Lung Cancer Treatment - Chemotherapy and Surgery

By: articlesub
This article will be a discussion about Surgery and Chemotherapy.

There are different treatment options available. The type of treatment depends on a number of factors including the type of lung cancer the patient has, the site of the tumor, the size and extent of their tumor. It also depends on their general health. Many of these patients can be very frail.

Numerous treatments are available which can be used for monitoring and control. These treatments also reduce or alleviate their symptoms therefore improving a person's quality of life.

These are the main treatment options available:
* Surgery
* Chemotherapy
* Radiation Therapy
* Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)
* Cryosurgery


Surgery - an operation is performed to try and remove the tumor. Specific types of surgery that a doctor may perform to remove a tumor is dependant on the location of the tumor in the lung.

Occasionally only part of the lung is removed, if the tumor isn't too large, but if the entire lung is found to be affected, then it may have to be removed completely. If the surgeon is able to remove only a small part of the lung then the operation is know as a wedge resection or segmental.

If surgery is required to remove the entire lobe, this procedure is called a lobectomy. At times the entire lung may have been affected by the cancer, if this is the case it would be necessary for a complete lung removal. This procedure is known as Pneumonectomy.

Some types of tumors are alleged to be inoperable. Some tumors just can't be removed by surgery unfortunately, because of the size they have grown to or their specific location. Even if the tumors are not inoperable several factors may preclude them from undergoing an operation, such as, the general age, and health and fitness of the patient.

Chemotherapy - special anti-cancer drugs are used to kill cancer cells throughout the body. The Chemotherapy drugs are very toxic to all living cells, which implies they can have very unpleasant side effects, although they are more poisonous to the cancer cells and can be very helpful drugs. Chemotherapy is used to control the growth of the tumor and is also used to relieve the symptoms.

The theory behind the use of chemotherapy is this; dispense drugs into the body in a very carefully monitored dosage which is sufficiently high enough to be able to kill the cancer cells yet also leave the normal cells alive and intact. During the administration of chemotherapy drugs, because they are so toxic, the patient can get very sick, this is because of the drastic side effects. Patients suffer from a huge range of side effects such as, nausea, vomiting, headache, hair loss, fatigue and mouth sores.

Once the chemotherapy has destroyed the cancerous cells, there is still the possibility of cancer cells still present in the nearby tissue or even other organs of the body.

Normally chemotherapy drugs are injected directly into a blood vein (IV) or using a catheter which is a thin tube placed in a large vein. The catheter remains there as long as needed. We now have some chemotherapy drugs that are available in the form of pills which helps to lesson the side effects.

Chemotherapy is frequently used to treat Small Cell (SCLC) because it tends to grow and spread very quickly. Small Cell patients often receive radiation therapy to the brain, even though no cancer has been detected in the brain. This is to ensure there is no spread. This treatment is known as prophylactic treatment.

Patients suffering from Non-Small Cell (NSCLC), normally surgery is the most common method of treatment. This cancer grows and spreads slowly.
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