Lung Cancer Treatment
Lung Cancer is when abnormal cells divide in an uncontrolled way to form a tumour in the lung. It is the most common cancer in men & 2nd most common cancer in women. Symptoms include a cough that won’t go away, shortness of breath, coughing up blood. chest pain, loss of appetite and weight loss. Treatments include surgery – lobectomy, pneumonectomy, segmentectomy, sleeve resection; radiotherapy, chemotherapy, chemoradiotherapy, Photodynamic therapy, Radiofrequency ablation, targeted therapy and immunotherapy. Get verified second opinions from OncoConnect’s curated list of international Oncologists.
About Lung Cancer Treatment
Lung cancer is when abnormal cells divide in an uncontrolled way to form a tumour in the lung. It is the most commonly occurring cancer in men and the second most common cancer in women. An estimated 2 million cases worldwide were reported in 2018. Lung cancer treatment depends upon stage at which it is diagnosed and what cancer type it is.
Symptoms of lung cancer include a cough that won’t go away, shortness of breath, coughing up blood, chest pain, loss of appetite and weight loss. Lung cancer can be detected through imaging tests such as X-rays, MRI, CT and PET scans. Several factors increase the chances of getting lung cancer such as a history of smoking, family history and inherited mutated genes, age, and exposure to radiation and obesity.
Once lung cancer has been diagnosed, doctors will determine the stage of cancer and whether or not it is metastatic; based on which doctors would be able to devise a lung cancer treatment plan. Treatments include surgery – lobectomy, pneumonectomy, segmentectomy, sleeve resection; radiotherapy, chemotherapy, chemoradiotherapy, Photodynamic therapy, Radiofrequency ablation, targeted therapy and immunotherapy.
To know more about lung cancer you can refer to our Lung Cancer Guide
Lung cancer screening is recommended for adults who are at a very high risk of developing the disease; which include:
- being a current smoker (or former smoker who quit in the past 15 years)
- having 30 pack-year smoking history (for e.g. one pack a day for 30 years or two a day for 15 years)
Screening tests include a yearly CT or CAT scan.
COMPARE PRICING FOR - Lung Cancer Treatment
Surgery: Surgery is rarely used in small cell lung carcinoma. For non-small cell carcinoma, the various surgical options include:
- Pneumonectomy: This surgery removed an entire lung. This might be needed of the tumour is close to the centre of the chest.
- Lobectomy: The lungs are made up of 5 lobes (3 on the right and 2 on the left). In this surgery, the entire lobe containing the tumour(s) is removed.
- Segmentectomy or wedge resection: In these surgeries, only a part of the lobe is removed. This approach might be used, if and when a person doesn’t have enough lung function to withstand the removal of the whole lobe.
- Sleeve resection: This operation may be used to treat some cancers in large airways in the lung. If you think of the large airway with a tumour as similar to the sleeve of a shirt with a stain a couple of inches above the writs, then sleeve resection would be like cutting across the sleeve above and below the stain and then sewing the cuff back onto the shortened sleeve. A surgeon may be able to do this operation instead of pneumonectomy to preserve more lung function.
Chemotherapy: This is given by administrating drugs intravenously (IV), intra-arterially (IA) or via intra-peritoneal (IP) injections to destroy cancer cells. This treatment can last up to many weeks.
Radiotherapy: This is performed by directing radiation beams at the targeted area, and like chemotherapy, this treatment usually requires multiple sessions which are performed over a series of weeks.
Chemoradiotherapy: This means having chemotherapy and radiotherapy together.
Photodynamic therapy: It is also called PDT or light activating treatment. It kills cancer cells by using a combination of light sensitising drug and a very bright light. This treatment can shrink a tumour that is blocking an airway. It can receive breathlessness and other problems, such as cough or coughing up blood.
Radiofrequency ablation (RFA): It uses heat made up by radio waves to treat cancer. RFA is a type of electrical energy that heats up the tumour and kills cancer cells. You may be recommended this treatment if you have one or more small lung cancers and you can’t have surgery or radiotherapy or you don’t want to have those treatments.
Targeted Therapy: This is performed by administrating a number of drugs to the patient which will target certain components of the cancer cells.
Immunotherapy: This is the use of medicines to stimulate a person’s own immune system to recognise and Destry cancer cells more effectively.
Treatments are often used in combination with each other, particularly is the cancer is advanced and surgery is being performed. Chemotherapy may often be used before surgery to shrink the tumour or after surgery to destroy any cancer cells that could not be removed during surgery.
You may experience vomiting, nausea, hair loss, fatigue & body pain during treatment. Please do not hesitate to discuss this further with your doctor, for more information on the management of any symptoms.
- Most patients require a post-surgical recovery period of up to 4- 6 weeks. Speak to your surgeon to understand the amount of recovery you would need following your treatment.
- Physiotherapy exercise form an integral part of post-surgical rehabilitation. These are particularly important to improve and maintain good breathing techniques and prevent infections.
- Appropriate rest is also important during this period.
- If there are pain and discomfort then please speak to your doctor for its management.
length of stay
Hospital Stay: 3-7 days for surgery
Total Stay: Depending upon treatment the length of stay can wary from 2 weeks to a few months