Lung Cancer Treatment Options and Prognosis
Lung Cancer Treatment Options and Prognosis If a routine physical examination reveals swollen lymph nodes in the collarbone, a weak mass in the lung, abnormal voices in the lung, breast touches, students’ anomalies, weak or nail changes, even a swollen nail gun, a doctor may suspect a lung tumor. Some lung cancers produce unusually high blood levels of certain hormones or substances that can lead to abnormally high calcium levels in the bloodstream. If a person shows such evidence and another cause is seen, a doctor should consider lung cancer.
An X-ray usually appears when a malignant tumor causes symptoms. A tumor that has not yet started to cause symptoms is seen on a chest x-ray taken for another purpose. A chest CT scan can be ordered for a more detailed view.
Although tests of mucus or lung fluid may reveal fully developed cancer cells, the diagnosis is usually confirmed by biopsy. Using bronchoscopy, the patient gently anesthetized, guided by a thin, burning tube nose or mouth and air passages down to the tumor site, where a small tissue sample can be removed. Another procedure uses a CT scan to guide a needle into an abnormality to get a biopsy.
If the biopsy confirms cancer, other tests will determine the type of cancer and how far it is spreading. Close lymph nodes can be tested for cancer cells, using a procedure called mediastinoscopy that requires general anesthesia and having a small cut in front of the neck to pass the empty tube into the chest to get the biopsy. Endobronchial ultrasound and endoscopic esophageal ultrasound are two more ways to biopsy lymph nodes in the testing of cancer cells. Both require light anesthesia. Imaging techniques such as CT, MRI, PET and Bone scans can detect cancers that can spread.
It is not recommended for chest X-ray screening of lung cancer because it is not proven effective in the detection of small tumors characteristic of early lung cancer, because of phlegm tests and chest x-ray is not recommended. However, groups like the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute say that a CT scan should be presented for those with a high risk of lung cancer. This includes smoking and old cigarette age from 55 to 74 who have smoked 30 pack-years or more and either resume smoke or resign in the last 15 years. One package is the number of smoked cigarette packs every day that a person has multiplied by the number of years of smoked. Their rules are based on research which showed a CT scan that reduces the chance of general death but increases the chance of having a false alarm that requires more testing.
What are the Cures for Lung Cancer?
If cancer can be successfully removed surgically, the patient has a perfect chance to survive at least one year and usually 50% better luck than five years or more. The difficulty comes early to detect lung cancer early enough to make surgery possible.
Read more: Alternative Lung Cancer Treatment Options
Lung cancer surgery
The decision to perform surgery is based not only on the type of lung cancer and how much spread but also the general health of the patient, especially the function of the lungs. Many patients with lung cancer – especially smokers – have lung or heart problems that become surgically difficult. The cancer spread across the lungs in the lymph nodes was once considered to be inoperable, but it combined survival with chemotherapy to improve survival rates.
When applicable, surgery is the preferred treatment for non-small cell lung cancer. During surgery, the surgeon removes the tumor from the surrounding lung tissue and lymph nodes. Sometimes, all lungs should be taken out. Patients remain in the hospital for several days after the operation.
Lung cancer radiation
Radiation therapy may be necessary to kill remaining cancer cells, but is usually delayed for at least one month while the surgical wound heals. Surgically untreated non-small cell lung cancers are usually treated with radiation therapy, often combined with chemotherapy.
Chemotherapy and combination therapy
Due to the intensification tendency, small cell lung cancer is usually treated with combined chemotherapy – the use of multiple drugs-often combined with radiation therapy. The surgery is used at times, but it is thought to be only at a very early stage of cancer. This is unusual.
Patients who have cancer or spread to distant areas of the body are usually treated with chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Since metastatic lung cancer is very difficult to treat, the main goals of treatment are to provide comfort and prolong life. Current treatments can reduce pain and other symptoms can shrink tumors.
Now it is recommended to take palliative care of all patients with advanced lung cancer (care is only designed to facilitate pain and other symptoms) while at the same time having cancer active treatment. This has not only been shown to provide comfort but also to improve the result when given chemotherapy.
Recent data also indicate that chemotherapy helps prevent recurrence of lung cancer in patients in the early stages of the disease.
Read more: Lung Cancer Alternative Treatment Options
Lung Cancer Treatment Options and Prognosis
Other lung cancer treatments
Researchers are constantly looking for better ways to treat lung cancer, to relieve symptoms, and to improve the quality of life of patients. New combinations of chemotherapy, new forms of radiation and the use of drugs that make cancer cells more sensitive to radiation are always examined.
Stereotactic radiosurgery and radiofrequency ablation were used in the treatment of early lung cancers. Such treatments can also be used in the treatment of localized recurrent tumors.
Atezolizumab (Tecentriq), duralumin (inflammation), nivolumab (Opdivo) and pembrolizumab (Keytruda) are protein-blocking immunotherapy drugs that keep the body fighting cancer. These drugs are given every 2 to 3 weeks with IV infusion.
Drugs alectinib (Alecensa), brigatinib (Alunbrig), ceritinib (Zykadia) and Crizotinib (Xalkori) have been found to attack a certain molecule, an ALK gene, seen in some lung cancers
. Dabrafenib (Taffins) and Trametinib (machinist) are the targets of specific proteins in tumors that change the BRAF gene.
It is now common for patients to be tested to determine whether these drugs can effectively fight against the type of lung cancer.
Home care for lung cancer
If you had lung surgery, a nurse or doctor may demonstrate specific exercises to improve your breathing and strengthen your chest muscles. You can relieve skin irritation associated with radiation therapy by wearing loose clothing and keeping your chest protected from the sun. Avoid skin lotions unless approved by your doctor.