Existing Lung Cancer Cures
A lung cancer cure for all patients has yet to be developed. While survival rates for this disease are generally low, ‘cures’ are delivered to this small percentage through early detection and one of three common treatments. Chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery are used alone or in conjunction with each other to eliminate or kill the cancer cells in the body.
Surgical procedures are applicable to a small population of patients, about one in five. That said, surgery is used to remove tumors or body tissue and sometimes followed by a course of chemotherapy. Inoperable cases are when the disease has spread to vital organs or other structures of the body, and is more difficult to remove. The people who are ineligible for surgery, or need additional treatment to remove the cancer will undergo chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy.
Chemo medication is given orally or intravenously. It improves life expectancy by killing cancer cells. Patients responding well to this treatment will receive fewer chemo courses and spend less time in the hospital. The well-documented side effects of this protocol, which include nausea and hair loss, can be managed by physician-adjusted doses and anti-emetic drugs.
Two types of radiotherapy are used to combat lung cancer. The first is radical therapy, which targets a contained tumor with high doses of radiation. The second uses lower radiation doses to relieve symptoms and improve the patient’s lifestyle.
Palliative is meant to extend the life expectancy of a patient and is more widely used. Radical therapy hopes to obliterate the cancer while it is localized, and requires the patient to be in relatively good health. Evidence from the ‘The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews’; 2010 Issue 9, suggests higher doses of palliative therapy are ineffective and lead to side effects from increased toxicity.
Investigational vaccines and drugs are available to victims of this cancer. Clinical trials are conducted across the United States and internationally. Patients are encouraged to explore these options to increase their chances of survival. Future possibilities include the use of nano-technology, pinpoint radiation therapy and advanced detection and diagnosis methods. Always research a clinical trial thoroughly and consult with a doctor before participating.