Cancer is a condition in which the cells grow uncontrollably beyond the normal levels. When this occurs in lung (lung cells), it is called as Lung cancer.
Cancer is a condition in which the cells grow uncontrollably beyond the normal levels. When this occurs in lung (lung cells), it is called as Lung cancer. Lung cancer is basically of two main types: non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and small cell lung cancer. The nature of growth and the treatment strategy both are different for these types of lung cancers. Among both the types, non-small cell lung cancer is more common. Apart from these types, there are other types of lung cancer as well but less common.
Risk factors of lung cancer can be many such as:
87% of male patients and 85% of female patients have had history of active tobacco smoking exposure, whereas 3% of patients had passive tobacco exposure (indirect exposure of inhalation of smoke due to being in the vicinity of smokers).
Statistics and Disease burden of lung cancer in India
GLOBOCAN 2018 observed data revealed that lung cancer accounted for 67,795 new cases (i.e., 5.9%) and 63, 475 death cases (8.1%) out of that by other cancer types in India in the year 2018.
Symptoms of lung cancer
Symptoms of lung cancer differs from individual to individual and depends on the stages of cancer.
While some people may have symptoms related to the lungs others can have specific to sites where cancer has spread (metastasized). The symptoms might range from general symptoms like not feeling well to other specific symptoms. Whereas most of the patients might not even feel any symptoms until they reach to an advanced stage.
Some of the common symptoms maybe –
Treatments available for lung cancer
There are various factors on which the treatment of lung cancer depends:
The various treatment modalities available for the treatment of lung cancer are surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy or radiation therapy and targeted therapy.
Surgery – Surgery is done to cut out the tumor tissue. If any nearby lymph nodes are affected, the doctor will also remove them surgically. Surgery alone is not often the only treatment; it is mostly given together with chemotherapy or radiation or both. This is to kill or eliminate any residual cancer cells after surgery. The treatment that is given to lower the risk of cancer recurring back is called adjuvant therapy.
Chemotherapy – Chemotherapy is the most important therapeutic modality in case of small cell lung cancer because this cancer spreads or propagates at a faster rate. Depending on the stage and type of lung cancer, chest radiotherapy alone or combined with chemotherapy or chemotherapy alone is decided. The doctor, after detailed investigations and discussions with other specialists, plans and decides the suitable regimen for each patient.
Radiation therapy – Radiation therapy is one of the modalities for cancer treatment that employs high-energy x-rays or radiations to destroy cancer cells or prevent their spread within the body. Radiation therapy can be administered either from outside the body (using external machines towards cancer like external beam radiation) or by using a radioactive substance sealed in needles, seeds or catheters being placed into or near the cancerous area (brachytherapy).
The type and stage of cancer decides the radiation therapy a patient receives. It can be given after surgery to ensure the elimination of any cancer cells left out in surgery or as palliative therapy for symptomatic relief such as pain or other symptoms in advanced stage lung cancer patients.
External radiation therapy is used to treat small cell lung cancer, and may also be used as palliative therapy to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life.
Targeted therapy – Targeted therapies as the name suggests, are the agents or products used in cancer treatment that ‘target’ or aim at specific molecules or substances in the tumor cells. They specifically target and destroy the cancer cells sparing the normal ones, stop growth of cancerous cells and prevent its spread within the body by blocking signals inside the cancer cells.
The major difference between chemotherapy and targeted therapies is that chemotherapy acts on all rapidly dividing cells irrespective of them being cancerous or normal whereas targeted therapy acts only on the specific ‘target’ molecules in/on the cancerous cells sparing the normal cells. Therefore, the adverse effects are minimal or less with targeted therapy.
Lung Cancer immunotherapy or Immunotherapy for lung cancer
What is immunotherapy?
Cancer immunotherapy is a cancer treatment modality that utilises and enhances the ability of body’s immune system or defence system to perceive, target, control, and eliminate cancer cells present within the body. Immunotherapy treatments for preventing, managing, or treating different cancers can also be used in combination with surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, or targeted therapies to improve their effectiveness.
Immunotherapy for lung cancer – Immunotherapy is one of the latest treatment modalities used for the treatment of lung cancer. In India, approval for lung cancer immunotherapy by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) followed soon after the US FDA approval, making it available to the needful cancer patients in whom chemotherapy or other primary cancer treatment are not successful. There are many approved types available for immunotherapy treatment for lung cancer in India. Immunotherapy for small cell lung cancer as well as non-small cell lung cancer immunotherapy is approved and available in India. Lung cancer immunotherapy is one of the assuring therapies and could be an effective weapon in the battle against lung cancer. Among the various available immunotherapy hospitals for lung cancer in India, one of the best hospitals for immunotherapy for lung cancer treatment is available at American Oncology Institute, Hisar with premium cancer care services and a highly-experienced team of doctors.
How does immunotherapy work?
Under normal conditions, the body’s immune or defence system can identify, recognize and destroy the cancer cells inside the body. Even though the immune system is potent to prevent or slow down cancer growth, the cancer cells might develop ways to be spared from destruction by the immune system. Immunotherapy aids the immune system to act in a better way on the cancer cells. Unlike other cancer treatment modalities, immunotherapy uses substances or materials from living organisms to fight cancer. Hence, it could be said that cancer immunotherapy equips the body’s immune system to help fight cancer in a more biological way.
What are the advantages of immunotherapy?
When compared to the traditional treatment modalities for cancer treatment, immunotherapy has many benefits to offer such as:
What are the side effects of Immunotherapy?
Immunotherapy shows less side effects over the conventional therapies for cancer treatment like chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy. Cancer immunotherapy side effects or Immunotherapy for lung cancer side effects if occur, they are manageable now-a-days due to the availability of advanced treatment options.
Most of the side effects which occur are not that serious and mentioning a few, these can be:
Who can receive immunotherapy?
Future of immunotherapy for other cancer treatments in India
After decades of studies on the role of immune system in treating cancer in a more biological/natural way, the researchers have had been successful in receiving the US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) approval for immunotherapy treatment for cancer. Immunotherapy is one of the assuring therapies for cancer treatment to come along. Immunotherapy is now even recommended by many international cancer treatment guidelines. There have been many studies and clinical trials which support the effectiveness of immunotherapy. Not only for lung cancer, but immunotherapy is available for other cancers as well such as melanoma, lymphoma, head and neck cancers, kidney cancer, bladder cancer, etc. Numerous studies are ongoing to evaluate immunotherapy, as single agents or in combination with other therapies.
Even though immunotherapy offers many advantages in cancer treatment, there are a few challenges on its way such as:
Immunotherapy is a good treatment option in cases non-responsive to traditional chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy for cancer treatment. Although immunotherapy is one of the most expensive cancer treatments available today, it could be economical especially when compared to that in other countries.
Not only for lung cancer, but immunotherapy is available for the treatment of other types of cancers as well in India. Immunotherapy for lung cancer in Hisar is available at American Oncology Institute providing comprehensive cancer care equipped with advanced technologies and extremely experienced team of doctors. Immunotherapy lung cancer cost in Hisar, American Oncology Institute can offer you with treatment solutions for almost every cancer at an economical and affordable way.
To know more about immunotherapy for lung cancer treatment or immunotherapy for other cancers, you can easily reach out to us at American Oncology Institute, Hisar and/or any of our units near your location.
Our cancer specialists and Medical Oncology consultants are always there to serve you better with their consultations and treatments across all our locations.