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Lung cancer, in fact, is one of the leading causes of cancer-related death in the United States, and the world. When it is detected, decisions regarding the treatment approach should be made quickly so as to maximize the chances of a successful recovery. Lung cancer may often require surgical treatment if medicines and other conservative methods are not effective enough. If you have been advised surgery for your lung cancer, you may be a candidate for robotic surgery at Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital.
Lung cancer is a condition in which cells inside the lungs multiply in an uncontrollable manner. Lung cancer that originates in the lungs may spread to distant organs in our body such as the brain. On the other hand, cancer affecting other organs may spread to involve the lungs. Lung cancers are divided into 2 major types named as small-cell and non-small cell lung cancer. Non-small cell lung cancer occurs more commonly.
Surgical treatment is considered as the last option when medication and other conservative treatment methods are ineffective in the treatment of lung cancer. Our surgeons may advise one of the following four types of surgery to treat lung cancer.
Pulmonary lobectomy is indicated when cancer occurs within a lobe of the lung. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia. The surgeon makes an incision between the ribs in order to establish access to the involved lung. After the affected lung tissue is removed, your surgeon places a drainage tube that drains fluid, air, and blood out of the chest cavity. The incision is then closed with sutures. The draining tube is left in place until the lung expands fully.
Our oncologist will decide on the most suitable treatment plan for you taking into account factors such as the type and stage of your cancer, your general health, and your preferences. The options include chemotherapy, targeted drug therapy, and radiation therapy or a combination of these.
When you feel the side effects of treatment are greater than the benefits obtained, you may choose not to undergo any treatment. In this case, oncologists may prescribe comfort care or palliative care that takes care of cancer symptoms such as pain and shortness of breath.
Lung cancer is classified into three main types based on how the lung cancer cells appear during a microscopic examination.
Lung cancer at an early stage may not have any signs or symptoms. It may be evident on a chest X-ray done for some other reason. The common signs and symptoms of lung cancer include:
The process of diagnosis begins with an evaluation of the patient's medical history, family history of lung cancer, and a physical examination. Your oncologist may order certain diagnostic tests and procedures in order to diagnose lung cancer. These include:
The risk factors for lung cancer are listed below:
Lung cancer is caused mainly due to the use of tobacco products, which contain carcinogenic substances. When tobacco smoke is inhaled, the cells lining the lung tissues undergo changes that can be repaired initially. But, with repeated exposure, these cells become damaged, act abnormally, and gradually develop into cancer. Cigarette smoking, use of smokeless tobacco, and regular exposure to secondhand smoke are responsible for lung cancer death in the US. Miners exposed to radon gas are at greater risk for lung cancer. Inhalation of asbestos particles at shipbuilding yards, asbestos mining, and manufacturing can cause damage to lung cells and increase the risk of lung cancer.
Alternative lung cancer treatments may be combined with our physician's care only to help relieve your signs and symptoms as these methods do not provide a complete cure for cancer. You may be advised to seek alternative therapies if their benefits outweigh the risks. The American College of Chest Physicians recommends the following therapies for patients with lung cancer:
Lung cancer may be prevented by avoiding the identified risk factors, and increasing the protective factors such as quitting smoking, lowering exposure to radon and other workplace risk factors, eating healthy food, and regular exercise.
For any questions, information or guidance related to lung cancer, consult our skilled specialists at Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital.