Did you know that lung cancer is one of the most common cancers in men? Lung cancer has been responsible for 18.2% of all cancer deaths, prompting speculation that an epidemic of Lung Cancer will emerge in developing countries. In this bleak scenario, Dr. explains the advances made in preventive and therapeutic strategies, which may provide some hope for patients.
Preventive Measures in
Lung Cancer: The health ministry has taken important initiatives such as increasing the number of warning images on cigarette packaging and launching mobile support to quit smoking. A CT scan was performed as part of a screening program for smokers, which revealed that the people were at risk of developing lung cancer.
Lung Cancer Treatment Strategies
Understanding the cancer genome is primarily advanced by obtaining cancer tissue via biopsy or by drawing patient blood and analyzing cancer cells (liquid biopsy). A better understanding of the genetic changes in cancer cells has resulted in the development and introduction of medicines known as “Targeted Therapy”- this therapy disrupts the process of carcinogenesis, which is the conversion of a normal cell to a cancer cell. Among the benefits of this therapy are: Capability to act more specifically on cancer cells while minimizing damage to normal cells.
Prevents cancer cell growth and spread
Here are a few examples of targeted therapy.
Angiogenesis Inhibitors, Enzyme Inhibitors, and Apoptosis-Inducing Agents (causes cancer cells to die due to a change in protein if cancer cells) (Inhibit the process of formation of new blood vessels in the tumor and stop the blood supply to the tumor, thereby resulting in the death of cancer cells).
NOTE: Many of these agents are taken as pills, allowing the patient to maintain their normal lifestyle. These have lesser side effects as compared to chemotherapy and therefore the quality of life is better. Another ray of hope is “IMMUNOTHERAPY,” which reactivates the patient’s own immune system, allowing advanced-stage lung cancers to be effectively treated. The other two non-pharmacological treatment options for lung cancer are radiation and surgery. However, treatment is determined by the stage of cancer and the patient’s overall health. With the availability of options like radiotherapy, surgery, targeted therapy, and Immunotherapy, many patients can now be treated without