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Doctor insights on: Can Radiation Therapy Help Stage 4 Lung Cancer

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Can radiation therapy help stage 4 lung cancer?

Can radiation therapy help stage 4 lung cancer?

Help means that: It can relieve a symptom, and restore better function...Brain and spinal cord are key, but any bone, or mass causing pain or obstruction can be "palliated" with short courses. However, it is not necessary to use the beam on every bone scan abnormality if it is not causing a symptom. ...Read more

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Dr. Barry Rosen
4,214 doctors shared insights

Cancer (Definition)

Cancer is a group of diseases that is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth leading to invasion of surrounding tissues that spread to other parts of the body. Cancer can begin anywhere in the body and is usually related to one or more genetic mutations that allow normal cells to become malignant by interfering with internal cellular control mechanisms, such as programmed cell death or by preventing ...Read more


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Why would someone with lung cancer only have one month of radiation therapy?

Why would someone with lung cancer only have one month of radiation therapy?

Intent of treatment: Intent of treatment and dose fractionation. Intent of treatment is palliative or curative. Dose fractionation means how big of a dose over what period is given. For example in cyberknife steriotactic body radiotherapy we can deliver radiation over 3-4 days to cure early stage lung cancer. With smaller dose/ fraction it takes about 7weeks of radiation to cure. 2-4 weeks of radiation for palliation. ...Read more

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Is it unusual for the radiation therapy for lung cancer to make someone lose his voice?

Is it unusual for the radiation therapy for lung cancer to make someone lose his voice?

Yes: Loosing voice can be due to direct invasion of the larynx (far from lung) or laryngeal nerve compression or damage ( recurrent laryngeal nerve in the chest). Advanced cancer can be pressing on this nerve and cause voice loss. If there is no voice loss to start with, it is unusual for radiation to damage the nerve in typical dose fractionation. ...Read more

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Is radiation therapy for lung cancer painful?

Is radiation therapy for lung cancer painful?

Possibly: Radiation is painless during the treatments. If the esophagus is in the treatment fields it can cause a painful condition called esophagitis about 3 weeks into the treatment. This is worse when a patient also takes chemotherapy. There are medicines that help this discomfort and when treatment is done it should resolve. ...Read more

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Can radiation therapy cure lung cancer by itself?

Yes: In small cancers with no spread standard radiation and radiosurgery can cure lung cancer....But the standard of care is surgery. In more advanced cancer radiation can cure but is more effective with chemotherapy. I am referring to nonsmall cell types of lung cancer. ...Read more

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What can radiation therapy do for stage 3b lung cancer?

What can radiation therapy do for stage 3b lung cancer?

A lot: This stage is not resectable. If a patient has a good performance status chemo and radiation is use in hopes of curing the disease. Even if the cancer is not cured and progresses the idea is to slow it down. The patient may also have pain, bleeding or cough and these symptoms will improve because of treatment. ...Read more

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What kind of radiation therapy is best for lung cancer?

What kind of radiation therapy is best for lung cancer?

Depends on the stage: For early cancers (stage 1) cyberknife or sbrt using a short course of high dose radiation has results similar to surgery. For stage 2-3 cancers the preferred way is to use imrt where side effects can be reduced by targeting less of normal lung areas. For advanced cancers, the idea is to improve symptoms such as pain and standard external radiation is used. ...Read more

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How effective is radiation therapy for treating lung cancer?

How effective is radiation therapy for treating lung cancer?

Depends: Radiation is one method of treating lung cancer, and is effective if the lesion is small, and peripherally located. Once the lesion is treated, a scar will remain. This needs to be followed, since complete clearance can only be determined by surgical resection. ...Read more

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Does radiation therapy for lung cancer improve survival rates?

Yes: It improves survival significantly in stage 1-3 lung cancers. Cyberknife provides survival similar to surgery in stage 1 patients. For stage 2-3 patients, both chemo and radiation may be used to improve survival. In certain patients with stage 4 cancer (such as with spread to the brain) radiation may help improve survival. ...Read more

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Lung (Definition)

Deoxygenated blood enters the lungs from the right side of the heart and travels to the lungs. When you inspire, oxygen flows into the lungs, transverses the capilliares and attaches to hemoglobin down a gradient. At the same time, co2 diffuses into the capilaries and is expelled with exhalation. Oxygen rich blood then flows to the left side of the heart and into the ...Read more


Gamma Rays (Definition)

This is light of extremely short wavelengths typically produced either among the stars / in cosmic rays or by radioactive element decay. Gamma rays form the background of normal radiation in which we all live; it is substantially greater than the exposure we get from imaging scans or should get from ...Read more