|TYPES CAUSES SYMPTOMS DIAGNOSIS STAGES TREATMENT|
Sometimes a lung tumor contains more than one type of cancerous cell. So the treatment should be based on the type of lung cancer, the size, location and extent of the tumor and the general health of the patient. There are many treatments, which may be used alone or in combination. The most widely used therapies for lung cancer are surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Chemotherapy and radiation are very effective at relieving symptoms.
An operation for lung cancer is major surgery. Depending on the type and stage of the cancer, surgery may be used to remove the tumor and some of the lung tissue around it. Removing only a small part of a lobe (section) of the lung is called a wedge resection. If a entire lobe of the lung is removed, the surgery is called a lobectomy. If the entire lung is removed, the surgery is called a pneumonectomy.
Aggressive surgery (long-term control) : Aggressive surgery involves removal of the pleura, the lung, the diaphragm and the pericardium through a procedure known as extra pleural pneumonectomy. This surgery is highly complicated and carries a high risk of fatality within a month. Extra pleural pneumonectomy is therefore performed only on younger patients who are in good health and can tolerate the surgery.
Palliative Procedures (relief of symptoms) : Palliative procedures are performed when the cancer is in its advanced form. These procedures are performed to allay or control the symptoms rather than cure them. Pleurectomy (also decortications) is the surgical removal of the pleura. This reduces the pain caused by the tumor mass and may also prevent the recurrence of pleural effusion (fluid collection that causes breathlessness).
Video-assisted chest surgery is a new kind of surgery done for people with early stage lung cancer. A tiny camera can be placed through a small hole in the chest to help the surgeon see the tumor. Only small incisions are needed and it is most often used for tumors smaller than about 2 inches.
Side Effects : The side effects of surgery are pain, weakness, fatigue, and shortness of breath. Most have problems moving around, coughing, and breathing deeply. Other possible problems include bleeding, wound infections, and pneumonia. The recovery period can be several weeks or even months.
Chemotherapy is the treatment using anti-cancer drugs to destroy cancer cells throughout the body. The drugs can be swallowed in pill form or can be injected directly into a vein or by means of a catheter, a thin tube that is placed into a large vein and remains there as long as it is needed. These drugs enter the bloodstream and reach throughout the body, making this treatment useful for cancer that has spread (metastasized) to organs beyond the lung. The amount of chemotherapy a patient receives depends on the type of cancer, the drugs, and the patientís overall response to treatment. Therapy may be given daily, weekly, or monthly, and can continue for months or even years.
Side Effects : Drugs used in chemotherapy can damage some normal cells, causing side effects. These side effects depend on the type of drugs used, the amount given, and the length of treatment. The possible side effects are nausea and vomiting, hair loss, fatigue or shortness of breath caused by low red blood cell counts, loss of appetite, diarrhea or constipation, mouth sores, bruising or bleeding caused by a shortage of blood platelets, higher risk of infection caused by a shortage of white blood cells. Most side effects disappear when your course of treatment ends. Some drugs will damage the nerves and this may cause numbness in the fingers and toes, and sometimes the arms and legs may feel weak.
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