Depending on the stage of your lung cancer, your treatment options- as well as goals- will change. Treatment by stage for non-small cell lung cancer:
While this stage is uncommon, most patients with stage 1 lung cancer will normally have surgery to remove part of the lung or the entire lung. If health issues arise, your doctor may suggest targeted radiotherapy instead. The goal at this stage is to be cured of your lung cancer.
You may be offered surgery at this stage depending on the position of your tumour- this could result in the removal of part, or all, of the lung. After surgery, your doctor may recommend chemotherapy to lower the risk of recurrence. Your doctor may also recommend radiotherapy, or a combination of both chemotherapy and radiotherapy. The goal at this stage is to be cured of your lung cancer, with special attention to ensure it does not return.
At stage three, it is increasingly important to be tested for your bio-marker. Your doctor may suggest a variety of treatment options, from chemotherapy to radiation, or immunotherapy. While many still believe being cured at Stage 3 is not possible, there are new and innovative treatment options that have allowed for a cure at Stage 3. Talk to your doctor about your options.
If you are diagnosed with Stage 4, the goal of your treatment will be to shrink your tumour to reduce symptoms and to control the cancer so that it does not spread further. Your doctor may suggest many different treatment options depending on where your cancer has spread. Again, it is important to know and understand your bio-marker if you are diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer.
As lung cancer research progresses, innovative therapies to treat both SCLC and NSCLC are expanding and are showing promising results. It is best to speak with your doctor about your treatment options.
Get more information about treatment options for small cell lung cancer here.
Get more information about treatment options for non-small cell lung cancer here.
While radiation and chemotherapy remain the standard of care for most patients, there has been a shift towards personalized therapy through an increased understanding of the molecular diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer, which is offering patients new opportunities for survival, even at an advanced stage. Your treatment options wholly depend on the type and stage of your lung cancer diagnosis, your tumours mutational status, as well as your overall health and your own wishes.
Treatment options differ based on the type of lung cancer you have:
- Treatment options for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer are seemingly more extensive. Treatment can range from surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, a combination of these treatments, with some patients at advanced stages opting for biological therapy or immunotherapy. For NSCLC patients, the staging diagnosis is the most important prognostic factor.
- Small Cell Lung Cancer is the most often treated with chemotherapy, and may also be treated with radiotherapy. As SCLC metastasizes rapidly, and is often already metastatic at the time of diagnosis, surgical removal and localized radiation therapy are often less effective.
- As lung cancer research progresses, innovative therapies to treat both SCLC and NSCLC are expanding and are showing promising results.
- It is best to speak with your doctor about your treatment options.
Chemotherapy uses anti-cancer drugs to destroy cancer cells which work by disrupting the growth of cancer cells.
Read more here.
Radiotherapy uses high energy rays to kill cancer cells.
Immunotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that helps your immune system fight cancer. Immunotherapy is used to:
- Stop or slow the growth of cancer
- Help the immune system work better to destroy cancer calls
- Stop cancer from spreading to other parts of the body
There are different types of immunotherapy, all based on your own cancer diagnosis. Ask your doctor if you are a good candidate for immunotherapy.