Lung Cancer Overview
Lung cancer is a particular type of cancer which appears in the lungs which are the two spongy organs present in the chest to help in breathing and inhaling oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide. Lung cancer is the disease in which cells of the lungs divide uncontrollably and requires immediate medical diagnosis as well as treatment.
Lung cancer is the most common type of cancer which risks more lives than any other cancers like ovarian, breast, colon, prostate, etc. This cancer is observed in both men and women. As per several types of research, the ratio appears to be 1:15 in men whereas in women it appears to be 1:17. So both have a nearly equal risk of developing this disease.
The people who smoke are at greater risk of developing cancer with ease. Although, the risk can minimize once a person reduces or quits smoking. Since cancer risk is directly proportional to the cigarette smoking duration or its count, the more is its duration or count the more are chances of developing cancer.
It can also occur in people who do not smoke or are exposed to passive smoking. However, the chances of developing among non-smokers or passive smokers are very minimal.
The main lung cancer symptoms include coughing accompany with blood, wheezing, chest pain, and weight loss. But in most of the cases, these symptoms appear in advanced stages of cancer. Other symptoms might include hoarseness, extreme body fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, and weight loss, etc.
Lung cancer treatment options vary broadly depending upon the cancer stage and the health of an individual. The treatments might include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and even surgery in extreme cases.
A doctor can analyze via several tests and symptoms and provide a diagnosis of a particular type of cancer. It is a treatable disease but the type or line of treatment option applicable in each case can only be decided by a doctor who is specialized in treating this disease.
India provides several treatment options offered by several hospitals at very economical and affordable prices with complete patient satisfaction. Several additional facilities and benefits are offered by specific hospitals for international patients opting for treatment in India.
What are the main types of lung cancer?
It is mainly of two main types depending upon the cancer cells appearance done under the microscope. Based on that the doctors can decide the treatment options.
Following are the two major types of the lung:
- Small cell lung cancer (SCLC): This type of cancer occurs mainly in heavy smokers or chain smokers. Its treatment might require combination therapy but it depends upon the diagnosis stage.
- Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC): This type of cancer covers a broad range which has a similar pattern. It further consists of types like squamous cell carcinoma, large cell carcinoma, and adenocarcinoma. This type of cancer is seen in the majority of people, nearly 85% of the cases affected by lung cancer. However, among three of NSCLC, adenocarcinoma is observed in maximum cases. Every subtype of NSCLC has a specific treatment line and your doctor is the best person to assist and guide with a particular treatment as per the individual requirement of the patient.
Each an every type of cancer is being treated in India at far more economical prices in comparison to the ones offered by many other developed countries. Moreover, India has become a hub over the last decade for medical tourism by offering several world-class treatment options delivered with quality to international patients.
What are the types of lung cancer treatments?
- Surgery (Lobectomy) is an option when cancer has not spread in other parts of the body. The doctor can decide based on the scans available weather complete removal of a lung or partial lung removal with affected part can be an option. The surgery is called a Lobectomy. It is done for non-small cell lung cancers. Mostly done through thoracotomy where the side of the chest is cut open.
- Radiation therapy: Traditional radiation therapy such as 3DCRT or IMRT-6 is used widely for treatment in both male and females. The number of sessions required for radiation therapy depends upon the stage of cancer and how effectively the patient takes up the initial few doses of radiation therapy. The latest addition in radiation is proton therapy which promises to preserve the healthy tissue while delivering the effective dose of radiation for cancer cells.
- Radiofrequency Ablation: RAF is sometimes used as a treatment option based on other co-morbid conditions of the patients
- Chemotherapy: It can be used for both types of cancers. There are many drugs available and approved by FDA which can be successfully used to treat a single treatment or adjuvant therapy. The first line of treatment for small cell lung cancer is chemotherapy whereas, in non-small cell lung cancer, it can be used pre or post-surgery.
- Cryoablation: It is one of the latest treatment for lung cancer where the cells are freezes at -160 degrees and killed. It is also called cryotherapy or cryosurgery. The effects on other cells or healthy tissues are minimal and the side effects are easily controllable.
- Immunotherapy: It is the newest approach to treat many forms of non-small cell lung cancers. In immunotherapy, patients immune system is activated to fight against the cancer cells thereby inhibiting the growth and killing the cells. There is a great amount of research going on this therapy and the future looks promising.