Can lung cancer be cured?


Quick Answer

Lung cancer that has been discovered at an early stage has a possibility of being cured, says Patient.co.uk. Lung cancers at more advanced stages, in which they have already spread to other areas of the body, have decreased chances of being curable.

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Full Answer

Doctors often use the term “remission” instead of “cured” to refer to successful treatment, notes Patient.co.uk. Remission means the cancer has not recurred after treatment. However, cancer sometimes returns after several months or years, which is why doctors hesitate to say that a patient is "cured."

Depending on the primary tumor's location, the type and stage of the disease, and the individual’s overall health, doctors may recommend surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy as treatment options, according to Patient.co.uk. Surgery is often advised for lung cancers in early stages, although it’s not suggested for people with poor health or other lung problems. Chemotherapy involves the use of cancer-fighting drugs that destroy and prevent cancer cells from multiplying. Radiotherapy kills cancer cells by using high-energy radiation beams.

In cases where a cure is not possible, the goal of cancer treatment is to control the disease or alleviate its symptoms, states Patient.co.uk. Treatment aims to prevent the cancer from growing or spreading as well as to reduce its size. Lung cancers at advanced stages typically require painkillers, nutritional supplements and other treatments to relieve pain and other accompanying symptoms.

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