Preparing patients, family and friends for the journey
Welcome to SurvivorNet’s Lung Cancer Digital Prescription.
Dr. Joseph Friedberg
Quitting smoking can significantly reduce your risk of lung cancer
Does smoking marijuana cause lung cancer? Top cancer experts explain the risk of vaping and smoking for lung cancer.
Asbestos is the main cause of mesothelioma, one of the most deadly cancers there is, according to top thoracic surgeon Dr. Joseph Friedberg,
Dr. Brendon Stiles
The general consensus with vaping is that it's a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes ... but can we know that for sure?
Dr. Geoffrey Oxnard
There are several different kinds of lung cancer, and the type that a person has will drive treatment choices.
Learn about diagnosing lung cancer when there are no symptoms. Symptoms, such as pain or a seizure, happen after the cancer has spread.
Dr. Leena Gandhi
After lung cancer is detected, tests which may include scans of the chest, abdomen, pelvis, and brain will be performed to help determine the stage.
Dr. Raja Flores
A second opinion is a good idea after a lung cancer diagnosis, according to Dr. Raja Flores, because you do have some time to consider treatment options.
Dr. Ashutosh Sachdeva
The techniques used to diagnose lung cancer have evolved; doctors can now use a minimally-invasive electromagnetic navigation bronchoscopy to biopsy tumors
The stage of lung cancer depends on how big the tumor is, whether it has started to spread, and where it has spread to.
After a lung cancer diagnosis, doctors will typically order a brain MRI and a PET/CT scan to see if the cancer has spread to other organs.
The drug was actually given accelerated approval. It works by activating the immune system to attack tumors.
Will immunotherapy eventually be used to treat early-stage lung cancer? There's a lot of hope among doctors.
Learn about major new progress in immunotherapy for lung cancer, including treatment with Keytruda and Opdivo for lung cancer.
Dr. Scott Strome
Cancer cells develop force fields around them that block the immune system from attacking. Dr. Scott Strome explains the process with a Star Trek metaphor.
As promising as immunotherapy is for some lung cancer patients, statistics suggest that only 20% of people will actually benefit from this treatment.
Dr. Ronald Natale
The idea behind immunotherapy is to unleash the immune system to attack cancer cells, but it can currently only be used to treat certain lung cancers.
Ideally when choosing a lung cancer surgeon, you want someone who has performed a high number of surgeries with a low number of complications.
Dr. Brendon Stiles says he avoids any language that would make the people he's treating feel guilty about having cancer, or like they caused it themselves.
In addition to being the main cause of lung cancer, smoking can also complicate lung cancer surgery.
There's a big difference in treatment options for smokers with lung cancer and non-smokers with lung cancer. Our experts explain why.
There are several surgery options available for treating lung cancer, and deciding which one to use will depend on the size and location of the cancer.
VATS is a surgical procedure used to remove small lung cancer tumors. People who get VATS usually do very well.
Before performing surgery for stage one lung cancer, your doctor will want to assess your overall health to make sure surgery is a safe option.
The marketing of new medical technologies has misled many patients when it comes to surgical techniques to treat lung cancer.
Surgery is the treatment for stage one lung cancer, but in the occasional case where surgery can not be performed -- radiation is the next option.
Surgery is the go-to treatment for lung cancer that has spread only to the lymph nodes, but chemotherapy is added after surgery in certain cases.
Dr. Keith Cengel
Because stage two lung cancers involve lymph nodes, your doctor may want to use adjuvant therapy -- or chemotherapy after surgery.
Stages three lung cancers sit in a gray area between diseases that can be treated with surgery and diseases that can not, according to Dr. Keith Cengel.
Dr. Billy Loo
For patients with stage three lung cancer, doctors will choose some combination of radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or possibly surgery.
Stage 3A lung cancer can be something of a “gray zone” -- meaning some docs want to use chemotherapy with or without radiation before surgery.
With Stage 3B lung cancer that has spread to the lymph nodes, surgery is not an option; but if the lymph nodes are not involved, it may be.
Doctors are now able to extract DNA from lung cancer to search for different mutations, some of which have very effective new treatment options.
Not all clinical trials are experimenting with groundbreaking treatments, so it's important to seek guidance about ongoing trials from your doctor.
With precision medicine, the goal is to identify exactly what type of lung cancer a person has and then tailoring treatment.
There is no "best type" of lung cancer radiation; UPenn's Dr. Keith Cengel says that which treatment is used depends on a host of factors.
Melissa Jane Culligan
Radiation therapy itself is painless, but some people do experience side effects including a loss of appetite or other eating issues.
When using immunotherapy to treat lung cancer, diarrhea is a common side effect -- and it's one that you have to tell your doctor about as well.
X-ray and proton therapies are both types of radiation that can treat lung cancer; the difference is that protons do not have to exit the body.
Proton therapy certainly has its benefits and it may be widely available in the U.S. in the future, but the reality is that it's not widely available now.
Dr. Charles Simone
Perhaps the largest benefit of proton therapy is that this kind of radiation minimizes damage to healthy cells because the protons stop at the target.
Dr. Ken Miller
A major benefit to seeking care at a comprehensive cancer center is that there will be a team approach to finding the best treatment.
With stage four lung cancer, doctors want to treat the whole body -- that includes disease they can see and disease they can't.
Chemotherapy is the typical treatment for stage four lung cancer, but Dr. Raja Flores of Mount Sinai says that in certain instances, surgery can be used.
Whether immunotherapy can be used to treat stage four lung cancer will depend on the cancer's type, and how it is interacting with the immune system.
Radiation can be used to shrink tumors to help alleviate some symptoms of advanced lung cancer.
How do checkpoint inhibitors work to stop cancer's ability to spread? Dr. Scott Strome explains.
Immunotherapies are given every few weeks through an IV, and according to Dana-Farber's Dr. Geoffrey Oxnard, they are usually better tolerated than chemo.
How do doctors measure whether a clinical trial is a success?It's about progression-free survival and overall survival.
Doctors usually test new drugs on late stage lung cancer patients. Still, the earlier people receive therapies like immunotherapy, the greater the benefit.
Many smokers with lung cancer are good candidates for clinical trials that combine immunotherapy drugs.
Because a pneumonectomy can permanently reduce breathing capacity, most surgeons will opt for a different lung cancer treatment route if they can.
The EGFR mutation appears in 40% to 50% of patients who never smoked, and has been moderately responsive to targeted therapies.
Learn how the mutations in the cancer cells that drive lung cancer can help distinguish and treat each patient’s condition more effectively.
Testing the molecular characterization of a tumor is so important in late-stage lung cancer, because it creates treatment options.
Dr. Geoffrey Oxnard, a thoracic oncologist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, has three tips for getting through lung cancer treatment.
Palliative care is all about pain management and improving the quality of life for people who get to a point where the fight against cancer is too much.
After lung cancer surgery, pain will change in location and nature, and symptoms like sleeping issues may develop as well.
"How long do I have to live" is one of the first questions a newly diagnosed lung cancer patient will ask — and the answer is not so simple.
Learn about how to know if your lung cancer comes back. The greatest risk of lung cancer recurrence occurs within the first few years after diagnosis.
There is no "cancer diet" that patients need to abide by, but making sure you exercise and trying to maintain a healthy weight can make a big difference.
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