Thoracic Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the world. It is easily controllable if it is detected at an early stage. The most common types of Thoracic Cancers are Lung Cancer, Esophageal Cancer and Mesothelioma Cancer. Dr Amit Chakraborty is a skillful and well experienced Cancer Surgeon. He is an expert in treating a wide range of Thoracic Cancers including:
- Benign and Malignant Pleural Conditions
- Esophageal Cancer
- Lung Cancer
- Mediastinal Tumors
- Metastatic Disease to the Lungs
- Tumors of the Chest Wall
Among the Thoracic cancers, Lung Cancer is a most common and widely occurring cancer in the society. Esophageal cancer develops in any part of the esophagus. It spreads to the lymph nodes damaging nearby organs. Mesothelioma is a very rare type of Thoracic Cancer. It develops in the layer of cells known as the mesothelium whose major function is to protect many organs within the chest and abdomen.
Symptoms and Signs of Thoracic Cancer
Thoracic Cancer is a challenging disease. Hence it is essential to detect symptoms at an early stage. Most of the times Thoracic Cancer does not show any specific symptoms at first stage, in this case Cancer Surgeon performs necessary tests to detect exact symptoms. The patient experiences most common symptoms such as:
- Chest discomfort or pain
- A constant coughing that doesn’t go away or becomes worse over time
- Trouble in Breathing
- Night Sweating
- Blood in mucus coughed up from the lungs
- Trouble in Swallowing
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss for unknown reason
Causes of Thoracic Cancer:
Common causes of Thoracic Cancer are:
- Having Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD).
- Having precancerous changes in the cells of the esophagus(Barrett’s esophagus)
- Drinking alcohol.
- Having bile reflux.
- Radiation exposure
- Harmful substance like Asbestos exposure
Diagnosis of Thoracic Cancer
In any cancer type early detection is very crucial to control the respective cancer. Cancer Surgeons performs various diagnosis methods to detect exact Thoracic cancer type. These diagnosis methods are:
- Bronchoscopy: Bronchoscopy method is very helpful for the doctor to check lungs and airways. In this method, a tube is passed through mouth or nose. It allows for viewing of the lungs and airways to detect cancer. Bronchoscopy method also allows biopsy needle to remove a piece of tissue for the analysis of cancer. The test is typically performed by a thoracic or chest surgeon or a pulmonologist.
- Sputum Cytology: In this method, Sputum is examined under the microscope. It reveals the presence of lung cancer cells.
- Thoracentesis: In this method, a needle is inserted into the chest and a small portion or all of the fluid is taken out. This fluid is examined for the potential malignancy and other conditions
- Imaging Tests: Various imaging tests are used to detect Lung or Chest cancer. Common imaging tests are X rays and CT scan. X rays provide exact image of abnormal mass or nodule in the lungs while CT scan reveals small lesions in the lungs which are difficult to detect by ordinary X rays.
- VATS (Video-assisted Thoracoscopic surgery): In this method, a Videoscope is inserted through small incisions. Then the doctor removes fluid or lung tissue for the examination of potential malignancies and other conditions. This procedure is usually performed by a skillful Cancer Surgeon and under the local anesthesia. It requires an overnight stay in the hospital.
- Thoracotomy: In this method, a Thoracic Surgeon opens the chest with an incision and removes any abnormalities or lymph nodes for further examination in the lab.
- Thoracoscopy: Thoracoscopy uses a thin tube called a Thoracoscope for viewing the organs. This method is also used to remove tissue for testing. In this procedure, the tube is inserted through a small incision made between the ribs.
Thoracic Cancer Treatments
Thoracic Cancer Treatment is basically depending on the type of cancer, stages of cancer and patient’s health conditions. Major treatment options are:
- Surgery: The main goal of Thoracic Cancer surgery is to prevent growth of cancerous cells. Cancer Surgeon decides surgery depending on the type and stage of cancer. Surgical options include Wedge Resection, Segmental Resection, Lobectomy, Pneumonectomy, Chest Wall Resection and VATS (Video Assisted Thoracoscopic surgery). For many patients, surgery is combined with other cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy or hormone therapy. Today most of the cancer surgeries are performed by minimally invasive techniques.
- Radiation Therapy: Radiation therapy uses high-powered energy beams from sources such as X-rays and protons to kill cancer cells. In advanced stage of lung cancer, radiation therapy is used before or after the surgery to relieve pain. It’s often combined with chemotherapy treatments. If surgery is not an option then Cancer Surgeon performs combined chemotherapy and radiation therapy as a primary treatment.
- Chemotherapy: In Chemotherapy treatment, powerful drugs are used to kill cancerous cells. Chemotherapy is often used after the surgery to kill any cancer cells that remained in the body. It can be used alone or combined with radiation therapy. Chemotherapy can be used before the surgery to shrink cancers. In advanced lung cancer, chemotherapy is used to relieve pain and other symptoms.
Other Cancer treatment options are Radio-surgery, Targeted Drug therapy, Immunotherapy and Palliative Care. Today various modern cancer treatments are available not only to control and but also to cure the cancer. Early detection of cancer plays an important role in the complete cure of cancer. Dr Amit Cancer Care Clinic is a well equipped with advanced medical equipments to treat all types and stages of cancer.