Small Cell Lung Cancer Treatment
lung cancers including non small cell lung cancer are incurable; the treatment aims at shrinking the tumor to
prevent complications and relieve the symptoms in order to help patients live better and longer. Along with a
healthy lifestyle, the therapies can help you live for years without major complications.
However, after treatment,
non small cell lung cancer can recur or relapse any time; therefore, even if you feel good during the remission,
it is important that you see your doctor regularly to evaluate your health.
To determine an appropriate
treatment, your oncologist will consider your general health, age, and most importantly the stage of the tumor.
In general, non small cell lung cancer is treated with one or an association of the following
To have complete access to
your lungs, your surgeon may perform a thoracostomy, a major surgical intervention performed under general
anesthesia. Your surgeon will open your chest wall or does incision between your ribs to fully expose your
lungs. During the surgery, he removes part or the entire diseased lung. Depending on the extension of the tumor,
the surgeon can also remove nearby lymph nodes. The goal of the surgery is to remove as much cancerous tissue as
possible to reduce symptoms and help you live longer.
Surgery is the preferred
treatment of non-small cell lung cancer stages I and II. Patients
who have stage IIIB or IV cancer associated with pleural or neoplastic effusion are not candidates for
surgery. The surgery should be performed in the absence of contraindications such as evidence of spread of the
tumor outside the lungs, endobronchial tumor located too close to the trachea, and other serious illnesses:
coronary artery disease, or respiratory failure due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Lung Cancer Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy is a cancer
treatment consists of using strong chemical agents to destroy cancer cells or prevent them from multiplying.
Chemotherapy drugs can be administered orally or intravenously. Similarly, chemotherapy treatment may consist of
a single chemotherapeutic agent (monochemotherapy) or several
chemotherapeutic agents (polychemotherapy).
The use of chemotherapy to
treat a stage I or II non-small cell lung cancer can sometimes bring good results. When the chemotherapy is
administered preoperatively and before radiotherapy, it can significantly reduce the tumor mass and increase
remission and overall survival. Used after surgery, chemotherapy drugs attack and destroy cancer cells remaining
from the surgery.
Radiation Therapy (Radiotherapy)
exposing cancer cells to ionizing radiation that alter the composition of their genetic information. Unlike
chemotherapy, radiation acts locally on the region that is irradiated, thereby limiting its action to the tumor
and a small surrounding tissue. Radiotherapy may be used before or after surgery, alone or in combination with
treatment of non small cell lung cancer, radiotherapy is sometimes used instead of surgery when the thoracotomy
is contraindicated due to cardiopulmonary failure or other serious illness. Radiation therapy can bring good
results in reducing bone pain associated with the tumor. In addition, radiotherapy can be very useful in some
types of tumors resulting in:
superior vena cava obstruction (SVCO)
spinal cord compression
If you have a
non metastatic non-small cell lung
oncologist can use high-intensity light to shrink or destroy the tumor. This
therapy cause less adverse effects, but it can only be used to treat superficial cancers.
bronchodilators, oxygen therapy, and
physiotherapy may be necessary in cases of bronchial obstruction. Antibiotic therapy can be recommended in case
of superinfection (an infection following a previous infection).