Author: Dr. David Rice
Lung Cancer Awareness: Prevention & Treatment
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among men and women in the United States and worldwide. With approximately 9 out of 10 lung cancer diagnoses linked to cigarette smoking, the best way to prevent the disease is to never smoke or quit. Even if you have smoked for years, quitting at any time can reduce your cancer and cardiovascular risk.
Every lung cancer experience is different, with patients not only displaying different symptoms, but some do not have symptoms until the cancer is advanced. This makes finding lung cancer in its early stages difficult and harder to treat for a successful outcome.
In recent years, treatment for lung cancer has significantly improved. Each lung cancer patient will have an individualized treatment plan that could include a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, targeted therapies, immunotherapy, palliative care, and the most common treatment, radiation therapy. Radiation therapy for lung cancer uses high-powered X-rays to target and kill cancer cells or keep them from growing. Treatment with radiation therapy is typically short and painless. The total dose and frequency of radiation therapy vary from patient to patient, depending on the type of cancer, treatment goals, and overall health.
Radiation therapy for lung cancer, and any other cancer, is most effective when patients receive a full dose as recommended and scheduled by their physician. Research shows that missing or postponing treatments can increase the risk of cancer returning once treatment is completed. When Hurricane Ian hit Southwest Florida, many businesses, including health clinics, were damaged and lost power. At Advocate Radiation Oncology, we were very fortunate that we were able to keep our doors open to treat our patients and other providers’ patients based on their immediate need for care. Our mission is to provide compassionate healthcare expertise to cancer patients, and we are honored to serve cancer patients throughout Southwest Florida.