The treatment for lung cancer usually involves chemotherapy or radiation therapy, surgical removal of the cancer as well as a combination of these treatments. Ayurveda is also playing a pivotal role in the treatment. Here, we discuss about the various treatment options of lung cancer:
Surgical removal of the tumor is a common treatment plan for limited-stage lung cancer. When the cancer has not spread beyond the lungs, surgery comes useful. The procedure depends on the size and location of the tumor. As it is a major surgical procedure, it includes general anesthesia, hospitalization and follow-up care ranging from weeks to months.
Both NSCLC and SCLC can be treated with chemotherapy. It involves the use of drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells either by killing them or preventing them from further division. The chemotherapy is given alone or with combination of radiotherapy. A number of chemotherapeutic drugs have been developed. The chemotherapy may be given as pills or intravenous infusion with the purpose of kills the dividing cells.
Radiation Therapy uses high-energy X-rays or radiation to kill the cancer cells. When the tumor has spread to areas like lymph nodes or trachea or where surgery becomes impossible, radiation therapy works well.
For those with advanced lung cancer, immunotherapy is an effective choice. It works to strengthen the immune system against tumor cells. It targets the specific areas that control immune response and promote response.
There are several approved drugs that also help to control the spread of lung cancer. The most common ones include afatinib, bevacizumab, ceritinib, crizotinib, gefitinib, ramucirumab and more. Scientists are continuously studying new combination of drugs that treat lung cancer.
Brachytherapy is one type of radiation therapy that is to the cancer from inside the body. The lung cancer treatment involves giving a high dose of radiation to the cancer. It works to relieve the symptoms and help you feel comfortable. The team works out exactly where the cancer is in the airway or the lung. It can be used alone or in conjunction with other cancer treatments.
Thermal ablation involves using needles or probes into the lung cancer with the purpose of destroying cancer cells by heating them. The procedure can be repeated when new cancer appears. It is generally offered when surgery or radiation therapy are considered unsuitable. The treatment method is not painful.
Epidermal growth factor receptor is a protein on the surface of cells and helps the cells to grow and divide. EGFR inhibitors work to block the signal from EGFR that tells cells to grow. The commonly used drugs include Erlotinib, Afatinib and Gefitinib. These drugs are approved for use in advanced non-small cell lung cancer.
Chemoradiotherapy means that having chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment together. When the cancer starts spreading into surrounding tissues or nearby lymph nodes, it helps to cure the cancer.
Photodynamic therapy is also called as PDT and works to shrink the tumor by blocking an airway. It uses a drug called photosensitizer and a particular type of light. The photosensitizing agent is injected into the bloodstream. In addition to killing cancer cells, this lung cancer treatment option can relieve breathlessness and other issues like coughing up blood. It is generally considered when an early stage non-small cell lung cancer is detected. It is also recommended in cases where the cancer comes back after surgery.
Lasers can also be used to treat cancer. Laser therapy is considered when the cancer is blocking an airway and making you breathless. The laser beams burn away cancerous cells and shrink tumors. It relieves cancer symptoms like bleeding or blockage. As lasers seal off the blood vessels as they cut, there’s little bleeding.
In Microwave Ablation, high frequency microwave energy is used to kill the cancer cells. During the treatment, a small tube called cannula is put into the vein in the back of the hand. CT scanner is used to show the position of cancer and then doctor gives the treatment. The high frequency microwave energy heats and destroys the tumor tissues.
In some cases, radiofrequency ablation is used to treat small lung tumors. In this treatment method, radio waves are used to treat lung cancer. When a patient has one or more small lung cancer, the doctor may recommend this treatment method.
Diathermy is also one of the treatment options for lung cancer. Some patients with lung cancer have the problem of breathing as the tumor blocks one of the larger airways. Such tumors may be removed by diathermy resection. It is also called as electrocautery. The electric current is passed through the probe to destroy tumor tissues that are blocking the airway.
Our right lung has three lobes and left one has two lobes. Lobectomy is one type of lung cancer surgery in which one lobe of a lung is removed. It is one of the preferred types of operations for patients with NSCLC.
Ayurvedic medicines include herbal remedies for treatment of lung cancer. They work in a natural way to help the patients in overcoming the side effects of this deadly disease. Generally, ayurvedic drugs are given in addition to the regular treatment plan. They help to control and prevent the spread of lung cancer to other parts of the body. They also work to improve the overall quality of life of the lung cancer patients.
After the treatment, proper home care is very essential. Your doctor or nurse shows you how to care for your body and the time it will take to recover yourself.
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Information shared in this blog is for educational purposes only.