Lung Cancer and its Treatment

Lung Cancer is the most lethal cancer in America today accounting for 30% of all cancer deaths.  This year 226,000 Americans will receive a diagnosis of lung cancer.  It is important to understand that the severity of the disease can be different in different patients.  The major factors that predict outcomes are the type of lung cancer and the stage at which it is found.  The two major groups of Lung Cancer are Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) and Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC).  Within these groups there are important sub-types that can behave slightly differently.  We will discus what needs to be done to effectively diagnose lung cancer, the tests that help predict an individual patients prognosis and how this information can be used to select the best treatment for each situation.

In the last four years several clinical studies using radiographic imaging (CT scans or Chest x-rays) have shown that there is a benefit to screening active or recent heavy smokers with yearly CT scans.  This is a significant change from the prior studies done over ten years ago that failed to show a benefit to screening.  Dr. Rizwan Nurani will examine which patients need to be screened, how frequently they need these tests and what the best screening test is.  Dr. Nurani will also explore the risks of screening, which patients should not be screened and how one can minimize the possibility of unnecessary additional tests or procedures as a result of lung cancer screening.

The treatments for Lung Cancer are dramatically different.  In this website Rizwan Nurani will also explore which one may be best for you.  Standard treatments include Thoracotomy and Lung resection/removal (Surgery), Chemotherapy and various forms of radiation therapy.  Radiation therapy can be performed with techniques that range from a traditional external beam approach to stereotactic radiosurgery or even brachytherapy done at the time of lung resection.  It is common to use a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy in variable order depending on the clinical situation. The advantages and disadvantages of these treatments will be fully explored on the website. 

Early stage lung cancer can be readily cured with both surgical and non-surgical approaches. Recent advances in robotic technology, image processing and computer matching algorithms have transformed the treatment of early stage lung cancer with a technique called Stereotactic Radiosurgery.  On this site Dr. Nurani will also examine the best situations to use stereotactic radiosurgery, expected results, possible side effects and the latest scientific research on this topic.

© Rizwan Nurani 2012