3 Lung Cancer Treatments

3 Lung Cancer Treatments

Staff Writer |Mar 24, 2020

Lung Cancer Treatment

Lung cancer starts in the lungs, but can spread to other regions of the body. While there is no single cure, there are different treatment options that can be used. In this article we will look at treatment options, as well as symptoms of lung cancer

Roughly 1 in 16 Americans will be diagnosed with lung cancer. While smoking can increase the likelihood of getting a diagnosis, non-smokers are not exempt from this condition. There are many different causes of lung cancer, and people of all ages can be diagnosed.

Unfortunately, there is no specific cure for lung cancer. Beating cancer is a little more complicated than taking a few pills or going to a doctor’s office. The disease is more serious and requires more intense intervention techniques.

Different Lung Cancer Treatment Options

Depending on the progression of the cancer and the patient's general health, a physician may recommend a number of treatment options. Know that with all treatment options, there is a risk of harsh side effects and a chance that the treatment does not work. Still, these are the best options when it comes to defeating lung cancer, with increased chances of success in cases of early detection.

Treatments can be used in combination with one another, or as a standalone option depending on the particular case.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy has been one of the most common treatment options for a long time. It works by using strong chemicals that target rapidly dividing cells. When introduced into your body, chemotherapy drugs will attack all rapidly diving cells. Unfortunately, these drugs cannot differentiate between cancer cells and healthy cells that just happen to be dividing.

The side effects of such treatments can be unpleasant, but most reverse when the treatment ends, or can be reduced during the treatment. Common side effects include:

  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Hair loss
  • Mouth sores
  • Pain
  • Bowel disturbances (diarrhea/ constipation)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Bruising easily

Harsher and potential permanent side effects include:

  • Organ damage (heart, lung, kidneys)
  • Nerve damage
  • Infertility
  • Heightened risk of a second cancer

Side effects will also vary depending on the type of drug that is used in your treatment and the way you “take in” the drug. The most common chemotherapy drugs for lung cancer include the following:

  • Afatinib
  • Bevacizumab
  • Ceritinib
  • Crizotinib
  • Erlotinib

Chemotherapy for lung cancer can be done in the following ways:

  • Injected: Most often this is administered through infusions (IV) but can be given through shots.
  • Implanted: Thin wafers containing the drug can be inserted directly into the site of a tumor or surgery.
  • Pills: Pills and capsules containing the drug are sometimes available.

Radiation

Radiation is another treatment method. Radiation therapy uses beams of energy to damage cells in targeted regions in the body. The intense energy beams aim at precise locations in the body and damage the cells in that region.

While this, unfortunately, means that healthy cells will also be attacked, they are often able to “bounce back” from the damage where cancer cells will be killed.

As it is a targeted treatment, side effects are often limited to the region in which the treatment was applied. This means that patients can expect skin problems in the area of application as well as fatigue; these are mostly short-term side effects. Specific side effects characterized by treatments aimed at the chest include:

  • Breast soreness
  • Stiff shoulders
  • Difficulties swallowing
  • Respiratory problems
  • Radiation fibrosis (permanent lung scarring)

There is a low chance of developing long term side effects, such as the development of a second cancer, as an effect of radiation exposure.

Surgery

If the cancer is caught early enough, then it can be treated by removing the cancerous tissue at the initial site. The operation can only be successful if the cancer has not yet spread to other regions of the body.

The side effects of this treatment will depend on the depth of the removal, the nature of the removed tissue, and its size. For example, removing a tiny bit of the lung will not be as hard to recover from as removing a large piece.

Other Treatment Options

Other treatments are being developed that aim to keep the effectiveness of chemotherapy and radiation treatments without the harsh side effects. While some remain experimental, recently emerging treatments, such as immunotherapy, offer the potential to battle lung cancer.

Talk to a licensed care physician in order to get the most valuable recommendations on which cancer treatment is right for you. Everybody has a different experience and treatments are decided on a case-by-case basis.

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Understanding the Signs and Symptoms of Lung Cancer

Staff Writer | March 24, 2020

Awareness Saves Lives Lung cancer occurs when cancerous cells form in the lungs. Like other cancers, as the disease develops, tumors are formed. As the disease progresses, it has the potential to spread to other regions of the body. Lung cancer is an umbrella term referring to several different cancers in the lung, including non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and small cell lung cancer (SCLC). NSCLCs start in lung tissue. It is comprised of three specific diseases: adenocarcinomas, squamous cell carcinomas, and large cell carcinomas. SCLCs are a rarer form, originating in the bronchi. They are similar in symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and risk factors. SCLCs tend to be more aggressive than NSCLCs. When cancer is more “aggressive”, it means that the growth of the cancer cells is more rapid. Rapid progression of cancer means that tumors grow faster and spread to other parts of the body more quickly, meaning the time window for “effective” treatment is smaller and the prognosis is poorer than non-aggressive cancers. Getting a Diagnosis Anyone can get lung cancer. This is no population of people that have absolute immunity from the disease. That being said, certain groups of people are more likely to contract lung cancer than others. [youmaylike] Generally, lung cancer is found in older people over the age of 65. Some lifestyle choices, such as smoking tobacco, can increase the risk of getting a diagnosis. Remember, just are there are no populations that are immune to developing cancer, but there are plenty of “at-risk” individuals who will never develop it. This does not mean you should ignore warnings over certain activities, such as smoking, just because you can think of someone who was an exception to the rule. Early Signs of Lung Cancer When it comes to cancer, one of the most important things you can do is get an early diagnosis. Early detection will put you in a better position in terms of treatment. Catching the disease before it gets the chance to travel to other parts of the body will make it easier to treat. If it does not spread, physicians can concentrate treatment techniques on specific areas, which can drastically increase your chances of beating it. The main problem that makes cancer so deadly is that you often do not notice until it is too late. Oftentimes, the early signs of disease are easy to overlook. Unfortunately, lung cancer normally does not cause any noticeable symptoms until later on. If you are demographically vulnerable to developing lung cancer, consider paying special attention to these early warning signs: Chronic cough, with no apparent cause. Coughing up blood; you may notice spotting on tissues. Chest, back, or shoulder pain, especially when you take deep breaths or laugh. Inappropriate shortness of breath, which may happen when doing non-strenuous, daily activities that should not cause any breathing problems. Weight and appetite loss, with no apparent cause. Fatigue or feelings of weakness with no known cause. Hoarseness, or having a raspy voice, can be a sign of respiratory problems. Wheezing, even during regular breathing. Chronic bronchitis or pneumonia. Any persistent respiratory infection should be brought to the attention of your physician. As lung cancer advances, the severity of symptoms will worsen for most patients. Advanced Symptoms of Lung Cancer In addition to the symptoms mentioned above, other signs of cancer may manifest after the disease has had time to progress. These symptoms will arise in response to the fact that the disease has entered other parts of the body. How you experience these symptoms will depend heavily on where the cancer spreads to. Bone pain: Can occur anywhere in the body but likely in the hip or the back. Jaundice: The yellowing of skin and eyes is a sign the liver has been disrupted by something. Disturbances to the nervous system: When cancer spreads to the brain, it can cause many different symptoms. These symptoms can include things such as persistent headaches, fatigue, numbness, lightheadedness, seizures, and sudden problems with balancing. When to See a Doctor You should always discuss any major changes in your bodily functions with your doctor. It is impossible to know whether or not something is cancerous until you undergo a medical examination. More than likely, these symptoms are not cancer. This does not mean that you should ignore them. Even if a collection of symptoms is not cancer, it can be a sign of another medical condition. As early intervention is essential for dealing with any cancer, it is important to talk to your doctor as soon as you notice these problems when they become persistent and occur with no explanation.

Everything You Need to Know About Colic

Staff Writer | March 24, 2020

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Staff Writer | March 24, 2020

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The origin of problems usually arises from areas in the urinary tract itself. Areas of the body likely responsible for an overactive bladder include the following: Kidneys. Bladder. Ureters. Urethra. Sphincter muscle. In Conclusion Talk to a trained physician if you believe you or a loved one may be suffering from an overactive bladder. They will be able to offer expert advice on how to handle your case. This is not the same as someone who suffers from an inability to control their bladder from emptying on its own.