Lung Cancer Treatment
Lung cancer typically develops over a period of years or decades. When detected at an early enough stage, a number of lung cancer treatments can be applied to completely eliminate the tumors.
There are currently 4 primary types of lung cancer treatment available:
- Surgical Lung Cancer Treatment
- Radiation Lung Cancer Treatment
- Chemotherapy Lung Cancer Treatment
- Photodynamic Lung Cancer Treatment
Your optimal lung cancer treatment plan may include one or more of these treatments, either at the same time, or at different times, depending on a number of variables including the ‘Type’ and ‘Stage’ of the cancer.
Surgical Lung Cancer Treatment
Surgical lung cancer treatment is usually prescribed for patients with early-stage cancer who are in generally good physical condition. The surgical cure requires removal of all tumors, and may require follow-up operations to remove any recurrent tumors.
Surgical lung cancer treatment is possibile even when there are multiple tumors (metastases), providing they are all located closely at a site that the surgeon can access. However, most lung cancers tend to develop in smokers over 50 years of age, who frequently have other lung diseases or medical conditions that increase the risk of surgery. The location and size of a lung tumor dictate how extensive the surgery must be:
- Lobectomy (removal of an entire lobe of the lung) – is a proven treatment for lung cancer when the lungs are functioning well. The risk of mortality is as low as 3-5%, being highest in older patients.
- Segmental Resection (Wedge Resection) – is often applied when limited lung function prohibits Lobectomy and the cancer is small in size. The cancer and a small amount of surrounding tissue are removed and patients are expected to breathe normally following recovery.
- Pneumonectomy – is removal of an entire lung, with an associated mortality rate of 5-8%, although recurrent cancer is also common.
Due to late detection of the disease, it is often not possible to remove the entire tumor, because of its size or location. In such cases a range of other lung cancer treatments are available that can either kill the lung cancer or shrink the tumor for follow-up surgical treatment.
Radiation Lung Cancer Treatment
Radiation lung cancer treatment (radiotherapy), delivers a high-energy beam of x-rays that destroy rapidly dividing cancer cells. Radiation has many uses in treating lung cancer:
- As the primary treatment
- To shrink a tumor for surgical lung cancer treatment
- Following surgery to eliminate any remaining cancer cells
- To treat lung cancer that has spread outside the lungs
Radiation lung cancer treatment may be applied as a primary treatment, either alone or in combination with drug treatment (chemotherapy). Radiation treatments attack the cancer and can relieve some symptoms such as shortness of breath.
Generally, lung cancer patients who cannot undergo surgery, but have a small lung cancer that can be accessed by an x-ray beam, undergo radiotherapy. Such patients include the elderly, people with chronic heart failure, and anyone receiving a blood thinning drug that rules out surgery.
- External Beam Radiotherapy aims an x-ray beam directly at the tumor. This form of cancer treatment is usually given in a course of sessions (‘ fractions’), over about six weeks. Studies indicate that good results can be obtained with fewer side effects by giving the total radiation dose in more fractions over a shorter time.
- 3-D Conformal Radiotherapy uses a 3-D image of the lung cancer (obtained by CT Scanning) to guide a high-dose radiation beam that automatically changes its shape and size to match the tumor. This method minimizes the radiation exposure of surrounding tissues.
- Brachytherapy does not use a directional beam of x-rays, instead, radioactive pellets are implanted through a thin plastic tube directly at the site of cancer. This may help to relieve severe symptoms but does not usually cure the cancer.
Chemotherapy Lung Cancer Treatments
Chemotherapy lung cancer treatment uses drugs that shrink or kill the cancer cells. These drugs are usually given by direct injection into a vein or through a ‘catheter’ placed in a large vein.
Chemotherapy lung cancer treatment is used for all stages of lung cancer, and can prolong life even in elderly persons as long as they are in good general health. Chemotherapy is often is prescribed after surgery to remove any small groups of cancer cells that may remain. It may also be prescribed to slow tumor growth and relieve symptoms in patients who cannot recieve surgery.
Some drugs can work synergistically to increase the damage done to cancer cells by radiation treatment. Other drugs maintain the tumor cells at a stage where they are most susceptible to radiation treatment, or impair the ability of cancer cells to repair themselves following radiotherapy. 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.
Side Effects Of Chemotherapy Lung Cancer Treatment
Side effects of Chemotherapy lung cancer treatment include: severe nausea, vomiting, and damage to the immune system, kidneys and liver. However, there now are ways to counter some of these effects. Traditional chemotherapy cancer treatments are prescribed generically based on the ‘Stage’ of the cancer.
AccuTheranostics, Inc. can now offer YOU a revolutionary new option. We enable your oncologist to tailor your chemotherapy to YOUR specific tumor characteristics, regardless of stage. The benefit of this approach, is that we are able to provide more effective treatment to YOUR specific tumor ‘Type’, minimizing side effects to YOU.
Photodynamic Lung Cancer Treatment
Photodynamic Lung Cancer Treatment requires injection of a toxic chemical into the bloodstream. This chemical is initially absorbed by all of the body’s cells, but rapidly leaves normal cells, remaining a longer time in the cancer cells. A laser beam can then be aimed at the tumor to activate the chemical, which in turn destroys the cancer cells.
Photodynamic treatment is used for lung cancers that are localized to one site, but it may also help patients with advanced lung cancer when the tumor is pressing against other body structures and causing severe symptoms.
Experimental Lung Cancer Treatments
Researchers are continuously seeking new lung cancer treatments, aiming to increase increase the potency of the treatment while decreasing any side effects. The only way to prove these new treatments is to test them in patients with lung cancer. Patients who choose to take part in such ‘clinical trials’ get the best possible medical care and also the chance to receive either a new treatment or the best known treatment. If you agree to take part in such a trial you can rest assured that the new treatment has been carefully tested to make sure it is safe.
You can only get these new treatments if you join a clinical trial. To find out more about these trials, talk to your doctor and contact the National Cancer Institute at www.nci.nih.gov or at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237), or you can contact AccuTheranostics, Inc. at 877-402-2623.
New Proven Lung Cancer Treatment Option
AccuTheranostics, Inc. has developed a proven technology that allows your oncologist to tailor your chemotherapy treatment to target your specific tumor. This new approach identifies the drugs that your specific tumor is resistant to, and enables your oncologist to provide you with a more effective treatment regimen while minimizing side effects.
Many studies agree that the earliest possible detection and diagnosis provides the cancer patient with the best possible outcome. The AccuTheranostics, Inc. technique achieves this, thereby minimizing occurrence of relapse, recurrence and/or metastasis (spreading of the cancer beyond the original site).
Furthermore, recent studies have indicated that patients respond more favorably when their treatment is based on detailed analytical results, rather than merely on the superficial determination of the cancer stage.