Definition of lung cancer:
Any malignant tumor which grows in the lung is regarded as lung cancer. Lung cancer can be divided into two main categories: non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer. According to different cell types, non-small cell lung cancer can be further divided into squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, large cell carcinoma, adenosquamous cell carcinoma, carcinoid and bronchial adenocarcinoma. Approximately 75% of all types of lung cancer can be effectively treated when it is detected early.
Risk factors of lung cancer:
The cause of lung cancer is still unclear. Generally, the risk factors of lung cancer could be attributed to smoking, suffering from chronic respiratory disease (e.g. chronic bronchitis, emphysema, tuberculosis, etc.), cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy and exposure to long-term risk factors such as second-hand smoke, air pollution, asbestos, chromium, uranium and radioactive radon, etc.
Symptoms of lung cancer:
Most patients with early-stage lung cancer show mild symptoms, until the tumor has invaded neighboring organs which will cause other symptoms. Please consult the chest physician for further medical evaluation to implement early diagnosis and early treatment if you have the following symptoms as mentioned below. The goal of the initial evaluation is to obtain sufficient clinical and radiological information which will help as a guiding tool for diagnostic tissue biopsy, staging and treatment.
- Pulmonary symptoms: A persistent cough that does not go away or gets worse, repeated infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia, shortness of breath, dyspnea, hemoptysis sputum, hoarseness of voice, chest pain that worsens with cough or deep breathing and dysphagia.
- Metastatic symptoms: Symptoms of metastatic spinal cord or nerve compression, metastatic bone pain, metastasis of liver and adrenal gland.
- General symptoms: poor appetite, weight loss, fatigue, weakness and fever.
Treatment of lung cancer:
Each patient will be treated differently based on the patient's overall health, the different types and stages of cancer. The doctors will work out a treatment plan for patients based on each patient's condition. Common treatments are classified as follows:
- Surgical resection: Surgery resection is regarded as the primary treatment for early- stage non-small cell lung cancer.
- Adjuvant chemotherapy or radiation therapy: Patients with early-stage lung cancer will be treated by adjuvant therapy. Adjuvant therapy refers to chemotherapy, radiation therapy or concomitant chemo-radio therapy (CCRT) that is administered after surgical removal of the tumor. The purpose of adjuvant therapy is to increase the effectiveness of post-operative treatment and decrease the chances of cancer metastasis.
- Chemotherapy: Patients with small cell lung cancer are mostly given chemotherapy as the main treatment strategy. In some cases, depending on the patient's condition, addition of radiation therapy can also be used. Also, some of the patients with non- small cell lung cancer can be treated by chemotherapy as it is considered as the main line of treatment.
- Radiation therapy: It provides direct treatment to the primary site and metastatic site of lung cancer and helps to relieve symptoms.
- Targeted therapy: For the patients with non-small cell lung cancer, it is necessary to perform the genetic test for detecting the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGRF) in order to determine whether or not the target therapy is applicable.
- Immunotherapy: For patients with non-small cell lung cancer, the immune response can be accomplished by injecting drugs to fight against the cancer cells.
Case management services for lung cancer:
Once diagnosed with lung cancer, our case manager will contact you directly, providing follow-up counseling and services and will accompany you throughout the treatment.
- Maconachie R, Mercer T, & McVeigh G. (2019). Lung cancer: diagnosis and management: summary of updated NICE guidance. British Medical Journal, 364:l1049. doi:org/10.1136/bmj.l1049
- Park, K., Vansteenkiste, J., Lee, K. H., Pentheroudakis, G., Zhou, C., Prabhash, K., ... & Wang, J. (2020). Pan-Asian adapted ESMO Clinical Practice Guidelines for the management of patients with locally-advanced unresectable non-small-cell lung cancer: a KSMO-ESMO initiative endorsed by CSCO, ISMPO, JSMO, MOS, SSO and TOS. Annals of Oncology. doi:10.1016/j.annonc.2019.10.026
- Rizvi, H., Bandlamudi, C., Schoenfeld, A. J., Sauter, J. L., Arbour, K. C., Beras, A., ... & Taylor, B. S. (2019). Molecular correlates of PD-L1 expression in patients with non-small cell lung cancer. doi:10.1200/JCO.2019.37.15_suppl.9018