Patients Should Be Aware About Treatment Choices For Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, By Stages


Alprazolam Order Online Now The treatment options for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) are based mainly on the stage(extent) of the cancer, but other factors, such as a person’s overall health and lung function, as well as certain traits of the cancer itself, are also important.If you smoke, one of the most important things you can do to be ready for treatment is to try to quit. Studies have shown that patients who stop smoking after a diagnosis of lung cancer tend to have better outcomes than those who don’t.

Treating occult cancer

Buying Xanax Amsterdam For these cancers, malignant cells are seen on sputum cytology but no obvious tumor can be found with bronchoscopy or imaging tests. They are usually early-stage cancers. Bronchoscopy and possibly other tests are usually repeated every few months to look for a tumor. If a tumor is found, treatment will depend on the stage.

Treating stage 0 NSCLC

Because stage 0 NSCLC is limited to the lining layer of airways and has not invaded deeper into the lung tissue or other areas, it is usually curable by surgery alone. No chemotherapy or radiation therapy is needed. If you are healthy enough for surgery, you can usually be treated by segmentectomy or wedge resection (removal of part of the lobe of the lung). Cancers in some locations (such as where the windpipe divides into the left and right main bronchi) may be treated with a sleeve resection, but in some cases they may be hard to remove completely without removing a lobe (lobectomy) or even an entire lung (pneumonectomy).

In some cases, treatments such as photodynamic therapy (PDT), laser therapy, or brachytherapy (internal radiation) may be alternatives to surgery for stage 0 cancers. If your cancer is truly stage 0, these treatments should cure you.

Treating stage I NSCLC If you have stage I NSCLC, surgery may be the only treatment you need. This may be done either by taking out the lobe of the lung containing the tumor (lobectomy) or by taking out a smaller piece of the lung (sleeve resection, segmentectomy, or wedge resection). At least some lymph nodes within the lung and in the space between the lungs will also be removed and checked for cancer cells.

Segmentectomy or wedge resection is generally an option only for very small stage I cancers and for patients with other health problems that make removing the entire lobe dangerous. Still, most surgeons believe it is better to do a lobectomy if the patient can tolerate it, as it offers the best chance for cure.

For people with stage I NSCLC that has a higher risk of coming back (based on size, location, or other factors), adjuvant chemotherapy after surgery may lower the risk that cancer will return. But doctors aren’t always sure how to determine which people are likely to be helped by chemo. New lab tests that look at the patterns of certain genes in the cancer cells may help with this. Studies are now being done to see if these tests are accurate. After surgery, the removed tissue is checked to see if there are cancer cells at the edges of the surgery specimen (called positive margins). This could mean that some cancer has been left behind, so a second surgery might be done to try to ensure that all the cancer has been removed. (This might be followed by chemotherapy as well.) Another option might be to use radiation therapy after surgery. If you have serious health problems that prevent you from having surgery, you may get stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) or another type of radiation therapy as your main treatment. Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) may be another option if the tumor is small and in the outer part of the lung.

Treating stage II NSCLC

People who have stage II NSCLC and are healthy enough for surgery usually have the cancer removed by lobectomy or sleeve resection. Sometimes removing the whole lung (pneumonectomy) is needed.

Cheap Xanax Pill Press Any lymph nodes likely to have cancer in them are also removed. The extent of lymph node involvement and whether or not cancer cells are found at the edges of the removed tissues are important factors when planning the next step of treatment.

In some cases, chemotherapy (often along with radiation) may be recommend before surgery to try to shrink the tumor to make the operation easier. After surgery, the removed tissue is checked to see if there are cancer cells at the edges of the surgery specimen (called positive margins). This might mean that some cancer has been left behind, so a second surgery might be done to try to remove any remaining cancer. This may be followed by chemotherapy (chemo). Another option is to treat with radiation, sometimes along with chemo.

Even if positive margins are not found, chemo is usually recommended after surgery to try to destroy any cancer cells that might have been left behind. As with stage I cancers, newer lab tests now being studied may help doctors find out which patients need this adjuvant treatment and which are less likely to benefit from it. If you have serious medical problems that would keep you from having surgery, you may get only radiation therapy as your main treatment.

Treating stage IIIA NSCLC

Treatment for stage IIIA NSCLC may include some combination of radiation therapy, chemotherapy (chemo), and/or surgery. For this reason, planning treatment for stage IIIA NSCLC often requires input from a medical oncologist, radiation oncologist, and a thoracic surgeon. Your treatment options depend on the size of the tumor, where it is in your lung, which lymph nodes it has spread to, your overall health, and how well you are tolerating treatment.

For patients who can tolerate it, treatment usually starts with chemo, often combined with radiation therapy. Surgery may be an option after this if the doctor thinks any remaining cancer can be removed and the patient is healthy enough. (In some cases, surgery may be an option as the first treatment.) This is often followed by chemo, and possibly radiation therapy if it hasn’t been given before.

For people who are not healthy enough for surgery, radiation therapy, which may be combined with chemo, is often used.

Treating stage IIIB NSCLC

Stage IIIB NSCLC has spread to lymph nodes that are near the other lung or in the neck, and may also have grown into important structures in the chest. These cancers can’t be removed completely by surgery. As with other stages of lung cancer, treatment depends on the patient’s overall health. If you are in fairly good health you may be helped by chemotherapy(chemo) combined with radiation therapy. Some people can even be cured with this treatment. Patients who are not healthy enough for this combination are often treated with radiation therapy alone, or, less often, chemo alone.

These cancers can be hard to treat, so taking part in a clinical trial of newer treatments may be a good option for some people.

Treating stage IV NSCLC

Stage IV NSCLC is widespread when it is diagnosed. Because these cancers have spread to distant sites, they are very hard to cure. Treatment options depend on where the cancer has spread, the number of tumors, and your overall health.

If you are in otherwise good health, treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy (chemo), targeted therapy, immunotherapy, and radiation therapy may help you live longer and make you feel better by relieving symptoms, even though they aren’t likely to cure you.Other treatments, such as photodynamic therapy (PDT) or laser therapy, may also be used to help relieve symptoms. In any case, if you are going to be treated for advanced NSCLC, be sure you understand the goals of treatment before you start.


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