Lung Cancer Specialist in Delhi | Lung cancer treatment in Delhi India – Patient Education and Resources
Lung cancer treatment in Delhi from foremost lung cancer specialist in Delhi, Gurgaon, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Noida. Gold-Medalist (AIIMS) and internationally accredited. भारत दिल्ली में फेफड़े के कैंसर का पक्का इलाज. Access scientific chemotherapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy for lung cancer in Delhi with ethical and affordable treatment. More information here.
What is Lung Cancer?
Cancer describes a process where the normal cells of the body start growing and dividing uncontrollably and gain the ability to spread to other organs. As the name suggests, lung cancer is cancer that originates in the lungs. The lungs are two large organs present in the chest which are used for breathing.
Does smoking cause lung cancer?
It is a well known fact that smoking causes lung cancer. In fact, around 90% of lung cancer cases can be attributed to smoking. Tobacco contains many cancer-causing substances and long-term exposure to tobacco smoke leads to cancer. Smoking can be done in various forms (cigarette, bidi, hookah etc). Any form of tobacco smoking can cause lung cancer.
Do e-cigarettes/vaping cause lung cancer?
Recently, new smoking technologies called e-cigarettes and vaping have appeared in the market. These products do not contain tar which is present in tobacco smoke and they are marketed as safer alternatives to cigarettes. Use of e-cigarettes is also known to produce cancer-causing chemicals. The exact difference in safety between e-cigarettes and cigarettes is currently not clear and is an area of research.
I have never used tobacco. Why did I develop lung cancer?
Unfortunately, sometimes lung cancer happens in people who have never had any exposure to tobacco. Some other causes of lung cancer include:
- Second-hand smoke (exposure to smoke from other people)
- Air pollution
- Exposure to toxic chemicals and metals
- Chronic lung diseases (Like COPD, TB or bronchiectasis)
- Exposure to radiation
Some people may develop lung cancer without any cause whatsoever. This is uncommon and is an area of research.
Nonsmokers with lung cancer have a higher chance of responding to certain new and very effective therapies for lung cancer. See the targeted therapy section below for details.
Are there drugs available to help me stop smoking?
Yes! If you wish to stop smoking, your oncologist can help you make a quitting plan and also prescribe drugs which help you in controlling craving and increase the chances of successfully quitting.
What are some common symptoms of lung cancer?
Lung cancer commonly leads to complaints like cough, breathlessness, chest pain and blood in sputum. If the cancer spreads to nearby organs, it can lead to complaints like difficulty in swallowing, change in voice, or swellings over the chest or neck. Cancer can also spread outside the lungs and lead to abdominal pain, jaundice, drowsiness or seizures, bone pains etc. Patients may also complain of general symptoms like tiredness, weakness, weight loss and fever.
What is small cell and non-small cell lung cancer?
Lung cancer actually has two types – Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) are two main subtypes of lung cancer. Effective lung cancer treatment requires knowledge of the exact subtype because treatment of both differs significantly. A biopsy is usually necessary before starting treatment of lung cancer.
Non-small cell lung cancer has many forms, such as lung adenocarcinoma and lung squamous cell carcinoma.
I have cancer from another site in the body that has spread to the lungs. Is it the same as lung cancer?
No. If cancer spreads from another organ to lungs it is not called as lung cancer, rather it means that the cancer has metastasized from the other site. The treatment should be done as for the original site of cancer and not as for lung cancer.
For example, if a patient with colon cancer develops tumor nodules in the lungs, it should be treated like colon cancer and not like lung cancer.
How is lung cancer diagnosed? What tests are needed before starting treatment?
The key test required to diagnose lung cancer is a biopsy. In a biopsy, a small amount of tumor is removed from the body and checked under a microscope. There are many ways to get tissue for diagnosing lung cancer – we can remove tissue by using a needle, by operating and removing a lymph node by surgery, or by bronchoscopy, which is insertion of a thin tube into the lungs to remove tissue. Sometimes, if there is fluid in the lungs, the fluid can be removed and checked for tumor cells. This is called as “pleural tapping”.
Other than biopsy, a number of tests may be needed. Not all tests are required in every patient. Some commonly performed tests include:
- Blood tests
- CT scan, MRI, or PET scan of the body and brain
- Bone scan
- Bone marrow biopsy
- Lung and cardiac function tests
How is lung cancer treated? Is it curable?
Lung cancer can be cured. Even in cases where it cannot be cured, it can be controlled for long periods of time. The treatment of lung cancer uses a combination of several modalities:
- Surgery: Lung surgery can be performed to cut out the cancer from the body
- Radiotherapy: Radiotherapy uses powerful, invisible beams to burn and destroy cancer
- Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy uses special chemicals to kill cancer cells while sparing normal organs
- Targeted therapy: Targeted therapy inhibits cancer cells specifically without affecting normal organs
- Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy harnesses the body’s own immune system and uses it to kill cancer cells
The treatment of lung cancer is complex and requires a coordinated effort from a team of experts.
Hindi Video Introduction to Lung Cancer Immunotherapy
I have been told that my cancer has spread in my body. Can I be cured?
Lung cancer that has spread in the body is known as “metastatic” or “stage 4” lung cancer. Even stage 4 lung cancer can be cured in some cases. In patients where the cancer cannot be cured, it can often be controlled with proper treatment. Many patients achieve long durations of disease control with excellent quality of life.
Can I continue to smoke while taking treatment for lung cancer?
Smoking during lung cancer treatment reduces the duration and chances of survival. Your oncologist can help you with smoking cessation.
Is chemotherapy the best treatment for stage 4 lung cancer in India?
Sometimes. The treatment of stage 4 lung cancer is complex and changing rapidly. It is recommended that an expert oncologist be consulted before embarking on chemotherapy. Several options including targeted therapy or immunotherapy can be given to patients. In many cases they are easier to take than chemotherapy and also control the tumor better than chemotherapy. All these options are readily available and a part of best treatment of lung cancer in Delhi.
In some cases, chemotherapy is the best treatment option. In expert hands, chemotherapy for lung cancer is safe and effective, and can provide long periods of disease control.
I do not want chemotherapy! Do I have any other options?
Although chemotherapy is safe in the modern era, multiple options are available for the treatment of lung cancer, including targeted therapy or immunotherapy. These are supported by high quality scientific evidence, and so, chemotherapy can be avoided in many cases. However, no therapy is completely free of side-effects, and these therapies are not available for every patient.
What is targeted therapy for lung cancer? Is targeted therapy better than chemotherapy?
Targeted therapy is a new way of delivering anticancer therapy in which specific molecular targets present on tumor cells are targeted using highly specific drugs. These targets are present predominantly on cancer cells and not on normal cells. Thus, these therapies are highly effective with low side-effects. Also, these therapies are given in the form of tablets/capsules and not injections, which makes them very easy to take. Targeted therapy is a major advance in the treatment of lung cancer.
In patients who have these molecular targets, targeted therapy shows high activity with a low incidence of side-effects, and is the preferred therapy (better than chemotherapy).
Which patients can receive targeted therapy?
In order to find out if you are eligible for targeted therapy, your cancer biopsy has to be tested to see if the molecular target is present or not. Approximately 25-40% of patients are eligible for targeted therapy.
The most important mutations tested in lung cancer at present include:
- EGFR mutations – These patients can receive drugs like erlotinib, geftinib, osimertinib (tagrisso), afatinib and dacomatinib
- ALK rearrangements – These patients can receive drugs like crizotinib (crizalk) and alectinib (alecensa)
- ROS1 rearrangements – These patients can receive drugs like crizotinib (crizalk)
- BRAF mutations – These patients can receive drugs like dabrafenib and trametinib
Many additional targets have been identified and this is an important area of research.
What is Bevacizumab? Is it compulsory for all lung cancer patients?
In order to grow in size, tumors need to develop a blood supply. This process is called angiogenesis. Bevacizumab is a drug (targeted therapy) which prevents tumors from developing their blood supply and causes their death by starvation in the absence of blood.
Bevacizumab is occasionally used in lung cancer. It is not compulsory for all patients. Treatment with bevacizumab is appropriate for some patients and inappropriate for others. Since use of bevacizumab is associated with higher side-effects and cost, treatment with bevacizumab should be individualized depending on the patient.
What is immunotherapy? Is it a good option for lung cancer treatment in Delhi?
Immunotherapy is a revolutionary new therapy for lung cancer which harnesses the body’s own immune system to fight against cancer cells. This therapy has been developed in the last decade and is an exciting innovation in lung cancer.
Is immunotherapy for lung cancer available in Delhi?
Immunotherapy is now available for lung cancer treatment in Delhi.
Is immunotherapy better than chemotherapy?
When used in properly selected patients, immunotherapy is more effective than chemotherapy with a low incidence of side-effects. Thus, immunotherapy is better than chemotherapy in selected patients.
What is the cost of lung cancer treatment in Delhi?
In recent times, there has been a significant reduction in the cost of best lung cancer treatment in India, primarily because the cost of many of the most effective drugs has come down. Many formerly patented drugs have come off-patent and this has made treatment significantly cheaper. Some newer drugs are expensive. It is important to remember that more expensive does not always mean better. In many cases, cheaper, older drugs may be as effective as expensive newer drugs. In this case, an expert opinion can help in designing the most cost-effective and most beneficial chemotherapy regimen.
What is the prognosis of stage 4 lung cancer?
There has been a dramatic improvement in the prognosis of stage 4 lung cancer patients in recent times, and a significant number of patients will achieve survival of several years despite being stage 4.
Why should I get treated by a lung cancer specialist in Delhi NCR?
The treatment of lung cancer is complicated, and is rapidly changing year-by-year. Only an expert oncologist can help you navigate this complicated field to achieve the best outcomes. Dr Vineet Govinda Gupta is is a Gold Medalist medical oncologist from AIIMS New Delhi and a lung cancer specialist in Delhi and NCR. He has spent more than 12 years at AIIMS New Delhi in education and research with ample expertise in the management of lung cancer at all stages. More information here
I want to learn more about treatment of lung cancer in Delhi
You can visit our patient education pages on this website for detailed information about treatment aspects like chemotherapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy and other aspects of lung cancer care. You can access these resources using the menu bar above or the search box.
Free E-consultation with a lung cancer specialist in Delhi.
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