Cancer can occur either in the lungs or the air tubes leading to the lungs called bronchi. Though smokers are said to be at greater risk for developing this disease, it can also occur in non-smokers. Small cell lung cancer develops in the cells surrounding the air tubes that lead from the wind pipe to the lungs. Non-small lung cancer forms in the lining of the lungs and is the most common of lung cancer.
The first sign of a lung cancer is often an abnormal spot on a chest X-ray or CT scan taken for some other medical issue. Physical symptoms can be one or more of the following:
However, these symptoms do not necessarily indicate lung cancer. If you experience them, consult a doctor to eliminate the possibility of a tumour or to get an early diagnosis.
Biopsy: Testing a tissue sample of the abnormal growth is the best method to determine the occurrence of lung cancer. The doctor will select the biopsy method depending on the location of the tumour, If the tissue is not accessible through these methods, a surgery may be required.
Molecular Testing: For patients with non-small cell lung cancer, molecular testing of tumour tissue can reveal important information about the stage and prognosis, enabling the medical team to develop a more targeted treatment plan.
Surgery: To eradicate the entire cancerous growth, the surgeon removes the portion of the lung with the tumour and the surrounding lymph nodes. Depending on the size, location and metastasis of the tumour, one of three types of surgery will be performed.
Thoracoscopy: Many lung cancer surgeries can be performed with minimally invasive techniques like Video-Assisted Thoracic Surgery (VATS) or robotic VATS.
Chemotherapy: Drugs are the primary treatment for non-small cell lung cancer. It may be they may be injected before and after the surgery. For small cell tumours, chemotherapy may be combined with radiation therapy
Immunotherapy: New drugs are continually being developed, which can empower the body’s immune system to recognize the cancer cells and fight them.
Radiation Therapy: This treatment is usually given to patients whose tumours are confined to the lungs but cannot be surgically removed. It is also used as a palliative to improve the quality of a patient’s life if surgery and chemotherapy are ineffective.
Interventional Radiology: Some patients with non-small cell ling cancer may not be fit candidates for radiation therapy or surgery. In such cases, a minimally invasive procedure known as percutaneous ablation is performed: Under anaesthesia, CT imaging guides a needle into the tumour, which applies extreme cold or heat into it and destroys it.