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Treatments Available for Lung Cancer

Currently, there are a number of different treatments available for people who have been diagnosed with lung cancer. A patient will be treated based on their lung cancer symptoms and at which stage the disease is diagnosed. If lung cancer is identified early enough, treatment can actually lead to a cure. Still, these treatments can significantly benefit patients with a more advanced stage of lung cancer as well. If specialists believe that a patient can be cured, they will most likely chose to perform surgery.

(Have you been diagnosed with this disease? Find out if you qualify for our lung cancer clinical trial in Birmingham, AL.)

Surgery

If lung cancer is diagnosed (in particular non-small cell lung cancer) before it has metastasized, then surgery could likely cure the patient. The most common surgical procedures used to remove lung cancer include:

  • Lobectomy: Surgeons remove an entire lobe from the lung
  • Wedge resection: Surgeons remove the tumor and some of the surrounding tissue
  • Pneumonectomy: Surgeons must remove an entire lung

In some cases, patients may experience some side effects (shortness of breath, infection, and bleeding) after their surgery depending on the procedure performed and their prior lung function.

Chemotherapy

Anti-cancer drugs can be administered to the patient either orally or intravenously for lung cancer. These drugs are employed to destroy the cancerous cells which are growing out of control. Chemotherapy can be quite harsh on the patient’s body and side effects include nausea, vomiting, and hair loss. For some patients, chemotherapy will be used in combination with surgery in order to kill off any cancer cells that could have been left behind.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy makes use of high-energy x-rays in order to kill the cancerous cells from outside the body. This lung cancer treatment is often used in combination with chemotherapy. The side effects of radiation therapy can include some irritation and redness of the skin where the therapy has been applied, as well as fatigue.

Alternative Treatments Available for Lung Cancer

If you are interested in exploring more alternative therapies for this cancer, there are several complementary treatments available for lung cancer patients. At this time, researchers are testing these treatments as both an adjunct to traditional methods, and as a way to simultaneously reduce symptoms and adverse effects from conventional lung cancer treatment.

If you have been diagnosed with lung cancer, then your oncologist will help you choose the best method of treatment based on the severity of your disease and your overall level of health. As the treatments for lung cancer continue to improve, the prognosis for patients will also continue to get better.