Can lung cancer be cured? Everything you Should Know about Lung Cancer Cure is discussed in this blog. This is a frequently asked question when dealing with lung cancer. If detected early, can chemotherapy or surgery cure it? These questions are quite difficult to answer, as an honest answer will require a carefully detailed explanation and therefore a yes or no answer will depend upon how one chooses to define what cure is.
Can lung cancer be cured?
♦ Its important to note the following;
- Lung cancer can regress, although reported cases of regression are not common.
- Distant metastases can be diagnosed and treated and patients can have hope of long-term survival.
- There is a possibility of a lung cancer patient to survive for a Long term especially when its detected in its early stages or when a progressed condition responds positively to immunotherapy and targeted therapies.
♠ Note that even if lung cancer cannot be cured, it can be treated.
♦ WHAT DOES LUNG CANCER CURE MEAN?
There are few rare cases in which people who had cancer have been declared “cured”. Lung cancer, just like other cancers cannot be just “cured”. What this means is that there is always a likelihood of it re-occurring after its initial occurrence. The recurrence can take even decades. A lung cancer survivor for say five years after diagnosis will always be faced with a constant risk of dying from it until after eighteen years from the time they were diagnosed.
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Lung cancer is mostly likely to recur in people with adenocarcinoma as compared to those with squamous lung cancer. Its also more likely to recur if the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes and also when no surgery has been done. An exception of reoccurrence is however possible only when the cancer is in stage 1A with no vascular invasion i.e. the cancer tumor is of small size and it has not progressed to affect any blood vessel and therefore in this case, if there isn’t a recurrence after five years, a patient can be said to be cured.
♦ CAN LUNG CANCER IN THE EARLY STAGES BE CURED WITH SURGERY?
Generally, surgery offers the highest long term chance of survival and as mentioned above, when the surgery is done in the early stages, and the cancer hasn’t spread to the blood vessels and lymph nodes, doctors can used the term “cure”. Surgery can be performed when the lung cancer is in stage 1,2, and 3.
♦ CAN LUNG CANCER BE CURED WITH CHEMOTHERAPY?
Doctors don’t use chemotherapy as a curative method for lung cancer. Chemotherapy may be used only ;
♦ As an adjuvant therapy- after lung cancer surgery, chemotherapy may be administered as an additional treatment in the case of imaging misdiagnosis of which the cancer might have spread to other parts of the body .
♦ As palliative therapy- where chemotherapy is administered to help minimize the lung cancer symptoms or extend a patient’s life.
♦ CAN RADIATION CURE LUNG CANCER?
Commonly known as ”cyber knife”, stereotactic body radiotherapy can have effectiveness that is similar to surgery but this is limited to only the people in the early stages of lung cancer and who can’t be treated surgically. A small research conducted in lung cancer patients indicated that patients who survived after 5 years of SBRT had a 25% chance of recurrence.
♦ ALTERNATIVE LUNG CANCER TREATMENT
Some of the alternative treatments mentioned below have been proved scientifically to be safe and effective when treating lung cancer.
Note that its important to check with your doctor before using any other alternative treatment to make sure you choose the best option.
It’s a traditional Chinese treatment whereby specific body points are stimulated with thin needles. This treatment method aims to restore natural energy flow in the body. Acupuncture can help minimize pain after lung cancer surgery and even manage vomiting and nausea resulting from chemotherapy.
♦ Herbal supplements
From history, More than 100 herbal supplements have been used to treat lung cancer in china. These supplements are said to be effective in killing cancer cells or reducing the symptoms. note that the supplements are used alongside the conventional lung cancer treatment.
Examples of commonly used herbal supplements are; Asparagus root, licorice root and Astragalus.
♦ Medical marijuana
Cannabinoids, an active chemical in marijuana usually prompts the body to produce chemicals that boosts the body’s central nervous and immune system.
Reports from the National Cancer Institute indicate that the essential oils used in aromatherapy have lung cancer fighting capabilities. The oils stimulate the part of brain that controls emotion and therefore helps to reduce nausea, stress, depression and pain in a lung cancer patient.
♦ DIET FOR LUNG CANCER PATIENTS
There is no specific prescribed diet for lung cancer patients as each patient’s needs are different. Diet is based on ones treatment plan, other illnesses such as heart disease or diabetes, weight and height.
♦ Its necessary for a lung cancer patient to have a diet plan that:
- Will help them maintain a healthy body weight.
- Does not increase the side effects of the lung cancer treatment.
- Has the necessary essential nutrients required by the body.
♦ A lung cancer patient’s diet plan should include the following;
- Eating whenever hungry
- Eat while sitting upright
- Meals should be taken throughout the day and served in small portions .
- Avoid food and drinks that are non nutritious or have low amounts of calorie .
- Eat food that is rich in fiber to minimize constipation.
- Avoid eating very cold or very hot food.
- In case of dietary supplements, Check with your doctor first.
- Ginger tea can help with gut soothing.
- Use spices and herbs to make the food more attractive.
- Also talk to your doctor concerning the diet plan.
- Take thicker liquids such as milk shakes rather than milk.
- Your food should consist mostly of protein to facilitate healing.