If you are diagnosed with a lung cancer, patient’s care will likely be managed by the team of doctors that may include a surgeon who specializes in the chest and lungs, lung specialist, medical and radiation oncologist. Patient should discuss all the treatment option before making a decision. There are few treatment options such as Surgery, Conventional Chemotherapy, Immunotherapy and Radiation therapy.
During the surgery the doctor works to remove the lung cancer and a margin of a healthy tissue. There are few procedures that are helpful in removing the lung cancer, those are as follows:
- Wedge resection is a form of a treatment that involves removal of a small section of the lung that contains the tumor along with a margin of healthy tissue. This surgical procedure may be an alternative option to a lobectomy.
- Segmental resection is also known as segmentectomy, it is a surgical procedure to remove a larger portion of lung, but not an entire lobe; it can also be used to remove normal tissue and tumor around it
- Lobectomy is a type of a lung cancer in which the surgeon removes the entire lobe of one lung; it’s done to remove the portion of the diseased lung. A lobectomy can also be performed occasionally for other conditions, such as fungal infection, emphysema tuberculosis, severe COPD, or trauma which interrupts major blood vessels near the lungs.
- Pneumonectomy is a surgical treatment that is done to remove an entire lung. This procedure can also be performed to treat conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and tuberculosis.
- If patient’s cancer is restricted to the lungs then surgery may be an option, if in case patient is suffering from a larger lung cancer, then doctor may recommend chemotherapy or radiation therapy before undergoing a surgery in order to shrink the cancer. If in case there's a risk that cancer cells were left behind after surgery or that patient’s cancer may recur, then doctor may recommend chemotherapy or radiation therapy after surgery.
- Now a days, advanced surgical techniques are introduced in the healthcare industry such as minimally invasive surgery and video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) this helps in reducing the amount of time that patients need to spend in the hospital after lung cancer surgery and also may help them to return to the normal activities as soon as possible.
Chemotherapy treatment is often used to treat people who are suffering from lung cancer, it is combination of drugs that travels in the body to kill the cancer cell, it’s a primary treatment for small cell lung cancer This therapy depends on the type of the tumor; this option used if incase the cancer has spread outside lungs. One or more than one chemotherapy drugs can be given through a vein in arm (intravenously) or can be taken orally. Combination of these drugs is usually given in a series of treatments over a period of weeks or months, with breaks in between so that patient can recover.
If there are remaining any cancer cells in the body after surgery, chemotherapy can be used to kill the cancer cells, It can also be used alone or with the combination of radiation therapy. Chemotherapy can also be used before surgery as it helps to shrink the cancer and also makes it easier to remove.
Patient with advanced lung cancer, chemotherapy may be used to relieve pain.
Radiation therapy is used as a main treatment for early stage cancer and is a promising modality; this procedure can be used for patients who are not considered for standard surgical resection. Radiation therapy has a high-powered energy beams from sources like X-rays and protons to kill cancer cells. During this radiation therapy procedure, Patient is asked to lie on a table while a machine moves around the body, directing radiation to precise points on his/her body.
Patients suffering from a locally advanced lung cancer, radiation can be used before surgery or after surgery; It is sometimes a combination with chemotherapy procedure. If in case surgery is not an option, combined chemotherapy and radiation therapy can be patient’s primary treatment.
If patient is suffering from an advanced lung cancer and if the cancer is spread to other areas of the body, radiation therapy can be helpful to relieve symptoms that include pain.
There are two types of radiation therapy
- External beam radiation therapy
External beam radiation therapy is also known as EBRT, it is one of the most common therapies that can be used to treat cancer. EBRT’s aim is to focus on radiation beam from outside the body on the cancer. It is a type of a therapy which is mostly used to treat Non- small lung cancer or it’s spread to other organs.
Brachytherapy is also known as internal radiation therapy; it’s a form of radiotherapy; that is used to treat cancer. While the doing the procedure patient may feel pain during the placement of radioactive material, but he/she feel any discomfort once it's in place. It is frequently used to treat cancers like cervical, prostate, breast, and skin cancer and it can also be used as a treatment for tumors in many other body sites.
If it is compared with standard radiation therapy techniques, the upgraded and precisely targeted treatments can be more effective and cause less side effects