Treatment of 4th Stage Lung Cancer that is Difficult to Treat
with Surgery and Radiotherapy
A lung cancer biopsy is often conducted through bronchial endoscopy or cervicothoracic fine needle aspiration and is more difficult to conduct than for other cancers. This is because sometimes the size or position of the tumor is not suitable for biopsy.
Since a healthy lung has the same balloon-like structure as sponge, complications such as pneumothorax can occur. In particular, lungs that have been exposed a lot cigarette smoke are likely to develop complications and they may rupture easier than healthy lungs. In some cases, the tissues cannot be directly collected from the tumor but it helps in gaining an accurate diagnosis to directly collect and examine the tumor tissue if it is possible.
It has been important to obtain genetic information to arrive at an accurate diagnosis. Genetic testing is conducted using parts of the collected tissues for cancer diagnosis.
Many cytotoxicity anticancer drugs used as treatment drugs for 4th stage lung cancer have various side effects including hair loss, neuralgia, nausea and vomiting. Compared to that, the targeted anticancer therapeutic agent is known to be more bearable even though there were some side effects. However, there are reasons why drugs with less side effects cannot just be prescribed to anyone. According to years of large-scale clinical trials, the targeted agent was identified as having the biggest effect only on those who had the mutation of the applicable gene. Now, it is possible to select the anticancer therapeutic agent depending on the applicable targets. It is possible to have the treatment effects with Iressa and Tarceva for the patients with epidermal growth factor receptor mutation and with Xalkori for the patients with Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase mutation.
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