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Top 5 Treatment Options for Lung Cancer

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Lung cancer is a serious condition that is extremely difficult to treat when not diagnosed early. However, there are multiple options for treating lung cancer. Each patient’s recommended treatment depends on the nature of his disease and the extent of its progression. Treatment options might include surgery, radiofrequency ablation, radiation, chemotherapy or a combination of drugs. Age, potential side effects, personal preference and numerous other factors influence prescribed treatment plans. Read on to learn more about the five most common treatments for lung cancer.

Top 5 Lung Cancer Treatment Options:

  • Surgery
  • Radiofrequency ablation
  • Radiation
  • Chemotherapy
  • Drug treatment

Surgery

Surgery is often recommended if the disease is not widespread throughout the body. While invasive, the physician may be able to remove the part of the lung that contains the tumor along with part of the surrounding tissue. This treatment option may be accompanied by radiation or chemotherapy to ensure that the cancer does not progress any further. Approximately a one week hospital stay will be required to ensure that the patient is recovering from the surgery. In recent years, less invasive surgical techniques are being used more often.

Highlights:

  • Surgery is used if the disease is not wide spread in the body.
  • A surgeon may be able to remove the part of the lung which contains the tumor along with the surrounding tissue.
  • The surgical treatment options may be accompanied by radiation or chemotherapy to ensure that the cancer does not progress any further.

Radiofrequency Ablation

For patients who are not good candidates for treatment with surgery, the physician may recommend radiofrequency ablation. In this treatment option, the doctor will insert a thin wire into the chest area where the tumor is located. Once inserted, the doctor will pass an electrical current into the tumor. This current will heat the cancer cells up and kill them.

Highlights:

  • Radiofrequency ablation is a treatment option for patients who are not good surgical candidates.
  • A thin wire is inserted into the chest area where the tumor is located.
  • An electrical current is sent through the wire which heats and kills the cancer cells.

Radiation

To kill and combat the spread of cancer, doctors may recommend radiation as a treatment option. Using a machine, the physician will pinpoint the tumor with high energy X-rays. This treatment is delivered a few days at a time over a period of several weeks. Chemotherapy is sometimes combined with radiation to provide a more comprehensive treatment plan.

Highlights:

  • Doctors may recommend radiation as a treatment option.
  • Using a machine, the physician will pinpoint the tumor with high energy X-rays.
  • This treatment is delivered a few days at a time over a period of several weeks.

Chemotherapy

The physician has a variety of drugs that can be used to kill cancer cells. If this treatment option is selected, the patient receives the drug via an IV at a hospital or cancer treatment center. Over the course of several weeks, the treatment team will observe the whether the tumor has shrunk in size. This indicates that the treatment is having a positive effect. Sometimes, this treatment option is combined with radiation and/or surgery depending on the nature of the patient’s illness.

Highlights:

  • Chemotherapy is often used for patients who are not good candidates for surgical treatment.
  • The physician has a variety of drugs that can be used to kill cancer cells.
  • Sometimes, this treatment option is combined with radiation and/or surgery depending on the nature of the patient’s illness.

Drug Therapy

There are a number of drugs available on the market that are designed to make cancer cells more responsive to radiation therapy. Also, there are a number of medicines that undergoing development that actively combat cancer cell growth in patients where the spread of cancer cells makes a patient ineligible for treatment with surgery. Drug therapy is sometimes used with other treatment options as part of an overall treatment plan.

Highlights:

  • There are a number of drugs available on the market that are designed to make cancer cells more responsive the radiation therapy.
  • Drug therapy is sometimes used with other treatment options as part of an overall treatment plan.
  • The physician will make the recommendation on the appropriate approach for each patient.

Conclusion

New advances in the field of cancer treatment are allowing patients to live longer, fuller lives. Depending on the nature of the cancer, the physician will make the recommendation on the best course of treatment.