World Lung Cancer Day 2023
Being that it is World Lung Cancer Day it is important to bring awareness to the signs and symptoms of lung cancer as well as being aware of treatment options. According to the National Cancer Institute, more than 230,000 cases of lung cancer are diagnosed annually in the United States. There are two major subtypes of lung cancer: non-small cell carcinoma and small cell carcinoma, which account for 76% and 13% of lung cancers in the U.S., respectively. Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death for both men and women, with over 21% of cancer deaths in the U.S. in 2022.
The good news is that lung cancer mortality has decreased by about 5% in the past few years. This is likely a combination of fewer cases of lung cancer combined with improved survival in those patients diagnosed. Modern cancer care involves testing for tumor-specific markers and mutations, to customize individual patient treatment. New cancer treatments like immunotherapy and targeted therapy have resulted in significant improvements in cure rates for lung cancer.
Lung Cancer Screening
In addition, lung cancer screening has resulted in finding lung cancers at earlier stages, when the cancer is more likely curable. This can also lead to fewer deaths from lung cancer. National guidelines recommend patients over the age of 50 who have smoked the equivalent of a pack of cigarettes daily for 20 years (20 pack-years) discuss lung cancer screening with their provider.
Lung cancer screening is done with a low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) scan of the lungs yearly. Sometimes, these scans can detect small nodules in the lungs that may represent early cancers. Alliance Cancer Care offers qualified patients LDCT lung scans through our Lung Cancer Screening Program.
Treating Lung Cancer with Radiation Therapy
At Alliance Cancer Care we treat using Radiation Therapy which is a common form of treatment and can be used alone or in combination with surgery and chemotherapy to increase cure rates. Radiation therapy can be an effective treatment option for lung cancer and can reduce the risk of cancer recurrence. Seventy seven percent of all lung cancer patients would benefit from this treatment according to evidence-based indications. Here are some advantages of Radiation Therapy:
» Radiation therapy is a non-invasive treatment option, typically offered as curative treatment or in combination with chemotherapy.
» Radiation is a quick treatment with minimal or no pain and a short recovery time.
» Since it is non-invasive, radiation therapy is an outpatient treatment.
» Radiation therapy will be targeted to a specific area of the body, which allows for precise treatment of the cancer while minimizing damage to healthy tissue.
» It can also be used to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life in patients with advanced lung cancer.
Studies have shown that patients treated with radiation therapy have a reduced risk of recurrence and improved survival rates. Lung cancer survivors should continue to receive regular follow-up care, including regular scans, to detect any potential recurrence of the disease.
For more information or to learn more please conact our care team at 256.319.5400.