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Lung Cancer: Effective Treatment Options
Lung cancer is defined as a tumor on the lungs. That tumor is known as being malignant. Due to the rise in popularity of smoking, it also appears is as if lung cancer is on the rise. The good news is that many forms of lung cancer are treatable. However, like all other forms of cancer, lung cancer will spread. That is why it is important that it is diagnosed right away. When lung cancer is diagnosed in the early stages, it is easier to treat. With the right lung cancer treatment options, you may not only increase your life expectancy, but you may also end up cancer free.
Before you can begin to seek treatment for lung cancer, you will have to be diagnosed with it. This diagnosis will need to come from a healthcare professional. Although a healthcare professional is needed to diagnose lung cancer, there are lung cancer symptoms that you may be able to notice on your own. These symptoms typically include coughing, wheezing, loss of appreciate, weight loss, and shortness of breath. In the event that you display one or more of these symptoms, you are advised to contact your physician right away.
Once your physician has been altered to your display of lung cancer symptoms, they will likely order a number of different tests. These tests may include CAT scans, biopsies, and chest x-rays. If you are diagnosed with lung cancer, you and your physician will often work together to develop an effective lung cancer treatment plan. The chosen treatment plan will likely depend on which type of lung cancer you are diagnosed with, whether it be small cell or non-small cell lung cancer, and the stage which you are at. Although the type of lung cancer you are diagnosed with may have an impact on your lung cancer treatment options, there are common treatment options that have been successful in the past for virtually all types of lung cancer.
Surgery is the most common lung cancer treatment approach. Surgery, in most cases, will eliminate cancer, especially when it is in the early stages. For surgery to be an effective lung cancer treatment option, your cancer must not have spread throughout the rest of your body. Once the cancer has spread to your bones, brain, or other body organs, surgery may not be enough to cure it. At this stage, more of a focus is placed on life expectancy than a cure.
In addition to surgery, chemotherapy is also considered an effective lung cancer treatment option. Although chemotherapy can be used to cure cancer, it is often used when surgery is not an option. Certain lung cancers, such as cancer that is present in the lymph nodes, may be difficult or impossible to remove. In this case, chemotherapy is used as an alternative. In addition to attempting to cure lung cancer, chemotherapy is also used to prolong the life of an individual who has been diagnosed with lung cancer that has spread to other vital body parts and organs. These individuals are typically classified as having stage IV lung cancer.
In many cases, lung cancer treatment comprises of both surgery and chemotherapy. Both treatment options, when used together, may increase the chances of a cure. However, it is important that these treatment options be implemented as soon as possible. The importance of knowing the signs of lung cancer and your body cannot be emphasized enough. Whether you know for sure that your body displays the above mentioned lung cancer signs or not, you are advised to seek medical assistance immediately. The longer you wait, the more likely it is that your cancer will spread. It may even spread to the point where a cure is no longer possible.
As previously mentioned, those that smoke cigarettes are at an increased risk for lung cancer; however, lung cancer does not just happen to smokers. Secondhand smoke is another common cause of lung cancer. Unlike many other cancer types, lung cancer, in most cases, can be prevented. The next time that you light up a cigarette or choose to hang around someone else, who does, you are advised to think about the danger that you are putting your body and your life in.
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