What are the available treatment options for lung cancer?
The treatment for lung cancer depends mostly on the stage of the disease at the time of diagnosis. Treatment for lung cancer may include:
- Surgery: If the cancer is limited to just a portion of the lung or a particular area of the chest, and if the patient can tolerate it, the usual treatment is surgery. Most of the time the surgery can be done minimally invasively. More than 90% of lung cancer patients may undergo minimally invasive surgery.
- Radiation: If a patient cannot tolerate surgery due to additional medical problems, radiation therapy is an option. Radiation treatments are a safe and convenient alternative. However, they do have minimal side effects.
- Chemotherapy: If the cancer has spread beyond the lungs and into other areas of the chest, treatment options will vary based on the size of the tumor and the extent to which the cancer has spread. These include systemic therapies treatments that circulate throughout the body that tend to be traditional chemotherapy.
- Targeted therapy and immunotherapy: These are new sets of treatments that are being used as cancer treatment options. Several targeted therapies drugs or other substances are used to identify and attack specific types of cancer cells, causing lesser harm to normal cells than traditional chemotherapy. Immunotherapy on other hand is an even newer option that uses the immune system to fight the cancer.
Sometimes a combination of these therapies may be implemented. In many circumstances, these therapies may be combined to increase the survival rate in the patient. After being diagnosed with lung cancer, some people can quit more easily than they ever imagined. Others struggle to quit. After all, smoking is an addiction, and being diagnosed with lung cancer can be extremely stressful. It’s never too late to quit smoking, even if a person has been diagnosed with lung cancer. Studies showed that people diagnosed with early-stage lung cancer can double their chances of survival over five years if they stop smoking compared with those who continue to smoke.