Lung cancer ranks as the second most prevalent form of cancer globally. In the year 2020 alone, there were over 2.2 million newly reported cases of lung cancer. While smoking stands out as the primary cause of lung cancer, there can be other factors too which may increase the risk of the disease. These factors include previous lung diseases, exposure to occupational hazards as well as indoor air pollution. Lung cancer is a serious and life-threatening disease. Therefore, it requires a comprehensive approach to treatment. In this article, we will explore various treatment options for lung cancer. We will also examine their mechanisms, benefits, and the types of lung cancer they are commonly used for.
What are the available lung cancer treatments?
In order to combat lung cancer, a range of treatment options is available, including surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and targeted therapy. Each of these methods play a vital role in managing the disease and improving patient outcomes. By understanding different treatment approaches and their specific applications, healthcare professionals can develop personalised treatment plans tailored to the individual needs of the lung cancer patients.
Doctors recommend surgery when the majority of cancer cells are confined to one region. During surgery, they remove a tumour, cyst, or cancerous tissues from the affected area.
Chemotherapy involves the use of special drugs to shrink the tumour by killing cancer cells. It can be used at any stage of the tumour and is often combined with other treatments.
Radiation therapy aims to target and eliminate cancer cells through high-energy rays. It is recommended when cancer cells are localised in a smaller area.
Targeted therapy involves the use of drugs taken orally or through veins. These drugs work by blocking the growth and spread of new cancer cells in the body.
What are the various treatment approaches for different types of lung cancer?
There are two types of treatment approaches based on the type of lung cancer. They are:
- Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC): Doctors often treat people with NSCLC with a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and targeted therapy. The specific treatment plan depends on the stage and characteristics of the cancer.
- Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC): SCLC is typically treated with a combination of radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Due to its aggressive nature, targeted therapy may have limited application in SCLC treatment.
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