Lung Cancer Treatment

What is lung cancer?

doctor showing patient lung x ray

Lung cancer occurs due to abnormal cell growth in lung tissues. There are two main types of lung cancer: non-small cell lung cancer, and small cell lung cancer.

Non-small cell lung cancer is the most common type of cancer, and accounts for approximately 85% of all lung cancers. Small cell lung cancer is less common, but spreads quickly to other parts of the body. These cancers are typically treated by medical specialists called medical oncologists.

What are the symptoms of lung cancer?

doctor examining x rays

Early lung cancer often does not present with any symptoms, and symptoms are only noticeable as the cancer progresses. Some of the symptoms of lung cancer include:

● A persistent cough that worsens
● A hoarse voice
● Shortness of breath
● Constant chest pain
● Coughing up blood
● Chronic tiredness
● Frequent lung infections
● Weight loss without a cause

What are the causes of and risk factors for lung cancer?

The main cause of lung cancer is tobacco smoke. Other causes include genetic inheritance or exposure to an environment that causes lung tissue to mutate. Risk factors for lung cancer include but are not limited to smoking, radiation exposure, air pollution, or inherited diseases.

Enquire with our medical oncologists.

Did you know?

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths, with 1.2 million deaths worldwide in 2012.¹ From 2010-2014, it was the second most common cause of cancer in men and the third most common cause of cancer in women in Singapore respectively.²

What are the possible complications of lung cancer?

elderly couple outdoors with grandchild

Possible complications of lung cancer include shortness of breath, coughing up blood, pain, or fluid in the chest. A hazardous complication due to lung cancer is the spreading of tumour cells to other parts of the body.

When should I see a specialist for lung cancer?

It is recommended that you see a medical oncologist if you experience any signs or symptoms of lung cancer. Early diagnosis and treatment will increase the chances of your recovery.

How should I prepare for my appointment?

Before your visit to your medical oncologist, be sure to prepare any questions you may have, and be ready to discuss your symptoms in detail. It can help to write down an established timeline to reflect on how and when your symptoms commenced.

How do specialists screen for and diagnose lung cancer?

A CT scan, lung biopsy (such as a needle biopsy or bronchoscopy), and lung function test can be used to detect lung cancer. A medical oncologist will also investigate the medical history of the patient to check for risk factors and evaluate symptoms.

The medical oncologist may also perform a thorough medical examination to check for other potential health problems. A low dose X-ray may also be used to scan the body to make detailed pictures of the lungs. This helps to identify the presence or lack of a tumour.

What treatments are available for lung cancer?

Once your diagnosis is confirmed, your medical oncologist will decide the best course of treatment for your individual condition. Treatment for lung cancer can include chemotherapy to shrink or destroy the cancer, radiation therapy, surgery to remove the tumour, radiotherapy, and the use of targeted therapy.

Request an appointment with a medical oncologist today.

[1] Reckamp, Karen L. Lung Cancer, Treatment and Research. Duarte, Springer, 2016.

[2] Common Types of Cancer. Common Types of Cancer in Singapore. Published 2016. Accessed November 15, 2017.