There are two main types of lung cancer:
- Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) – this is the most common and it grows and spreads less rapidly than small cell lung cancer. There are three types- squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma and large cell carcinoma.
- Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) – This is less common, but grows more rapidly and is more likely to spread to other organs in the body.
The symptoms of lung cancer are relatively identifiable. However, the main symptoms include:
- A new dry cough or change in a chronic cough
- Chest pain
- Coughing or spitting up blood
- Repeated bouts of pneumonia or bronchitis
Radiation Therapy treatment for lung cancer
The two main types of lung cancer are treated quite differently.
- Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) - surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy can all be used
- Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) - chemotherapy and radiotherapy are usually used.
The treatment of lung cancer is routinely done with external beam radiotherapy. Treatment plans for these patients are configured in such a way so as to converge on the target tumour volume while minimising dose to surrounding normal tissue and organs such as the heart, spinal cord and healthy lung.
At Genesis CancerCare NSW we also offer stereotactic radiation therapy for the treatment of lung cancer. This consists of a much shorter course of radiotherapy than the standard form of radiation therapy (called EBRT), because it is much more targeted. Greater targeting (and accuracy) therefore means that higher doses can be delivered over a shorter period of time and healthy organs are less at risk as a result of the millimetre accuracy.