Advancements in Lung Cancer Treatment Bring Hope

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November 14, 2022
Advancements in Lung Cancer

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. Research has made great strides surrounding the diagnosis and treatment of this disease. Not counting non-melanoma skin cancers, lung cancer is the second most common cancer in both men and women. The American Cancer Society reports that the lifetime chance of developing lung cancer is 1 in 15 for men and 1 in 17 for women. For those who smoke, the risk is much higher.

Low Dose CT Scan for Lung Cancer Screening

Cancer is more treatable when caught early. Lung cancer often isn’t caught until it is well advanced, but low dose CT lung cancer screening (LDCT scan) is changing that. LDCT scans use 75% less radiation, require no needles, and have been shown to significantly lower lung cancer mortality in high-risk patients.

It’s not recommended for everyone, but you might be a candidate if you are 50 to 80 years old, if you smoke or who have quit within the past 15 years, or if you smoke heavily (or used to smoke heavily). Talk to your doctor about whether LDCT screening is right for you.

Immunotherapy for Lung Cancer Treatment

Immunotherapy medications leverage your immune system to fight lung cancer. Immunotherapy works by either boosting your immune system function or changing the way it works to target cancer cells.

Cancer cells can hide from your immune system, but proven immunotherapy drugs like Keytruda and Opdivo activate your immune system to identify hidden cancer cells. In recent years, these drugs have received approval to treat several types of lung cancer.

Targeted Therapies Protect Healthy Cells

Also called precision medicinetargeted therapies are medications designed to specifically attack cancer cells while bypassing healthy, normal cells. They may be used alone or in conjunction with traditional chemotherapy. Because they spare healthy cells, targeted therapies may produce fewer side effects than traditional chemotherapy treatment.

Targeted therapies work by zeroing in on certain biomarkers (mutations, additions, deletions, or rearrangements in DNA) present in tumors. If tests reveal that your lung cancer contains biomarkers suited to targeted therapy, your doctor may recommend it.

Clinical trials for Improved Outcomes

Cancer research is constantly evolving. Clinical trials for lung cancer can provide patients with the opportunity for a better outcome and improved quality of life while helping to pave the way for tomorrow’s standard treatment protocols. Through our involvement in US Oncology Research, Arizona Oncology participates in clinical trials, bringing these leading-edge treatment options to patients right in their community, where they are close to family and friends.

Arizona Oncology’s Approach to Lung Cancer Treatment

When it comes to receiving a lung cancer diagnosis, it can take your breath away. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed. But don’t. The expert surgeons and caring nurses at Arizona Oncology can outline a path forward to help you breathe a little easier along this journey. For more information about our compassionate, team-oriented approach, visit