Radiation Can Add Boost To Lung Cancer Treatments, Study Finds
Posted: Apr 25, 2016
Patients who undergo surgery to combat lung cancer may not want to hear that an extra step of treatment could prove useful, but research is showing that in some cases going the extra mile can make a very big difference. A recent study, in fact, supports the use of postoperative radiation for the treatment of patients with non-small cell lung cancer. The reason behind the recommendation lies in the fact that localized progression often continues despite surgeons’ best efforts to remove all cancerous cells.
Study findings pertained to patients with incompletely resected non-small cell lung cancer. The findings showed that patients who underwent postoperative radiation fared better than those who did not. When patients were also given radiation after surgery, the three-year survival rate was 34.1 percent. Most patients had locally advanced tumors before treatment. Some did also receive chemotherapy after surgery along with the radiation treatments.
The American Cancer Society estimates there are about 224,000 new cases of lung cancer diagnosed in the country each year. Men and women are nearly equal in their likelihood of contracting this disease. The disease is considered one of the most deadly with nearly 159,000 Americans dying annually of it. Lung cancer is, in fact, the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in both American men and women. More people die each year from this disease that breast, prostate and colon cancers combined.
Non-small cell lung cancer encompasses about 90 percent of all lung cancers diagnosed in the United States. This form of the disease primarily strikes current and former smokers. It is, however, also the most commonly diagnosed in non-smokers, as well.
Risk factors for non-small cell lung cancer include such things as:
- Tobacco smoke – Smokers and those exposed to secondhand smoke are at risk for this form of cancer.
- Radon exposure – This naturally occurring gas has been linked to the formation of lung cancer.
- Asbestos – This substance has also been shown to increase the risk for lung cancer development.
- Family history – Close family history of lung cancer may also increase the risk for development of the disease.
People who are at risk for lung cancer are urged to speak with their healthcare providers. Early screening for this disease, if risk factors are high, may be recommended. As with many other forms of cancer, early detection can pave the way for successful treatment. Those diagnosed with lung cancer should speak with their doctors about all treatment recommendations. Radiation may or may not be recommended depending on the particulars in a patient’s unique case.
At Las Colinas Cancer Center, a Choice Cancer Care Treatment Center, our team is committed to providing the personalized, compassionate treatment that can make all the difference in cancer care.