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Dealing with Lung Cancer: Available Treatments

Lung cancer stands as one of the most lethal and prevalent cancer types among men. It is primarily linked to smoking and the consumption of other tobacco products. Surprisingly, many men who have never smoked find themselves diagnosed with lung cancer. This complex disease is challenging to treat. In this article, we will explore the various treatment options for lung cancer.

In today's society, we often witness schoolboys indulging in smoking and using tobacco products in an attempt to appear cool among their peers. Many men working in high-stress professions resort to smoking as a coping mechanism, believing it helps them relax. Unfortunately, they may not be fully aware, or perhaps choose to ignore, the fact that smoking significantly increases the risk of developing lung cancer.

Treating lung cancer can be both financially draining and physically painful. To confirm a lung cancer diagnosis, specific tests are required, including imaging tests, sputum cytology, and obtaining tissue samples via biopsy.

If diagnosed with lung cancer, a man should consult with his doctor to explore the available treatments. Let's delve into the treatment options for lung cancer below.

1. Surgery

Surgery serves as the primary treatment for men with lung cancer in its early stages. The main objective of surgery is to completely remove all tumor cells, aiming for a cure. There are different surgical procedures to address lung cancer, including:

  • Wedge resection, which removes a small section of the lung containing the tumor along with a margin of healthy tissue.

  • Segmental resection, which removes a larger portion of the lung but not the entire lobe.

  • Lobectomy, involving the removal of an entire lobe of one lung.

  • Pneumonectomy, which entails the removal of an entire lung.

2. Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy employs high-powered energy beams, such as X-rays and protons, to target and destroy cancer cells. During radiation therapy, you lie on a table as a machine moves around you, directing radiation precisely to affected areas of your body. Radiation therapy can be used before surgery to shrink the tumor or after surgery to eliminate any remaining cancer cells. This is often recommended for men who may not be suitable candidates for surgery or whose cancer has advanced too far for surgical intervention.

3. Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy involves the use of drugs to eradicate cancer cells. Typically, chemotherapy is administered through direct injection into a vein or via a catheter inserted into a major vein. It is typically applied post-surgery to eliminate any lingering cancer cells. Chemotherapy may be administered as a standalone treatment or in conjunction with radiation therapy. In some cases, it can be used before surgery to reduce the size of tumors, making them more manageable to remove.

4. Targeted Therapy

Targeted therapy is similar to chemotherapy but focuses on specific components of cancer cells or adjacent cells that contribute to their growth. Currently, these drugs have shown efficacy primarily in non-small-cell lung cancers.

5. Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy is a cutting-edge treatment for lung cancer that harnesses your immune system's power to combat the disease. In some cases, a man's immune system may not naturally attack the cancer due to the cancer cells producing proteins that shield them from immune system cells. Immunotherapy works by interfering with this process.

In Conclusion

While there is an array of treatments available for lung cancer, it remains a deadly disease, and not all cases can be successfully treated. The most effective approach to avoiding lung cancer is to reject smoking and the use of tobacco products. It's crucial to note that passive smoking can also lead to lung cancer. Therefore, if you have family members or friends who smoke or use tobacco, engage in a conversation to help them comprehend the gravity of this potentially fatal habit.

Written by: Deepti Dogra

Edited by: Aniket Joshi

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