How to Recover From Lung Cancer
Lung cancer patients must fight for life against cancer. It can be very difficult and it can be a long, difficult battle, but it is most definitely possible. As with all cancer patients, you will always have a better chance of survival the earlier the cancer is found and treated. Fast detection and treatment can help ensure recovery, while cancer found in the later stages can be very difficult to recover from.
No matter what stage of lung cancer you are in, you need to be considering treatment. Treatment is the key for recovery. You want the best treatment for your body that will eliminate all of the cancer cells. There are many treatment options that we will discuss here briefly.
Surgical treatment options, in order of complications, are wedge resection, lobectomy, and pneumonectomy. Wedge resection can be used to diagnose lung cancer or to remove a small tumor, while lobectomy is the removal of the lobe of the lung, to remove all of the cancer and tumor. Pneumonectomy is used as a last resort to get rid of cancer, but only in early stage, healthy patients. Pneumonectomy is the removal of the entire lung, so the complications are high, but it reduces your risk of reoccurring cancer significantly.
Other treatment options for lung cancer are chemotherapy and radiation therapy. They are often used in combination with one another. Chemotherapy is the use and combination of many different drugs to help kill cancer cells, while radiation therapy is the use of high-powered beams used to kill cancer cells.
In more severe cases of cancer you can consider target drug therapy, clinical trials, or supportive care. Target drug therapy is relatively new, and there are two different kinds. Tarceva target drug therapy stops the cancer cells from growing and dividing, while Bevacizumab kills the tumor by stopping its blood supply. Clinical trials are optional treatments by a variety of doctors. They are their latest theories for curing cancer. Clinical trials are never guaranteed, but being a part of them will assist the doctors in finding a true cure for lung cancer. Supportive care is used to help keep you comfortable. In supportive care you are no longer fighting the cancer, you are just relaxing and enjoying the rest of your life.
After treatment of lung cancer one always has a better chance of survival. While sometimes it may not seem long (3 to 5 years), it is better than the 4 to 5 months you would have had without the surgery. After treatment your life will change drastically. It is best if you develop a great support system within your family, and it also is a good idea to join cancer or lung cancer support groups. You can share your story, plus listen to others.
Also, after diagnosis of lung cancer and after any treatment the patient should always keep all scheduled appointments with their doctor. Follow-up appointments are very important to ensure proper recovery and to keep an eye on the cancer to be sure that it is not coming back. Patients should also notify their doctor of any complications, abnormalities, or health problems that they are occurring in between appointments.