Dr. Raj Dahiya, is a board-certified radiation oncologist who specializes in the treatment of many types of malignancies including lung cancers. Lung cancer is considered the second most common cancer. It mainly occurs in older people, 65 years and older, but it has also been diagnosed in people as young as 45. People who smoke are at a higher risk. According to statistics revealed by the American Cancer Society, 1 of every 15 men and 1 of every 17 women will develop lung cancer.
Treatment of Lung Cancer:
Depending on the type and spread of cancer, it can be treated in several ways. That include:
• Radiation Therapy
• Targeted therapy – Drugs are used to block the growth and spread of cancer
Dr. Raj Dahiya along with a specialized team of experts will evaluate and plan the combination of treatment options that is best suitable in your case.
Radiation Techniques used for Lung Cancer:
Radiation therapy is one of the most effective treatments in halting the growth of cancer cells and shrinking the tumor, it may act as your primary treatment. The types of radiation therapy used in the treatment of lung cancer are:
1. External beam technique (EBT):
The EBT aims the beam of X-ray radiation directly at the tumor. The treatment lasts over six to seven weeks. External beam radiation may be used before or after surgical removal of the tumor or in combination with other treatments.
• Conventional 2-D radiation therapy – It is traditional radiation therapy, and is not used nowadays.
• 3-D conformal radiation therapy – This technique uses a 3-D image of your tumor through CT. The high-dose radiation beam is directly targeted at the cancerous area. This technique allows precise delivery to the area, minimizing the radiation exposure of the surrounding normal lung tissue.
• Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) – It is similar to the 3D conformal therapy but is even more precise. The tumor is mapped from many angles and then the radiation is started.
• Proton beam therapy – This technique uses protons instead of X-rays. Used in the case where a vital structure lies very close to the tumor. Proton therapy directs all the radiation energy in the affected area without passing through any normal tissue.
2. Internal Radiation Therapy – Brachytherapy:
This technique involves the placement of a radioactive substance into the tumor through a camera-guided procedure. The radiation dose is lower than the external methods. Brachytherapy is indicated in case of a recurring tumor in or near the airway.
How many radiation sessions are needed for lung cancer?
The number of sessions depends on the type and the stage of your cancer. Typically, your sessions may range from three to five high doses of radiation.
Side Effects of Radiation Therapy for Lung Cancer?
Side effects are how your body reacts to the treatment. Radiation is a localized treatment, thus the side effects will mostly be limited to the area of radiation. Possible side effects may include weakness, fatigue, localized skin irritation, itching, redness to sore throat, and some breathing difficulties. Throughout your course of treatment, Dr. Raj Dahiya will help you manage these unpleasant side effects in order to help you feel better.
Lung Cancer Survival rate:
The American Cancer Society estimates the 5 years survival rate for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer as 63% for localized type. While of Small Cell Lung cancer stage 1 survival rate is 54% and stage 2 is 35%. People with early diagnosis and early-stage cancer have a higher chance of surviving. While these numbers significantly decrease with increased stage and spread.