Chemoradiotherapy and Lung Cancer
Chemoradiotherapy, as the name implies, is the combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy for the treatment of lung cancer. Chemotherapy utilizes the use of anti cancer drugs to destroy cancer cells. These drugs circulate throughout the body. Radiotherapy is the use of radiation usually x-rays for treating cancer cells.
During the chemoradiotherapy treatment, one may need to undergo various blood tests to check the levels of blood cells and other substances in the blood. The health care practitioners also ensure that the liver and kidneys are working properly.
Chemoradiotherapy is generally recommended when stage two or three non small cell lung cancer cannot be removed with surgery. It is also suggested in cases with very early stage small cell lung cancer. During the treatment, the chemotherapy drugs are used and the nurse puts a small tube in one of the veins to connect it to the drip. The long plastic tube gives the drug into large vein via chest or arm. Radiotherapy sessions are usually conducted over four to six weeks. The doctors decide about how much radiation is required and divide it into smaller treatments. The patient lies under a large machine to have radiotherapy and the radiographers may make small marks on the skin in the treatment area.
Common Side Effects
Everyone is different and responds differently to the treatment method. One may not face all the effects mentioned. They depend on the type of chemotherapy and the radiation treatment area. Here are the common side effects:
- Tiredness and weakness
- Breathlessness and becoming pale
- Feeling sick
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
- Damage of kidneys
The side effects continue to get worse as the treatment progresses. They begin to improve after one or two weeks from the treatment. You should contact your doctor if you face any severe side effects.
Do you know anyone fighting the deadly disease of lung cancer? How you contribute towards raising awareness about lung cancer? Share your views with us in the comments.