Lung Cancer Treatment
Lung Cancer | Overview
Lung cancer is a condition affecting thousands of Americans. This form of cancer is defined as being a malignant and hazardous growth in lung tissues. Lung cancer is the leading form of cancer deaths in the United States by a wide margin – more than prostate , breast , colon , and ovarian cancers combined.
Smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke may increase the risk of lung cancer. Family history is also a factor considered when determining cancer risk. Early detection and treatment are key components in the fight against cancer and can improve the chances of a positive outcome.
Lung Cancer | Symptoms & Diagnosis
Early warning signs of lung cancer include:
- Chest pain
- Unexplained weight loss
- A persistent cough
- Shortness of breath
- Coughing up blood
A lung cancer diagnosis is often made with the help of imaging procedures such as a CT scan or an X-ray. Biopsies of lung tissue are typically performed to confirm a cancer diagnosis. Once a cancerous growth is identified, the stage of development is determined.
Lung Cancer | Stages of Development
Lung cancer is commonly classified as being in one of four stages :
Stage I: The tumor is small and confined to the lungs.
Stage II: The tumor has grown larger or, if small, has started to spread to nearby tissues.
Stage III: The tumor is larger and has likely spread to nearby organs.
Stage IV: The cancer has spread to both lungs or has spread to distant sites throughout the body.
Lung Cancer | Treatment
The preferred treatment option for those battling lung cancer is the surgical removal of the cancerous growth. The goal is typically to remove as little of the lung as possible. If the cancer has spread to the surrounding tissue, surgical removal is often no longer the most practical treatment option.
Other than removal or the variety of medications dedicated to slowing or stopping the growth of cancerous tumors, chemotherapy and radiation therapy are popular treatment options for lung cancer. They are “popular” only in the sense that many patients are forced to use them, as their side effects can be debilitating. Side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy often include:
- Hair loss
Lung Cancer | Prognosis
The five-year survival rate for lung cancer is believed to be just above 50%. However, that number drops significantly when the cancer has spread to distant areas of the body. No matter what the prognosis may be, having a strong support network and a positive attitude can make a world of difference to someone suffering from lung cancer. Request more information about lung cancer diagnosis and treatment today. Call or contact us online.