Lung Cancer Treatment

Lung Cancer Treatment

While most people believe that breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in women, lung cancer actually is the one cancer that kills more women each and every year that is why lung cancer treatment options are important. Lung cancer also is the number one cause of cancer-related death in men. In 2010 alone, an estimated 220,000 new cases of lung cancer will be diagnosed and 157,000 men and women will die from the disease. Despite increased public awareness and knowledge about the role smoking tobacco plays in the development of lung cancer, smoking is still the leading cause of lung cancer.

There are two main types of lung cancer. The most common form is called non-small cell lung cancer, which accounts for approximately 85 percent of all cases. The remaining cases are classified as small cell lung cancer, which tend to grow more quickly as compared to non-small cell lung cancer. Like other forms of cancer, treatment options used to fight the cancer depend largely on the type and stage of the lung cancer. Treatment options can include one or more of the following:

Some treatment options for lung cancer

Surgery for Lung Cancer Treatment
All of the lung, or just part of the lung, can be removed during surgical intervention.
The most common lung cancer surgery is called a lobectomy, where a surgeon removes the tumor as well as a lobe of the lung.
Another surgery, called a segmentectomy or wedge resection, occurs when the tumor along with a small amount of the lung that surrounded the tumor is removed.
When the entire lung is removed, the surgery is called a pneumonectomy.
Radiation Therapy Lung Cancer Treatment
This form of lung cancer treatment uses high energy rays to kill the cancerous lung cells. For lung cancer treatment, external radiation is most commonly used. Internal radiation is rarely used.
Chemotherapy Lung Cancer Treatment
Usually more than one type of chemotherapy is given at one time to treat lung cancer. Since chemotherapy is not selective in destroying just the cancerous cells, it can cause some severe and debilitating side effect such as anemia, hair loss, nausea or joint pain.
Targeted Therapy Lung Cancer Treatment
Recent scientific advances have brought a better understanding about specific genes and molecules in the body that are associated with the growth of certain cancers. Targeted therapies are designed to block the action or signals that tell cancer to grow. Drugs such as Iressa and Tarceva target a molecule called epidermal growth factor receptor (EGRF) that is overproduced by non-small lung cancer cells. Another targeted therapy called Avastin is used to treat some non-small cell lung cancers. It works by cutting off the development of new blood vessels that feed the growth of cancer.

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