Lung Cancer Chemotherapy

Lung cancer is a very common cause of death in both men and women and it ranks second to breast cancer. Mostly it occurs between the age group of 45 and 70. The main cause of lung cancer is smoking cigarettes. Some experts say that cancer to ‘Small Cell Lung Carcinoma’ is always developed by smoking. The report of National Cancer Institutes estimated  around 172,570 numbers of new cases of lung cancer each year and about 163,510 American die due to lung cancer.

The starting point of the lung cancer is usually in the cells of the lungs. This stage of lung cancer is known as primary lung cancer. This cancer may also spread to some other parts of the body such as bone, liver and brain. and therefore treatment for lung cancer becomes difficult in such cases. There are some common symptoms of lung cancer which are generally seen in individuals suffering from this type of cancer. They are pain in the chest region, coughing up blood, swelling in the face or neck region, loss of weight or appetite, difficulty in breathing, and constantly affected with diseases such as bronchitis or pneumonia.

There are two types of lung cancer, one of them is Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC) and other is Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC). There are three sub types to Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. These are Squamous Cell Carcinoma, Adenocarcinoma and Large Cell Undifferentiated Carcinoma. NSCLC is not that of serious and can be cured with surgery if it is detected early. SCLC chemotherapy and NSCLC chemotherapy are also used to treat the two type lung cancer.

Causes of Lung Cancer

Lung Cancer Chemotherapy Cigarette smoking is one of the main causes of lung cancer. There are about 90% of lung cancer cases found in men and about 80 % in women. The risk of developing lung cancer depends on the duration and quantity of smoking. There are some other causes or substances that cause lung cancer such as arsenic, radiation, nickel, chromates, mustard gas, chloromethyl ethers, coke-oven emissions and working with asbestos. People exposed to any of these substances are under a greater risk to lung cancer. The proportion of developing cancer due to these substances is about 10% in men and 5% in women. About 1% of lung cancer is caused by air pollution. Lung cancer in less than 1% is caused by the exposure to radon gas in home. People suffering from other lung diseases like tuberculosis and fibrosis may suffer from lung cancer like adenocarcinoma and alveolar cell carcinoma.

What is Chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment in which drugs are used by either injecting it into a vein or through a drip. The drug used by this way flows through the vein all over the body. However, there are some drugs that are available in the form of tablets. The method of taking drug and how to use it depends on the type of drug with which your doctor is treating you. Combination of 2 to 3 different types of chemotherapy drugs are also used for chemotherapy treatment. Besides, there is resting period of 3 to 4 weeks that helps the body to get over any side effects. Your treatment depends on the type of cancer, drugs prescribed, response of cancer etc. There are some side effects due to chemotherapy; however you can prevent it by taking other medicines and consulting with your doctor. These side effects include both short term and long term side effect of the treatment. You may take your treatment in hospital, however, depending on your treatment you have to stay in the hospital for overnight or for a few days. If you are treated by drugs as an out-patient then you may go home in a few hours after the treatment.

Small Cell Lung Cancer and Chemotherapy for It

Small cell lung cancer chemotherapy is the most useful treatment option in treating small cell lung cancer. Other treatments like radiotherapy and surgery are local treatments. Chemotherapy is the treatment that involves the whole body. With the help of this treatment primary cells of cancer can be detected from any parts of body. Microscopic spreads happens early on small cells of lung cancer. Even though the scan may be clear doctors assume that there is microscopic spread. You can use chemotherapy before radiotherapy. Doctor may suggest you chemotherapy with or after surgery if surgery is possible for early small cell lung cancer. The reason for this is there are cells, which are broken away from the tumor and can be travel to another part of the body. For small cell, combination of cisplatin and etoposide are used in the chemotherapy. The response of small cell lung cancer to this combination is good enough although doctors are researching for other combinations that could, which will give better results than this combination.

Non Small Cell Lung Cancer and Chemotherapy for It

For this cancer, surgery and radiation are the main treatments because there is less microscopic spread when diagnosed at an early stage. Chemotherapy can be held before and after radiotherapy treatment. It is also used after surgery to prevent cancer returning back. It is also helpful to control symptoms of cancer. You can go for chemotherapy within 6 weeks after surgery if you are fit for it. In most cases, no cancer cells are found when chemotherapy is given after radiotherapy however if. Advanced non small lung cancer cells are found then doctors suggest the combined treatment of chemotherapy and radiation to control cancer. Chemotherapy either with gemcitabine, paclittaxel or vinorelbine with platinum is the first treatment option for people diagnosed with advanced non small cell lung cancer at the stage of 3 and 4. If cancer continues to grow, then doctors use  docetaxel in the treatment. Surgery is also one of the treatment option however the fitness of the patient plays an important role in depending whether the body could undergo a surgery. The surgery before chemotherapy is called ‘neoadjuvant therapy’.