Lung Cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide with over 2 million people losing their lives, every year. Approximately 80% of cancer cases are caused by cigarette smoking which can also be the case for second-hand smokers.
A significant problem that is faced when dealing with cancer, is that most people do not realise any symptoms until the disease is in the late stages. This only makes the cancer more difficult to control and treat, leading to the many deaths that in some cases, could be prevented. That is where the need for advanced diagnostic and treatment options arises.
International Medical Treatment Ltd (IMT) can help you or your loved one to find the latest diagnostic and treatment options overseas at some of the leading hospitals that we have chosen to partner with.
Finding cancer in its early stages makes it more effective to treat and that is what is offered at our partner hospitals. Once a doctor has done a physical examination, more tests may be ordered if lung cancer is suspected. Some advanced tests are:
- Biopsies: These involve getting a sample from the lung tumour and examining it in a laboratory to determine whether cancer is present. There are several ways lung biopsies can be carried out and these include:
1. Bronchoscopy: In this method, a doctor passes a thin flexible tube fitted with a light into the lungs through the mouth or nose. A sample of fluid or tissue is then taken and examined.
2. Fine-needle aspiration: A small needle is inserted into the lungs and a sample taken from the tumour with the guidance of a CT scan or a fluoroscope which is a special x-ray machine.
3. Thoracoscopy: A tissue sample is taken from the chest using a thin tube fitted with a camera and examined in a laboratory.
4. Thoracentesis: The fluid in between the lung and chest wall is collected using a needle and examined.
5. Molecular testing: It is done to check for any abnormalities in the genes that lead to growth of cancer cells.
6. Mediastinoscopy: This procedure is carried out by a surgeon who makes a small incision underneath the breast bone and taking a sample of tissue from the lymph node which can be examined for cancer.
- Imaging tests: With more advanced imaging techniques, cancer can be detected earlier. Some of the options available at our partner hospitals are:
1. Positron emission tomography: A mixture of radioactive material and sugar are injected into the body. If present, the lung cancer cells absorb the mixture faster than normal cells and appear brighter on the tests.
2. CT scan and MRI: Through these tests, computerised tomography and magnetic resonance imaging scans, the doctor or specialist can be able to determine the location and size of the tumour in the lung, if present.
The treatment of lung cancer depends on the size, location and stage of the cancer. Once the specialist has determined these factors, they can then choose the most appropriate treatment option.
- Surgery: This is probably the first step in treating most cancers. However, the lungs are very delicate organs and therefore, any surgical procedure of the lungs needs to be handled with care. The different types of surgeries for lung cancer include:
1. Lobectomy: Involves removal of one lobe of the affected lung.
2. Segmentectomy: When lobectomy is not possible, cancerous tissue can be removed from the lung through this procedure.
3. Pneumonectomy: Removal of the entire lung.
4. Wedge resection: This procedure, on the other hand, involves removing a small part of the lung with the tumour.
At our partner hospitals, video-assisted thoracic surgery (VAT) and Robotic-assisted thoracic surgery is done to perform minimally invasive surgeries which allow for faster healing, shorter hospital stays and less scarring as small incision are made during surgery.
- Radiotherapy: This therapy focuses on using high energy beams to kill cancer cells and prevent them from growing and spreading to other organs. One advanced form of radiation therapy that can be used for lung cancer treatment is brachytherapy which delivers high doses of radiation using implants that are placed inside the tumour.
- Targeted therapy: This type of therapy uses drugs to destroy cancer cells without causing harm to normal cells.
- Combination therapy: In this treatment option, the specialist uses a combination of therapies depending on what is most appropriate.
With advanced diagnosis and treatment options, the chances of finding cancer at an early stage is increased and effective treatment is made possible. Contact IMT today to get advanced lung cancer treatment at one of our partner hospitals around the world.