Stage 4 Lung Cancer Symptoms and Signs
Stage 4 Lung Cancer Symptoms and Signs stage 4 is an advanced stage of lung cancer in which the tumor has spread to nearby organs as well as to distant organs and tissues. About 40% of people diagnosed with lung cancer are diagnosed in the fourth stage of cancer. The prospects for lung cancer in the final stage are poor and there is no cure for this type of cancer. However, there are certain treatments aimed at prolonging survival and alleviating the signs and symptoms of lung cancer.
Signs to be expected in stage 4 of lung cancer
Common signs and symptoms of lung cancer in the final stage include:
- A persistent cough
- Presence of blood in the mucus
- Hemoptysis, coughing blood
- Chest pain
- Pain in arms, shoulders, and back
- Difficulty breathing
- Repeated episodes of bronchitis or pneumonia
- Whoa, etc.
If the tumor spreads to other parts of the body, the following symptoms may occur:
- When the tumor spreads to the bones, pain occurs in the ribs, back, and hips.
- When the tumor spreads into the esophagus, difficulty swallowing occurs.
- When the tumor spreads to the brain, headaches, weakness, visual disturbances and even seizures can occur.
- When the tumor spreads to the liver, jaundice, yellowing of the skin and eye white occurs.
- Loss of appetite, unwanted weight loss, and fatigue are common signs and symptoms of metastatic lung cancer.
How is level 4 lung cancer treated?
This type of cancer is not curable, but various treatment options aim to prolong survival and alleviate the signs and symptoms as much as possible. Treatment is determined individually for each patient, based on many factors such as the size of primary lung cancer, the organs, and tissues in which lung cancer has spread, age, general health, etc.
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Chemotherapy is the primary treatment for final stage lung cancer, which can be administered alone or in combination with radiotherapy. Commonly used medications and combinations for the treatment of lung cancer at this stage are:
- Cisplatin and etoposide
- Cisplatin and Vinorelbine
- Cisplatin and gemcitabine
- Cisplatin and docetaxel
- Cisplatin and pemetrexed. This last combination of chemotherapy drugs is not used to treat squamous cell carcinomas of the lungs.
Stage 4 Lung Cancer Symptoms and Signs, If cisplatin is contraindicated for any reason, a combination of the above drugs is prepared with carboplatin. Chemotherapy drugs can be administered alone if a patient with stage 4 lung cancer cannot receive combined chemotherapy due to other medical problems or general health damage. Commonly used individual chemotherapeutics include:
In cases where the lung tumor does not respond well to the above-mentioned chemotherapy drugs, targeted chemotherapy may be recommended. The types of targeted chemotherapy are:
Pemetrexed can be used as maintenance chemotherapy in patients who have responded to chemotherapy.
Radiotherapy is recommended for lung cancer patients in the final stage, together with chemotherapy or alone if chemotherapy is not possible. Two types of radiotherapy are available for the treatment of lung cancer, brachytherapy, and external radiotherapy.
Endobronchial therapies are often used in patients with terminal lung cancer to alleviate the signs and symptoms caused by blocking the airways of the tumor. Available types of endobronchial therapies are:
- Laser treatment
- Placement of the stent
- Photodynamic therapy
Surgical treatment does not cure lung cancer but is a palliative operation to alleviate the signs and symptoms of this type of cancer. Palliative surgical treatments include:
- Breast tube placement
If all of the above treatments have not brought last-stage lung cancer relief, there is always the possibility to participate in clinical trials. Clinical trials allow patients to try new medical treatments that can even be successful. Consult your doctor as the doctor will tell you if you are a good candidate for such a clinical trial.
What is the life expectancy for stage 4 lung cancer?
Stage 4 Lung Cancer Symptoms and Signs, The life expectancy of patients with terminal lung cancer is only about eight months short. The 5-year survival rate is only 4%, which means that only 4% of all patients diagnosed with lung cancer in the last stage have survived more than 5 years. Unfortunately, these numbers are low, but there are many patients worldwide who have lived for more than 5 years, even though they have been diagnosed with lung cancer in the last stage. Remember that you are not a number and there is always hope.
Read more: Final Symptoms of Stage 4 Lung Cancer
Stage 4 Lung Cancer Symptoms and Signs
Note that the life expectancy of lung cancer in the last stage varies from person to person due to various factors. Some of these factors include:
- Age – the younger you are, the more likely you are to have a better life expectancy compared to older people.
- Gender – Women have a higher life expectancy than men, regardless of the stage at which lung cancer was diagnosed.
- General health at the time of diagnosis – You are able to withstand cancer treatments, which prolongs survival if you were healthy at the time of diagnosis.
- Cancer and its localization – There are different types of lung cancer, but also the localization and spread of the cancer are important for the survival rate. The genetic characteristics of the tumor are also very important.
- Respond to treatment – How to respond to different treatments for lung cancer varies from person to person. If you respond well to a particular treatment, you can tolerate it better and thus extend the survival time.
- Lung cancer complications such as blood clots can significantly shorten survival time.
- Other health problems – Often, in addition to the diagnosis of stage 4 lung cancer, patients have other health problems, which significantly shortens survival time.