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Lung Cancer Treatment In India

Lung Cancer

Lung cancer, also known as lung carcinoma,is a malignant lung tumor characterized by uncontrolled cell growth intissues of the lung.If left untreated, this growth can spread beyond the lung by the process of metastasis into nearby tissue or other parts of the body. These abnormal cells do not grow into a healthy lung tissue and as a result of this, they divide for forming tumors. These innumerable and large tumors weaken the lungs and due to this they cannot provide the bloodstream with oxygen.Most cancers that start in the lung, known as primary lung cancers, are carcinomas.

Types of Lung Cancer

There are two major types of lung cancer, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and small cell lung cancer (SCLC). Staging lung cancer is based on whether the cancer is local or has spread from the lungs to the lymph nodes or other organs. Because the lungs are large, tumors can grow in them for a long time before they are found. Even when symptoms—such as coughing and fatigue—do occur, people think they are due to other causes. For this reason, early-stage lung cancer (stages I and II) is difficult to detect.

Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Non-small cell lung cancer accounts for about 85 percent of lung cancers and includes:

  • Adenocarcinoma, the most common form of lung cancer in the United States among both men and women;
  • Squamous cell carcinoma, which accounts for 25 percent of all lung cancers;
  • Large cell carcinoma, which accounts for about 10 percent of NSCLC tumors.

Stages of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Stage I: The cancer is located only in the lungs and has not spread to any lymph nodes.

Stage II: The cancer is in the lung and nearby lymph nodes.

Stage III: Cancer is found in the lung and in the lymph nodes in the middle of the chest, also described as locally advanced disease. Stage III has two subtypes:

  • If the cancer has spread only to lymph nodes on the same side of the chest where the cancer started, it is called stage IIIA.
  • If the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes on the opposite side of the chest, or above the collar bone, it is called stage IIIB.

Stage IV: This is the most advanced stage of lung cancer, and is also described as advanced disease. This is when the cancer has spread to both lungs, to fluid in the area around the lungs, or to another part of the body, such as the liver or other organs.

Small Cell Lung Cancer

Small cell lung cancer accounts for the remaining 15 percent of lung cancers in the United States. They tend to grow more quickly than NSCLC tumors. Usually, SCLC is more responsive to chemotherapy than NSCLC.

Stages of Small Cell Lung Cancer

Limited stage: In this stage, cancer is found on one side of the chest, involving just one part of the lung and nearby lymph nodes.

Extensive stage: In this stage, cancer has spread to other regions of the chest or other parts of the body.

The American Joint Commission on Cancer implemented a more detailed staging system in which the stages of small cell lung cancer are described using Roman numerals and letters (for example, Stage IIA). This is the same method that is used for non-small cell lung cancer in describing the growth and spread of the cancer

Symptoms of Lung Cancer

The most common symptoms of lung cancer are:

  • A cough that does not go away or gets worse.
  • Coughing up blood or rust-colored sputum (spit or phlegm)
  • Chest pain that is often worse with deep breathing, coughing, or laughing.
  • Hoarseness.
  • Weight loss and loss of appetite.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Feeling tired or weak.

Diagnosis of Lung Cancer

In addition to a physical examination, the following tests may be used to diagnose and stage lung cancer:

  • A biopsy is the removal of a small amount of tissue for examination under a microscope.
  • Molecular testing of the tumor. Your doctor may recommend running laboratory tests on a tumor sample to identify specific genes, proteins, and other factors unique to the tumor.

Imaging tests

  • CT scan. A CT scan produces images that allow doctors to see the size and location of a lung tumor and/or lung cancer metastases.
  • Positron emission tomography (PET) scan. A PET scan is a way to create pictures of organs and tissues inside the body.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. An MRI also produces images that allow doctors to see the location of a lung tumor and/or lung cancer metastases and measure the tumor’s size. An MRI uses magnetic fields, not x-rays, to produce detailed images of the body.
  • Bone scan. A bone scan uses a radioactive tracer to look at the inside of the bones. The tracer is injected into a patient’s vein. It collects in areas of the bone and is detected by a special camera. Healthy bone appears gray to the camera, and areas of injury, such as those caused by cancer

Lung Cancer Treatment

Treatment options and recommendations depend on several factors, including the type and stage of cancer, possible side effects, and the patient’s preferences and overall health. Your care plan may also include treatment for symptoms and side effects, an important part of cancer care.

Surgery

he goal of surgery is the complete removal of the lung tumor and the nearby lymph nodes in the chest. The tumor must be removed with a surrounding border or margin of healthy lung tissue. A “negative margin” means that when the pathologist examines the lung, or piece of lung that has been removed by the surgeon, no cancer was found in the healthy tissue surrounding the tumor.

The following types of surgery may be used:

  • The lungs have five lobes, three in the right lung and two in the left lung. The removal of an entire lobe of the lung in a procedure called a lobectomy is currently thought to be the most effective type of surgery, even when the lung tumor is very small.
  • A wedge resection. If the surgeon cannot remove an entire lobe of the lung, the surgeon can remove the tumor, surrounded by a margin of healthy lung.
  • This is another way to remove the cancer when an entire lobe of the lung cannot be removed. In a segmentectomy, the surgeon removes the portion of the lung where the cancer developed.
  • If the tumor is close to the center of the chest, the surgeon may have to remove the entire lung.
  • Radiofrequency ablation. Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is the use of a needle inserted into the tumor to destroy the cancer with an electrical current. It is sometimes used for a lung tumor that cannot be removed with the other types of surgery listed above.

Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy is the use of high energy x-rays or other particles to destroy cancer cells. The most common type of radiation treatment is called external-beam radiation therapy, which is radiation given from a machine outside the body. A radiation therapy regimen (schedule) usually consists of a specific number of treatments given over a set period of time. This can vary from just a few days of treatment to several weeks.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to destroy cancer cells, usually by stopping the cancer cells’ ability to grow and divide. It has been shown to improve both the length and quality of life for people with lung cancer of all stages. Systemic chemotherapy gets into the bloodstream to reach cancer cells throughout the body. Common ways to give chemotherapy include an intravenous (IV) tube placed into a vein using a needle or in a pill or capsule that is swallowed (orally). Most chemotherapy used for lung cancer is given by IV injection.

Targeted therapy

Targeted therapy is a treatment that targets the cancer’s specific genes, proteins, or the tissue environment that contributes to cancer growth and survival. This type of treatment blocks the growth and spread of cancer cells while limiting damage to healthy cells.