If you are looking for lung cancer treatment options there is a lot of methods available depending on the type and stage of the disease. Before any treatment options are settled on a biopsy is performed to determine the type, and additional tests are used to determine the stage. These tests usually consist of blood sample analysis and CT imaging. The best treatment options can then be set in place by a qualified professional; however, you can begin to understand the most common options on your own.
Lung Cancer Treatment Options
- Surgery. This option can be used to remove the entire lobe where the cancer is located, and is the most commonly used procedure in those who have early stage cancer, and are otherwise in good health. The goal of this is to remove affected cells whereby eliminating the cancer in the patient. The location of the tumor, as well as its size are the determining factor in how extensive the overall procedure is.
- Lobectomy. This form of treatment removes the entire lobe of a lung, and is an viable procedure for those whose lungs are functioning well overall. If function prohibits a lobectomy, a smaller section can be extracted. This smaller section is called a sublobar resection, and can be either a wedge resection or a segmentectomy, over all it means removing a section of the lobe, but not the entirety of it. There is a higher chance of recurrence when using a more limited surgery, but sublobar resections have the potential to reduce the loss of lung function over all. A doctor will be able to go over the positives and negatives of each option, in addition to what works best with the size and type of cancer in question.
- RFA and MWA. Radiofrequency ablation and microwave ablation is a needle that is passed into the tumor to use heat in aiding to destroy the cell. This lung cancer therapy is an option for candidates for whom surgery might not be an option.
- Radiation Therapy. This type of cancer therapy uses x-rays to destroy cancer cells and had different benefits when used against lung cancer including; shrinking the tumor before surgery, removal of any remaining cells after surgery, and treatment of cancer that has spread to other organs. It can also be used as a primary lung cancer treatment.
- Chemotherapy. uses drugs that are toxic towards cancerous cells. These are usually administered directly into a large vein, and are often used after surgery to try and rid the body of lingering disease. Chemotherapy treatment can also be used to slow the growth of a tumor in patients who cannot undergo surgery for whatever reason. This can be used for any stage of lung cancer, and some can increase the effectiveness against tumors when used in conjunction with radiation therapy. However, chemotherapy does come with side effect which can include, vomiting and nausea, as well as damage to white blood cells, though there are ways of negating these effects.
These are just a few of the most commonly used lung cancer treatments, and each are dependent on the unique case being treated. Each patient has different needs, and each can respond differently to various treatment options. A specialist will be able to assess the risks and benefits to ensure that all patients receive the best treatment possible, so they can go on to live a cancer free life.