Lung Cancer

Lung Cancer

treatment of lung cancer

The cancer treatment plan is dependent on several factors, such as a person’s overall health, the type and stage of cancer, and individual preferences. The available treatment options are conservative or surgical as follows:

Surgery: Lung cancer and a margin of healthy tissue are removed during the surgical procedure in one of the following ways:

  • Lobectomy: Surgical removal of the affected lobe of the lung
  • Pneumonectomy: Surgical removal of entire lung
  • Segmental resection: Surgical removal of a substantial portion, but usually less than the lobe from the lung
  • Wedge resection: Surgical removal of a small part of the lung including the cancerous part and some adjacent healthy tissue

Sometimes the surgeon may also remove lymph nodes from a person’s chest to observe them for signs of cancer.

Surgery is usually considered in cases where the cancer is confined to the lungs. In cases where the lung cancer spreads to faraway tissues or the extent of the cancer is larger chemotherapy or radiation therapy may be recommended before the surgery. This procedure helps in reducing the size of cancer by shrinkage. Chemotherapy or radiation therapy may also be recommended after the surgery if it is suspected that the cancer cells have been left behind after the surgery or if the recurrence of cancer is suspected.

Radiation therapy: This procedure makes use of high-powered energy beams from sources such as X-rays and protons for destroying the cancer cells. In cases of locally advanced lung cancer, radiation may be recommended before or after surgery. It is also combined with chemotherapy in cases where surgery is not feasible or where the cancer is advanced to farther tissues.

Chemotherapy: Drugs are used to destroy cancer cells in chemotherapy. It may consist of a single drug or more drugs in a combination that may be administered intravenously, or they are taken orally. Chemotherapy is given in cycles over a period of weeks or months, with or without radiotherapy. Breaks in between consecutive cycles are given to allow recovery.

Radiosurgery or Stereotactic body radiotherapy: It is an intense radiation treatment in which the cancer cells are targeted to be destroyed with many beams of radiation from different angles. It is completed in one or more cycles. It is often recommended for persons who cannot undergo surgery or for the treatment of lung cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, including the brain.

Targeted drug therapy: Specific abnormalities present within cancer cells are targeted by the therapeutic agent or drug being used. The cancer cells are destroyed by blocking such abnormalities. Sometimes only persons with specific gene mutations may be responsive to targeted therapies. Such persons are identified after laboratory testing of their genetic material before treatment is initiated.

Immunotherapy: The body’s inherent defense capability or immune system is made use to fight cancer. Cancer cells produce proteins that blind the immune system cells. As a result, the person’s immune system does not recognize and fight the cancer cells. Immunotherapy evokes the body’s response by interfering with that process.

Palliative care: Supportive or palliative care involves a multidisciplinary team working with a doctor to minimize the signs and symptoms of the disease and improve a person’s quality of life.


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      Oncology rehabilitation: A wide range of therapies that are designed as per the needs of a person help in building strength and endurance, reducing stress and maintaining normal energy levels and regaining independence to carry out important daily living activities that constitute oncology rehabilitation.

      Some of the rehabilitation therapies are:

      • Physical therapy: Physical therapists help a person design personalized exercise programs that are a mix of range-of-motion training with light resistance exercises. Physical activity helps in overcoming fatigue and improving physical function and overall well-being.
      • Occupational therapy: Occupational therapists help a person design a personalized plan to continue with their important daily living activities such as dressing, showering, and eating to maintain a good quality of life.
      • Speech and language therapy: Many times, persons with cancer may have adverse effects on their speech and language. Speech and language therapists help a person address complications that may affect their speech, cognitive and language abilities like dryness of mouth, difficulty in swallowing, loss of voice, etc.
      • Manual therapy: Massage therapy techniques may be considered to overcome cancer-related pain and improve a person’s quality of life during cancer treatment.

      Nutrition support: Many cancer patients undergo poor gastrointestinal experience symptoms. A nutritional support team should work with persons with lung cancer to help

      • Restore digestive health
      • Prevent malnutrition and nutrient deficiencies, during treatment.

      It is extremely important to stay physically strong and nourished to continue with intense cancer treatment. A dietitian may be required to conduct a comprehensive nutritional assessment and determine daily goals for calories and protein, and micronutrients like vitamins and minerals.

      Pain management: Many factors like age, physical and mental status, type, and stage of cancer affect a person’s pain threshold. Cancer may cause pain itself, or it may arise due to collateral reasons like:

      • Blockage of blood vessels due to cancer which leads to compromised blood circulation.
      • Dissemination of cancer cells may lead to blockage of an organ or tube within the body, for example, kidneys or bladder
      • Side effects of different treatment like surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, etc
      • Spread of cancer to other locations in the body like bones or compression/destruction of nerve

      Pain management strategies are adopted as a part of the overall treatment to improve a person’s quality of life. Some pain management modalities are:

      • Prescription medications
      • Nerve block therapies
      • Physical therapy
      • Massage therapy
      • Relaxation techniques and guided imagery

      Lymphedema prevention and treatment: Acondition in which excess lymphatic fluid collects in the interstitial tissue leading to swelling in various areas of the body. Though it is usually seen in the arms or legs, swelling may also be seen in other parts of the body, like breast or chest wall.

      Lymphedema may either develop due to cancer or maybe a consequence of cancer treatment like surgery where many lymph nodes are removed. In certain cases, it may be a result of factors that change, block, or interrupt the flow of lymph fluid through the lymphatic system. Some of these factors may be infection, trauma, scar tissue.

      Lymphedema that stays untreated may adversely affect function and mobility in the affected limb or may lead to infection, skin breakdown and other complications. Lymphedema may be prevented or controlled with proper care and treatment. Depending on the severity and cause, lymphedema care may vary from person to person.

      Some of the treatment options for the management of lymphedema may include:

      • Skincare
      • Manual lymph drainage
      • Gentle massaging
      • Light physical exercises for stimulating the lymphatic system
      • Use of additional aids like compression bandages, garments like sleeves and stockings for preventing the accumulation of additional fluid in the tissue.
      • Sometimes medications may be prescribed to reduce inflammation, prevent blood clots, and treat infections.
      • Surgical options for the treatment of lymphedema may be recommended in extreme cases where conservative options fail.

      What can a person do to reduce the risk of lung cancer?

      There is no sure way to prevent lung cancer, but a person can reduce the risk of developing lung cancer by lifestyle modifications like;

      • Don’t consider smoking: A non-smoker should stay away from smoking and never consider starting it. Similarly, younger family members like children should be educated on the bad effects of smoking so that they do not yield under peer pressure.
      • Stop smoking: If you are a smoker, you should consider stopping to smoke immediately. Even if a person has been a smoker for a long duration of time, quitting at any point reduces the risk of developing lung cancer considerably. A doctor can be consulted for effective strategies and information on smoking deaddiction aids that can help in quitting.
      • Avoid exposure to second-hand smoke: Living or working near a smoker can increase a person’s risk of lung cancer from second-hand smoke. In such cases, the smoker should be encouraged to quit smoking or at least smoke away from other persons.
      • Avoiding workplace carcinogens: If a person is employed in a place where harmful elements, gases or chemicals are handled, adequate precautions must be taken for self- protection from exposure to such toxins. Personal protective equipment like a face mask should never be avoided. The risk of lung damage due to exposure to carcinogens becomes manifold if the person smokes.
      • Adopt healthy dietary habits: A healthy diet with a variety of fruits and vegetables should be consumed. Natural sources of vitamins and nutrients are the best option. Supplements like vitamins should be reserved for prescription by a doctor and in a situation where the dietary requirements are not fulfilled.
      • Exercise regularly: If work or family commitments don’t allow a person to exercise daily and regularly, he/she should start slowly. Exercising most days of the week can prove to be beneficial for the overall health of the person.


      • American Cancer Society. Radon and Cancer. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/radiation-exposure/radon.html. Accessed on December 08, 2019
      • Centre for disease control and prevention.Lung Cancer. https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/lung/. Accessed on December 08, 2019
      • Mayo Clinic. Lung cancer. Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/lung-cancer/symptoms-causes/syc-20374620. Accessed on December 08, 2019
      • NIH National cancer institute. Lung Cancer. Available at: https://www.cancer.gov/types/lung. Accessed on December 08, 2019
      • Lung cancer. Available at:https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/lung-cancer/.Accessed on December 08, 2019
      • Cancer treatment centers of America.Lung cancers. Available at. https://www.cancercenter.com/cancer-types/lung-cancer. December 08, 2019

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      What is the rehabilitation for cancer patients after chemotherapy?

      Jun 28, 2016 05:54

      Chemotherapy is a recognized treatment for different types of cancer, of breast, colon, lungs, bladder, colorectal, stomach, germ cell, Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin diseases. In chemotherapy, chemicals or drugs are used to destroy the cancer cells. Chemotherapy stops and slows the growth of cancer cells. As it treats all cells that divide quickly, chemotherapy also harms […]

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      Lymphoma, a cancer of lymphatic system

      May 19, 2016 10:21

      Lymphoma is a cancer that develops in the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is a network of vessels and glands. The lymph that flows through the vessels has white blood cells known as lymphocytes. The white blood cells protect the body by fighting with infections. Lymphoma is of two types, Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin. In Hodgkin […]

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      If you have a lump in your neck, it could be thyroid cancer

      May 07, 2016 04:23

      Thyroid is a small gland located at the base of the neck, just above the Adam’s apple. It produces hormones that help in the regulation of heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature and weight. When identified in the early stages, thyroid cancer is completely curable. CAUSES Like others forms of cancer, thyroid cancer is caused […]

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      Urinary incontinence in bladder cancer

      Apr 16, 2016 05:51

      Bladder is a balloon-shaped organ that stores urine, before it is excreted from the body. The cancerous cells develop in the cells that line the inside of the bladder. Mostly found in the elderly people, bladder cancer rarely occurs in younger age groups. Bladder cancer is highly treatable when it is in the beginning stages. […]

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      Myeloproliferative disorders (MPD)

      Mar 19, 2016 04:19

      Myeloproliferative disorders (MPDs) or myeloproliferative neoplasms (MNPs) are actually a collection of blood disorders. Myeloproliferative disorders are caused by mutations in bone marrow stem cells. As understood, the stem cells help in formation of different blood cells ‰ÛÒ the red blood cells help to carry oxygen to different parts of the body, white blood cells […]

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      Leukemia is perfectly curable at the early stage

      Mar 07, 2016 09:33

      Yashoda Hospitals follows new and innovative methods in the treatment of Leukemia Leukemia is the cancer of the blood-forming tissues that includes bone marrow and lymphatic system. Adults and children are equally affected by Leukemia, which is seen as production of abnormal white blood cells by the bone marrow. Causes Leukemia is characterized by abnormal […]

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      Are all tumors of kidney cancerous?

      Feb 27, 2016 04:53

      Kidney cancer originates in the kidneys. Kidneys filter the blood and remove waste products from the body. Kidneys also help in regulation of electrolytes, acid-base balance, and blood pressure. Kidneys excrete urine into the uterus, which empties into the bladder. Kidney diseases include nephritic and nephrotic syndromes, renal cysts, acute kidney injury, chronic kidney disease, […]

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      How can one survive liver cancer ?

      Feb 24, 2016 06:37

      Liver cancer begins in the cells of the liver. The most common type of liver cancer is hepatocellular carcinoma. When the cancer develops in the other parts of the body and spreads to the liver it is called metastatic cancer. Liver is the second largest organ of the body. Its primary role is to regulate […]

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      Leukemia or Blood Cancer Early detection and the right treatment can save lives

      Feb 22, 2016 04:56

      Leukemia is commonly called as blood cancer. It is actually the cancer of the body’s blood-forming tissues, including the bone marrow and the lymphatic system. Leukemia is seen in adults as well as children. In leukemia patients, the bone marrow produces abnormal white blood cells. Symptoms The symptoms of leukemia are type specific. Commonly, the […]

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      Cervical Cancer, a Leading Cause of Cancer Mortality Among Women

      Feb 15, 2016 04:46

      Cervix is located between the vagina and uterus. Cervical cancer occurs in the cells of the cervix. The human papillomavirus (HPV) is considered as the primary cause for cervical cancer. However, it is not a rule that all women with HPV will develop cervical cancer. HPV may be present in women at some point of […]

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      Brain Tumour Severe headache, blurred vision and loss of sensation may be a sign of brain tumour

      Feb 10, 2016 04:44

      Brain tumour occurs due to the growth of abnormal cells in the brain. Brain tumours may be benign (noncancerous), and malignant (cancerous). Brain tumours can originate in the brain. Primary brain tumours originate in the brain, while secondary brain tumours originate in other parts of the body, and spread to the brain. Symptoms The signs […]

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      Lung cancer causes more deaths than colon, prostate, ovarian and breast cancers put together

      Feb 01, 2016 05:54

      Lung cancer originates in the lungs. Smoking is considered as the possible reason for lung cancer. The nicotine and tar that are present in tobacco are considered to cause cancer. When one smoke, the nicotine and tar remain in the lungs as residue, over a period of time they trigger the formation of cancerous cells […]

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      Breast Cancer: Being aware is the key to survival

      Jan 29, 2016 07:25

      Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer found in women, across the world. Even though it can occur in men also, its incidence is higher in women only. Breast cancer may arise in the epithelial lining of the milk ducts. The cancer awareness programs have helped in reducing the mortality rates in women. […]

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      Throat Cancer: A sore throat, difficulty in swallowing and lump in the throat may be a sign of throat cancer

      Jan 23, 2016 04:00

      Cancerous tumors can develop anywhere in the body. When these tumors develop in the throat, voice box or tonsils, it is referred to as throat cancer. Throat cancer usually develops in the flat cells that line the inside of the throat. The voice box or tonsils may also be affected by cancer. Throat cancer may […]

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      Bone Cancer Usually affects the long bones that make up arms and legs

      Jan 06, 2016 04:30

      Bone cancer is very uncommon, and usually affects the long bones of the body. There are different types of bone cancer. Bone cancers originate and spread in the bones only, those cancers that originate at other parts of the body, and spread (metastasize) to bones are not considered bone cancers. There are three types of […]

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      Endocrinal dysfunctions. Thyroid Cancer Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatments

      Jan 01, 2016 08:25

      Endocrinal disorders or dysfunctions include Endocrine gland hormone deficiency, excess and tumors. Endocrine disorders are complex, and demand high level of expertise and supervision of each patient. For example, hyperthyroidism is associated with thyroid hormone in excess of low. Endocrinal Disorders include adrenal disorders, glucose homeostasis disorders, thyroid disorders, Calcium homeostasis disorders, metabolic bone disease, […]

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      Cancer: Haplo-identical Stem Cell Transplants – A revolution in Bone Marrow Transplantation

      Oct 26, 2015 06:24

      Different types of cancer affect the bone marrow cells. The growth of cancerous cells of the bone marrow is evident as anemia, bleeding and susceptibility to infections. The stem cells in the bone marrow produce different blood cells – red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. The stem cells ensure that a balance is […]

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      Ameloblastoma – A rare disorder of the jaw involving abnormal tissue growth

      Mar 11, 2015 12:31

      Ameloblastoma is an unusual disorder of the jaw involving the abnormal growth of a tissue. Mostly, the tumors get surfaced in the jaw surrounding the molars. It has the capacity to hit the tissues and sinuses surrounding the eye sockets. In a majority of occasions, men get afflicted with the disease when compared to women. […]

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