Lung Cancer Treatment consist mainly off 3 basic practices: Chemotherapy, Radiation Therapy and Surgery. They are used independently or in cooperation depending on the staging determined at the lung cancer diagnosis
In chemotherapy, agents interfere with cellular functions and reproduction with the aim of destroying tumor cells. It is used treat the tumor and its metastases. A variety of chemotherapeutic agents can be used. A combination of two or more medication may be more effective than a single medication. Combination drug therapy also prevents drug resistance. The growth of the tumor cell and the specific phase of the cell cycle that the medication affects are considered in choosing the best chemotherapeutic agent.
The purposes of radiation therapy are to reduce the size of the tumor, make the inoperable tumor surgically removable and relieve the pressure of the tumor on vital structures. Ionizing radiation is used to interrupt cellular growth which leads to tissue disruption.
Surgery is the treatment of choice for localized tumor and there is no evidence of metastasis. The success of the surgery depends on the type and stage of the cancer. There are several types of lung resections:
1. Wedge resection – removal of a small, pie shaped area of a segment of the lung
2. Segmentectomy – removal of a segment of the lung
3. Lobectomy – single lobe of the lung is removed
4. Sleeve resection – removal of a segment of the main bronchus and the cancerous lobe/s
5. Pneumonectomy – the entire lung is removed
Smoking is the main culprit behind lung cancer. Fortunately, smoking cessation has a great effect towards lung cancer prevention. Lung cancer statistics reveal that when a person quits smoking, the risk steadily decreases. This gives the lung an opportunity to repair the damage as well as remove the toxins found in cigarettes. However, significant risk still remains for 20 years after quitting. Although newer lung cancer treatments are being discovered, the old adage “prevention is better than cure” applies to lung cancer.