Treatment of pulmonary adenocarcinoma
Treatment for pulmonary adenocarcinoma may consist of surgical removal of the tumor, chemotherapy and radiation. Most often, these therapeutic methods are used in a complex - the treatment regimen is determined by the oncologist on the basis of the results of the patient's analyzes and studies.
As with other malignancies, the goal of treatment is to completely remove the tumor, or, if this can not be done, then prolong the life of the patient, alleviating his suffering.
Surgery is mandatory in the first and second stages of adenocarcinoma, that is, approximately 10-30% of the diseases. If the process of spreading metastases to distant organs has already begun, then it is no longer necessary to count on an operation alone. In addition, surgery may be impossible if the malignant formation is located close to the trachea, or the patient is diagnosed with severe heart disease.
The type of intervention on the lungs is selected depending on the size and location of the lesion. For example, a surgeon can remove a portion of the pulmonary lobe, the entire lobe or completely one lung. At the same time, the affected lymph nodes are also removed.
The rehabilitation period in post-operative patients is not easy, patients need careful care, perhaps for several months. At first, people undergoing surgery experience difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, chest pain. Elderly patients need longer rehabilitation.
- Radiation therapy is used before or after surgery. The essence of irradiation is the use of special rays capable of destroying cancer cells. In most cases, radiation treatment is combined with surgery and drug therapy.
Brachytherapy may also be prescribed instead of rays. This method is a kind of radiation therapy, when the substance emitting radiation is placed directly to the affected organ in the form of granules. The huge advantage of this method is that radiation does not affect the tumor from the outside, that is, it does not need to overcome layers of healthy tissues. Thanks to this, brachytherapy has much fewer side effects and complications.
Radiation therapy can be used if the patient for any reason refuses surgery, or if the operation becomes impossible or meaningless. Side effects after radiation therapy is a feeling of constant weakness, fatigue, an increase in the degree of susceptibility to infectious diseases, a violation of blood coagulability.
Chemotherapy for lung adenocarcinoma can stop the development of malignant cells, prevent their division and cause their death. There are more than sixty types of chemotherapy. The most famous among them are the following:
Most often, these drugs are not taken separately, but in combination with each other. Medications are prescribed both in tablet form and in the form of intravenous injections. Calculation of doses for chemotherapy is strictly a doctor's decision, since it is difficult to determine the exact amount of the drug: at too low a dose, treatment will become ineffective, and excessive doses will lead to severe toxicity and the appearance of significant side effects. Usually the dose is calculated based on the value of the PPT - the surface area of the patient's torso. PPT is calculated individually using a specially derived formula, where the key indicators are the body weight and the patient's growth.
Also, one of the methods of dosing can be the determination of the amount of chemotherapy in the blood plasma for a certain period of time, followed by dose adjustment for optimal action. So you can calculate the minimum toxic effect of the drug against the background of effective treatment of the tumor.
The course of drug treatment usually lasts several days. At the end of the course, the patient is given a break to restore and alleviate the symptoms of intoxication, after which the treatment is resumed. The total number of procedures is calculated individually.
It is known that chemotherapeutic drugs often cause side effects, although doctors assure that such manifestations can be controlled. What kind of side effects are we talking about?
- Increased sensitivity of the body to infections - this condition usually manifests a week after the end of the course, reaching a maximum after 2 weeks. After that, the immunity begins to recover and before the resumption of treatment is normalized. Control this process by periodically taking blood for analysis: if the blood picture is unsatisfactory, then further procedures may be postponed.
- The appearance of bruising and bleeding is the result of worsening blood clotting by lowering the level of platelets. This condition is quite serious danger, as the bleeding tissues can develop into full-fledged bleeding, which requires immediate medical attention.
- Anemia is a very common side effect. Anemia occurs due to a decrease in the level of erythrocytes and, accordingly, hemoglobin, which is manifested by a feeling of constant fatigue, weakness and apathy.
- Attacks of nausea and vomiting can start unexpectedly. In such cases it is necessary to consult a doctor who will prescribe medications that eliminate this problem.
- The stomatitis and soreness of the gums are eliminated by ordinary mouth rinses. To avoid unnecessary mechanical injuries to the oral mucosa, you should eat the rubbed food and drink a high-calorie liquid.
- Hair loss is a frequent and very unpleasant side effect, especially for female patients. You can ask the doctor to replace the drug that causes this effect, or to accept and wear a wig or scarf. In most cases, the hairline is restored several months after the last course of treatment.
Treatment of adenocarcinoma does not always have the same effect on patients: one who ill reacts painfully to radiation, while the other does not cause any negative consequences. Someone suffers from side effects of drugs, but to someone they are the best fit. That's why doctors insist on an individual approach to treatment: it is important to listen to the doctor and follow all his recommendations.