In the U.S., studies have shown that lung cancer is among one of the most common cancers in both men and women. Generally, lung cancer starts when the cells of the lungs become unusual and begin to develop outside of abnormal control. Non small lung cancer (NSCLC) causes accounts for just about 85% of all lung cancer diagnoses. NSCLC is any type of epithelial lung cancer, other than small cell lung carcinoma (SCLC). Non-small cell lung cancer is the most common type of lung cancer. There are several subtypes of NSCLC, such as adenocarcinomas. Adenocarcinoma account for about 50% of all lung cancer diagnosis. The other two subtypes which make up a majority of the additional 50% of lung cancers are squamous cell (epidermoid) carcinomas and large cell (undifferentiated) carcinomas, which are similar to small cell lung cancer (SCLC). Adenosquamous carcinomas and sarcomatoid carcinomas are not as common.
Certain risk factors, both preventative and not unpreventable, can circumvent a person’s chance of getting non-small cell lung cancer. Smoking is a high-risk factor that can be prevented with the cessation of smoking. However, circumstances such as genetics and family history cannot be changed, but are known risk factors. Preventative check-ups with a geneticist, oncologist, or specialized pulmonologist can help monitor and treat for risk factors that may develop. Treatments for NSCLC include:
1. Radiofrequency ablation
Radiofrequency ablation RFA uses radio waves at a high energy level to heat a tumor and eradicate the cancer cells. Trained and licensed radiologic technicians assist with guided with a CT scan. RFA treatments are an outpatient procedure.
2. Chemotherapy for non-small cell lung cancer
Chemotherapy is the treatment of anti-cancer drugs either injected into the patients’ bloodstream or taken by mouth. Contributing factors, such as the stage of the non-small cell lung cancer, plays a significant role in the treatment plan. For example, if any cells are left behind after radiofrequency ablation treatment, it may be prescribed to go back in and destroy any cancer cells that may have been left behind in the process. This form of chemotherapy is known as adjuvant therapy.
3. Immunotherapy treatment
Immunotherapy stimulates a person’s immune system to destroy cancer cells with the use of medicine. This form of treatment may be used to treat some types of non small lung cancer causes. The sole purpose of the immune system is its ability to keep a positive immune response. Immunotherapy drugs, such as Opdivo and Tecentriq, help people with certain types of non-small cancer that start growing after the treatment of chemotherapy, or other drug treatment. Those who also have an advance from the disease may utilize these immunotherapy options.