Diagnosis of Lung Cancer
For diagnosis of lung cancer, the doctor carries out an X-ray examination of the lungs, usually followed by a computed tomography (CT). In addition, the cough sputum (sputum) is examined for cancer cells.
In addition a bronchoscopy (bronchoscopy, endoscopic examination of the bronchi) is performed. In this case, tissue samples (biopsies) and cellular matters can be removed. A histological (histopathological) examination of the samples helps to confirm the diagnosis. However, let only tumors that grow close to the bronchial system, demonstrate by means of a bronchoscopy.
If these tests are not for a unique Lung Cancer Diagnostics, must be carried out an operation in rare cases (diagnostic thoracoscopy or thoracotomy). So the doctors obtain tissue samples that are histopathologically examined for cancer cells.
Some more tests will be done to check for possible metastases (metastases). These include:
- Computed tomography (CT) (mainly of the brain)
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Ultrasound (sonography) (eg the liver)
- Bone scintigraphy (bone scan)
- Positron emission tomography (PET)
- Mediastinoscopy (examination of the thorax)
Treatments of Lung Cancer
The treatment of lung cancer depends on what type of cancer is present (non-small cell lung cancer or small cell lung cancer) and how far the tumor has already spread. In small cell lung cancer, the cells divide very quickly. Therefore, here is a chemotherapy are particularly effective. Most chemotherapy is used in combination with radiotherapy. The small cell lung cancer grows rapidly and forms early metastases (secondary tumors) an operation in small cell lung cancer is only possible as long as these are still limited. Non-small cell lung carcinomas are more common and are usually removed in an operation. Depending on the size of the tumor an entire lung or part of it is taken out. An additional radiation or chemotherapy can shrink a tumor before surgery eye stretched and kill existing cancer cells even after the surgery.
An operation of the lungs is a great engagement. Now a wide range of tissue-sparing techniques are available: In the lobectomy for example, only the affected lobe is removed. When finally segmental parts of one lobe only be removed. With this method, the surgeon tries to find a compromise between the preservation of good working lung tissue and the need for healing tissue removal. Optionally, a chemotherapy and / or radiation therapy precede the surgery or be connected to this. This is called neoadjuvant or adjuvant chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
Chemotherapy is particularly effective in cancers that are not limited locally, but in which the cancer cells have spread throughout the body. In chemotherapy, substances are used which inhibit the division of cells and bring them to the death (cytostatics). These chemotherapeutics act mainly on cells that share strong and have an active metabolism. Cancer cells are therefore more affected than healthy cells. However, chemotherapy is not without side effects. This may differ from drug to drug. Typical side effects include, for example, a reduction in the number of certain blood cells, nausea, vomiting, gastrointestinal disturbances, loss of appetite, fatigue (chronic fatigue) and hair loss.
When radiotherapy high-energy radiation are selectively administered, which damage the genetic material (DNA). The cells lose their ability to divide and function and die off. In the simplest case, the radiation source is outside the body (external or per-cutaneous irradiation). Radiation dose, penetration depth of the radiation and the size of the area to be irradiated is determined by the attending physician so that the cell destruction is limited to the tumor as possible.
When in doubt, you should always consult a doctor for such complaints. Earlier the cancer is detected, greater the chance of cure.
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