used to kill cancer cells within the body. These drugs may be taken orally or injected via an I.V line. Chemotherapy sessions may take up to several weeks with frequent gaps in between. Chemotherapy is often used after surgery to kill any leftover cancerous cellist is often used in combination with radiotherapy for advanced disease.
Stereotactic body radiotherapy: Stereotactic radiotherapy, also known as radiosurgery, is an intense form of radiation that is inflicted on the patient’s tumors through different angles. It is often used as a treatment option for people who have small cell lung carcinomas that can’t opt for surgery.
Targeted drug therapy: Targeted drug therapy usually targets abnormalities in the cancerous cells. These drugs although have promising results are reserved for use only in recurrent and advanced-stage lung disease.
Cancer forms when they become immune to the body’s host defense mechanism. By using immunotherapy, these drugs can modulate the immune response of the body towards these cancer cells.
Risk factors include cigarette and cigar smoking, air pollution, exposure to radon and asbestos, previous radiation therapy to the lungs, and passive smoking or secondhand smoke exposure.
Surgical Procedures For Lung Cancer
after a thorough history and examination, a series of tissue biopsy, imaging tests, and cytology can confirm the diagnosis of lung cancer. Once the diagnosis is established, and you are deemed fit for surgery, there are various types of surgeries the doctor can prescribe according to the type and size of your mass. A wedge resection involves the removal of a small section of the lungs along with a margin of healthy tissue.
A segmental resection involves removing a larger portion of the lung but less than a lobe. A lobectomy involves removing the entire lobe of the lung. A pneumonectomy involves removing the entire lung. A larger tumor may necessitate the use of radio or chemotherapy before proceeding with surgery.
Here you have it, a comprehensive guide on lung cancer, its treatment protocol, and management.