Thursday, October 11, 2018

Healthy Habits: Lung Cancer

Stage 3 non-small cell lung cancer – or “NSCLC” – is estimated to affect over 43,000 patients annually in the United States. This type of lung cancer occurs when the cancer has spread to nearby tissue or lymph nodes within the chest, but has not spread to distant parts of the body. The majority of these patients are determined to have tumors that cannot be removed with surgery, called “unresectable” – and generally, survival rates have been low.

Until earlier this year, the standard treatment for these patients with inoperable Stage 3 NSCLC was chemotherapy and radiation therapy (CRT), followed by a “watch and wait” period, where doctors would conduct regular scans on their patients to keep an eye on the cancer. Unfortunately, up to 9 out of 10 of these patients will eventually have their cancer progress to Stage 4 – meaning the cancer had spread to other organs.

Now there is more hope than ever before.

Anecdotally, Stage 3 cancer has been grouped together in the public discourse about Stage 4 cancer – and potentially considered a certainly fatal disease. However, these different stages of disease are distinct, and correspond with different long-term survival rates. Stage 3 lung cancer is typically “locally advanced,” meaning the cancer has not spread outside the chest, while Stage 4 lung cancer means that the cancer has spread beyond the chest – to other organs, such as the brain, bones or liver. Researchers believe that when the cancer is locally advanced, longer term survival may be possible.

New data that looks at overall survival in the Stage 3 treatment setting after CRT [will be or was] announced in September at the world’s largest lung cancer medical conference, the World Conference on Lung Cancer (WCLC).

To make the most of the latest science, patients and their loved ones need to talk to their doctors about their options.

According to a study published last year, 28% of patients who have inoperable Stage 3 NSCLC did not receive any chemotherapy or radiation. With the advancement of treatment options and data demonstrating their potential, it is critical for patients not to give up – to be aware of their options and talk to their doctor about what treatments may be appropriate for them.

Medical expert Edward S. Kim, MD, Chair of the Department of Solid Tumor Oncology at Levine Cancer Institute is available on Wednesday, October 3rd to discuss what this new era means for unresectable Stage 3 non-small cell lung cancer.

Interview is courtesy of AstraZeneca. 

No comments:

Post a Comment