To Treat or Not to Treat? There are a host of possible “Western”, “Eastern”, and “Non-Traditional” treatments you might choose, in addition to the option of not ‘treating’ at all. An intensely personal decision, the following are just a few options for treating your Lung Cancer, or not…. Please speak with your family, trusted advisors, and health care providers.
Day 6 – Traditional “Western Treatment” approaches include the following:
Surgery: Localized Non-Small Cell Cancer (NSCLC) lesions may be able to be excised (removed) with surgery such as a Resection (removal of a small part of the lung where the tumor is located), a Lobectomy (removal of an entire lobe of the affected lung), or Pneumonectomy (removal of the entire lung). Small Cell Lung Carcinoma (SCLC) is rarely considered operable unless found incidentally in a very early “limited” stage.
Chemotherapy: The most commonly used chemotherapy options (treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing), for both NSCLC and SCLC, currently include a Platinum-based drug with the addition of an adjunct drug, the decision for which is based on the particular molecular biology of your cancer. (We will be addressing types of chemotherapy in Topic #7.)
Radiation Therapy: The use of high-energy radiation from x-rays, gamma rays, neutrons, protons and other sources to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors.
Prophylactic Cranial Irradiation (PCI): preventative radiation therapy to the brain, if the patient exhibits good response to other therapies. This is recommended in order to lower the risk of brain metastasis, a very common site of SCLC recurrence, in particular.
Clinical Trials: New drugs go through a series of testing, with significant and standard monitoring, before widespread government approval. Being part of a Trial can have significant benefits (if it’s working for YOU), or risks and challenges (if it’s not working for you and/or for others). We will speak more about Trials in Topic #9.
Palliative Therapy: Radiation, pain management, emotional support, planning and holistic care are areas of focus for ‘palliative care’. They are often used to help control the symptoms of cancer. For example, in addition to working to shrink or eliminate the actual cancer, radiation may be used in managing symptoms such as bone pain due to bone metastases, headaches and weakness caused by brain metastases, bleeding from the lungs, and bowel or bladder symptoms caused by obstruction of the spinal cord. It is not curative; it may help to reduce the cancer symptoms you may experience. You may also get help finding ways to manage stress, fear, and planning for your health care future and the well-being of your family. A good palliative care provider may help your spiritual, emotional, and physical journey while navigating Lung Cancer. HERE is one educational opportunity for learning more about Palliative Care, from Lung.org.
Resources: https://www.verywellhealth.com/small-cell-lung-cancer-2249366, https://www.lung.org/lung-health-and-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/lung-cancer/patients/treatment/types-of-treatment/supportive-palliative-care.html
See more simple, direct & loving lung cancer facts at the below link.