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Treating both Occult and Advanced Lung Cancer

Author: North Texas Cancer Center
by North Texas Cancer Center
Posted: Sep 24, 2018
lung cancer

Treatment options for non-small cell lung cancer depend on the stage of the cancer, a patient's lung function and overall health as well as the particular traits of the cancer. For smokers, you should quit smoking immediately before commencing treatment, or better yet, after the diagnosis for better outcomes.

Below are treatment options for various stages of lung cancer:

  • Treatment for
occult cancer
  • This is when malignant cells are spotted on sputum cytology but no tumor is found using imaging tests or bronchoscopy. Usually, these are early-stage cancers and repeated bronchoscopy and other tests are conducted every few months to locate the tumor. If identified, the tumor will be treated according to its stage.
  • Treatment for stage 0 non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) – Stage 0 NSCLC is cancer that hasn't invaded the lung tissue or other areas. The cancer is still confined to the lining layer of airways. This type of cancer is treated by surgery alone and no radiation therapy or chemotherapy is required. One can be treated by wedge resection or segmentectomy if they are healthy enough. Sleeve resection, lobectomy, pneumonectomy are other treatment options. Alternative treatments for surgery include brachytherapy, photodynamic therapy, and laser therapy.
  • Treatment of stage 1– 4 NSCLC – Surgery is usually the primary treatment of lung cancer. But depending on the stage of cancer, other treatments can be used or combined for better results. The major treatments that may be administered in patients with stage 1 to 4 non-small cell lung cancer include adjuvant chemotherapy, radiation therapy, possible clinical trials, targeted therapies, immunotherapy and laser therapy. Cancers that have spread to other parts of the body are usually tested for any gene mutations and if found, the first treatment given is targeted therapy. If tested and found with PD-L1 protein in the tumor, immunotherapy drugs like pembrolizumab are administered.

Most lung cancer treatment options are given to a patient depending on their overall health. Since treatments may not cure the cancer, participating in a clinical trial for newer treatment options may be a good choice. If cancer recurs after treatment, chemotherapy or radiation therapy can be used.

About Author

North Texas Cancer Center at Wise, a division of Choice Cancer Care, is now operating as the Cancer Center at Wise Regional and is one of the most renowned cancer treatment centers in Texas.
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Author: North Texas Cancer Center

North Texas Cancer Center

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