A look back on the advancement of lung cancer treatment
Lung cancer is one of the most common types of cancer and it is also the leading cause of cancer death. Every year in the U.S., lung cancer claims more lives than breast, colon and prostate cancer combined. Despite these grim statistics, there is hope for lung cancer patients and their families. Hospitals across the U.S., including MountainView Hospital , are looking toward new techniques and medical technology to give their patients the best possible outcome.
Lung cancer surgery
When you watch this featured video, you’ll hear a cardiothoracic surgeon at MountainView Hospital explain the rapid evolution of lung cancer surgery from the 1990s to the present day. He discusses how patients previously underwent invasive, painful surgeries that required controlled fractures of the ribs and a very large incision. Now, cardiothoracic surgeons can use video-assisted thoracic surgery to treat small tumors. This approach requires much smaller incisions and may sometimes be performed via robotic surgery. Clinicians are currently assessing the use of this technology for larger lung tumors.
Lung cancer radiation therapy
Specialists can now use real-time imaging techniques to improve radiation therapy for lung cancer patients . Previously, radiologists struggled to improve the accurate targeting of the radiation beam to the tumor. The tumor moves during the treatment as the patient breathes in and out. Now, real-time imaging technology allows the doctor to precisely target the tumor immediately prior to delivering the radiation dose. As a result, patients may experience fewer side effects.
Lung cancer chemotherapy
Chemotherapy drugs don’t produce the same effects for each patient. It’s challenging for oncologists to predict which drugs are best for any given patient. To fix this problem, researchers are identifying the patterns of genes in tumors to determine which tumors will respond best to certain drugs. Other clinical trials are focusing on identifying combinations of chemotherapy drugs that will be more effective while causing fewer side effects. The safety of these drugs is particularly important for older patients who are less able to tolerate certain drugs.
The dedicated Oncology Unit at MountainView Hospital is a peaceful, comfortable unit equipped with the latest medical technology and staffed by caring specialists. Many of our hospital staff members in Las Vegas are cancer survivors who understand the unique challenges you and your family face. Call our nurse referral line at (702) 962-5021 for the answers to your questions.