Lung Cancer Therapy

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Lung cancer is usually caused due to addiction of smoking. Many Americans die from lung cancer. Lung cancer is of two types. The cancer that originates in the lung itself is called as primary lung cancer and the cancer that spreads to the lungs from other parts of the body is called as malignant lung cancer. If we refer to the anatomy of the lungs, we observe that right lung is divided into three parts called as lobes and left lung is divided into two lobes. The presence of small structure called as lingula in the left lung is equivalent to the middle lobe on the right lung. Presence of tumor in the lung will obstruct the air flow in that area of the lung resulting in the shortness of the breath and hoarseness. Lung cancer must be diagnosed in the initial stages. The success rate of cancer cure is high if it is detected early and treated early. Hence, the emphasis is on early detection of cancer.

Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are most common therapies used to treat any type of cancer. These treatments are often used in combination with surgery and other treatment for the successful removal of cancer tumor.

  • Radiation Therapy:

    In radiation therapy, high energy radiation beams are used to treat the tumor. The therapy can be used before treating the cancer with surgery to kill the cancerous cells at the initial stage of lung cancer. It can be used to destroy the cancerous cells after surgery. The main purpose of using radiation therapy is to destroy the DNA structure of the cancerous cells. The type of radiation used depends upon the stage and the type of cancer, the patient's age and sex and patient's medical history and overall health.

    Radiation therapy is generally given externally. High focused beams of X-rays are directed towards the tumor. Radiation therapy is usually given a few times to kill the cancerous tumor. The therapy has side-effects such as damage to the surrounding normal tissues, chest pain, air leakage etc. So ask your doctor about all the possible side-effects of the therapy before undergoing it.

  • Chemotherapy:

    Chemotherapy procedure involves injection of anti-cancer drugs. These drugs are injected into a vein to suppress the growth of tumor. Chemotherapy can be given to an elderly person when surgery cannot be considered as an option. Chemotherapy has severe side-effects such as loss of hair, nausea, vomiting, damage to White Blood Corpuscles (WBC's) and infection. Researchers have invented new ways and methods to combat these side-effects.

  • Stereotactic Body Ratio Therapy (SBRT):

    This is a newly introduced therapy which is quite similar to the radiation therapy. The treatment involves usage of radiation therapy in minimal doses and is used when surgery cannot be considered as an option. Huge amount of small, focused radiation beams are used to track the lung cancer tumor and its respiratory movement in about three to five treatments.

  • Conformal Radiation Therapy:

    This is also new technique which uses 3D images taken with the help of CT scan. This helps at targeting large cancer tumors. Large cancer cells are killed without killing many surrounding normal tissues as it happens in other therapies.

Above mentioned are few of the lung cancer therapies. Surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy are widely used either in combination or separately to cure cancerous tumors. Remember that lung cancer is basically caused due to addiction of smoking. So, if one wants to reduce the chances of developing lung cancer considerably, then one must quit the habit of smoking. Other factors that lead to lung cancer are exposure to asbestos dust and lead dust. So, stay away from these environments to reduce the chances of lung cancer.

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