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Lung Cancer Chemotherapy  

Lung cancer is a very serious form of cancer in which cancer cells originate in the linings of the lungs.  It may also develop if cancer cells start growing in another part of the body and then spread to the lungs.  The disease has many kinds of treatment which can be used depending on the specific type of lung cancer involved, its stage of development and other factors related to the patient.  One type of therapy is known as lung cancer chemotherapy.  We will discuss this type of treatment including some of the benefits it can provide as well as side effects and complications. 

If the lung cancer is diagnosed in relatively early stages, the tumor is growing locally within the lungs and has not spread to other organs.  In this case the common form of treatment involves surgical removal of the cancer cells or tumor. 

Chemotherapy works by introducing special kinds of drugs to the body which are able to detect cells which exhibit rapid duplication.  This is generally a special feature of cancer cells which tends to differentiate them from other healthy cells.  This is why chemotherapy can be a great way to use powerful drugs to attach themselves to cancer cells and destroy them.  One drawback is that the drugs also attack other cells which tend to multiply quickly such as hair cells and cells which line the inside of the stomach. 

This is why when chemotherapy is used, it causes many side effects such as hair falling out, nausea and vomiting.  And if the cancer is localized, surgical techniques can tend to do a better job of specifically removing the affected area and avoid damage to other parts of the body. 

But lung cancer chemotherapy can be a viable and desirable treatment option for more advanced stages of lung cancer which has also affected other parts of the body.  In this case the use of chemotherapy can help to fight the cancer throughout the body which surgical techniques are unable to do. 

This type of treatment can also be very helpful in alleviating some of the painful symptoms of advanced cancer like nausea, fatigue and pain.  The treatment is also sometimes used as additional treatment following surgery to help ensure that all remaining cancer cells are killed once the tumor has been removed.  While it may affect other healthy cells it is deemed justified to help make certain that as much of the cancer has been eradicated. 

Lung cancer chemotherapy usually occurs in several sessions over a period of time.  Since the drugs can affect more than the cancer cells, it is important to manage the dose and duration in order to help the body to recover from the treatments. 

The drugs are usually introduced to the body either orally or through a catheter.  And as indicated earlier, the treatments may last for several days or even more than one week. 

There are several important side effects which were noted earlier such as hair fallout, nausea, vomiting and fatigue.  These are a result of the anti-cancer drug killings otherwise healthy cells which also divide quickly.  In most cases these side effects will dissipate and stop once treatment is completed.