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Lung Cancer

Lung Cancer Treatment

Patient who is undergoing lung cancer treatment

The strategies for lung cancer treatment in Singapore depend on several factors, including the lung cancer symptoms, type, stage, as well as the individual’s health and tolerance to certain procedures and medications.

Depending on the stage of the lung cancer, the aims of treatment may be for a cure, control of disease for prolongation of survival or management of symptoms, and prevention of complications to improve quality of life.

Treatment Methods

According to the Singapore Cancer Society, the three primary methods of lung cancer treatment are surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. There are also other options, such as immunotherapy and targeted therapy.

Cancer Surgery – Surgery is used to prevent, diagnose, stage, and treat cancer. Surgery can also relieve (palliate) discomfort or problems related to cancer. Sometimes, one surgery can take care of more than one of these goals. In other cases, different operations may be needed over time.

Radiation therapy or Radiotherapy – Radiation therapy uses high-energy particles or waves, such as x-rays, gamma rays, electron beams, or protons, to destroy or damage cancer cells. Radiation works by making small breaks in the DNA inside cells. These breaks keep cancer cells from growing and dividing and cause them to die. Nearby normal cells can also be affected by radiation, but most recover and go back to working the way they should.

Chemotherapy – The word “chemotherapy” (“chemo”) is often used when referring to medicines or drugs that treat cancer. But not all drugs used to treat cancer work in the same way. Traditional or standard chemotherapy uses drugs that are cytotoxic, meaning they can kill tumour cells.

Immunotherapy – can boost or change how the immune system works so it can find and attack cancer cells. Immunotherapy is a treatment that uses a person’s own immune system to fight cancer.

Targeted Therapy – Targeted therapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses drugs or other substances to precisely identify and attack certain types of cancer cells without affecting normal cells.

Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) Treatment

StageTreatment
I & IISurgery is the treatment of choice to remove the cancer if the patient is well enough to handle it. To reduce the risk of recurrence, radiotherapy or chemotherapy is also recommended after the operation.
IIIThe lung specialist may order radiotherapy with or without chemotherapy. Immunotherapy may also be given after the operation,
IVTreatment is mainly palliative or making sure that the patient is comfortable and not in pain. Chemotherapy, targeted therapy immunotherapy, and or radiotherapy may also be recommended by the lung specialist.

Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) Treatment

As SCLC is aggressive and tends to spread early to other organs, it is usually treated with chemotherapy. If the cancer is still localized in the lymph nodes of one lung, radiotherapy can be combined with chemotherapy to effectively treat cancer and remove the cancer cells. Advanced forms of SCLC may be treated with a combination of chemotherapy and immunotherapy. Surgery is usually not recommended for SCLC.

This article is informative only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.