Statistically, up to 50% of patients with lung cancer are diagnosed at stage 4. The tumor usually progresses rapidly due to the active blood supply, so numerous hematogenic and lymphogenic metastases arise. Let’s discuss the methods that can successfully fight metastases and are effective for lung cancer stage 4 treatment.
Treatment options for lung cancer stage 4
There is a common misconception that nothing can be done to help a patient with stage 4 cancer. Many patients despair, refuse medical help, and go home to “live out their lives”. However, there are treatment methods that can help. If it is impossible to achieve remission, a malignant tumor can be treated as a chronic disease. Palliative therapy helps increase life expectancy and get rid of excruciating symptoms.
As a rule, the essence of stage 4 lung cancer treatment is to maintain vital functions and alleviate the patient’s condition. Treatment can limit the spread of metastases, slow down tumor growth, and prevent the development of complications and cachexia (body exhaustion).
Treatment options for patients with stage 4 lung malignancies are limited. Surgery being at the frontline of many cancer treatment protocols often damages more than help, as many organs are already affected. Some patients (usually with solitary secondary brain lesions) may benefit from surgical resection or stereotactic radiosurgery if their underlying disease is well controlled. Patients with advanced lung cancer should be examined for distant metastases first.
Chemotherapy is a suitable option for stage 4 lung cancer. In the case of small cell cancer, 4 to 6 cycles of chemotherapy are given. In the presence of severe pain against the background of metastases, radiation therapy of the affected organs is prescribed.
If the disease progresses despite all the therapeutic measures, second-line therapy is prescribed. These are palliative irradiation and chemotherapy with topotecan, irinotecan, gemcitabine, cyclophosphamide, vincristine and other drugs. Targeted therapy with EGFR inhibitors and ALK blockers can also be used.
Innovative methods for the treatment of stage 4 lung cancer
Taking part in clinical trials of novel medicines and therapeutic techniques is an additional chance to improve overall health. Not being currently included in the general treatment protocol, such innovative measures are available only for clinical trial participants.
For the primary tumor and metastases suppression, the TIL (tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte) therapy can be used. There is no doubt that the method is quite promising. Of course, the total cure with diagnosed stage 4 lung cancer is questionable, but a 5-year survival rate becomes more favorable.
Radiofrequency ablation has demonstrated promising results in lung cancer, with treatment being symptom-relieving in up to 70% of patients. RF ablation uses the effect of an electric current to affect metastases.
How to start lung cancer stage 4 treatment during a lockdown?
Any stage 4 cancer is a condition that requires the best medical care. Unfortunately, many people cannot find it in local medical institutions. Thus, they decide to travel abroad and receive necessary medical services there. The best medical centers in the world offer unique therapies and procedures that have revolutionized cancer treatment.
The lockdown undoubtedly made it harder for people to travel. To avoid obstacles while organizing treatment and trip, you can use the help of Booking Health – the certified international provider of medical tourism.
Booking Health offers excellent travel planning for patients and their relatives, assists in obtaining a visa, takes care of medical insurance, coordinates appointments, and makes your stay as medically efficient as possible. The company cooperates with the best medical centers in the world, so the appointment will be scheduled ASAP. In case of medical necessity, Booking Health helps patients extend their visas and undergo additional treatment, rehabilitation, etc.
For more information about lung cancer stage 4 treatment visit the Booking Health website. Here you can also contact the company’s specialists if you have any questions.