Rising cases for lung cancer are driving global patients to India for its world class medical infrastructure, expert oncology surgeons and low cost treatments compared to other parts of the world.
Repots suggests that every year, lung cancer causes nearly 19% of deaths worldwide, with around 11% new cases are reported annually. In India also, nearly 70,000 new lung cancer cases are diagnosed out of which about 70% are in advanced stage of the disease. Though most of the cases are due to active smoking but some passive smoking cases are also on the rise nowadays. There are many passive smoking incidences such as exposure to silica, chromium, nickel, diesel exhaust at work place; gases in ill-ventilated areas; indoor and outdoor air pollution etc. Besides, some genetic factors are also responsible for lung cancer.
Lung cancer refers to abnormal cell growth in either one or both lungs causing irregular functioning of the lung cells and transforming them into a tumor. Based on the size and disease pattern lung tumors can be categorized as:
• Malignant tumors: These types of tumors generally invade the body tissues around infected part, which are difficult to control. These tumors are formed due to two processes including Angiogenesis, when cells divide and grow to create self sustaining blood vessels for themselves; and Invasion, when infected cells propagate through other body parts via bloodstream and damage healthy tissues.
• Benign tumors: This kind of tumors register localized growth and become dangerous only when start to extend pressure on neighboring tissues.
Possible Causes of Lung Cancer
Lung cancer may occur due to various factors such as:
• Prolong exposure to carcinogens including arsenic, asbestos, coal products, radon, mustard gas, diesel exhaust etc.
• Genetic predisposition from a close family member, who had lung cancer history
• Individual in their old age or who got exposed to ionizing radiation
• Smoking is a major reason for lung cancer
• Prevailing symptoms of lung disease such as chronic bronchitis, COPD, emphysema and tuberculosis.
Treatment Alternatives for Lung Cancer
Different treatment options can be exercised to achieve desired results such as to alleviate pain events or reduce related syndromes or control the cancer spread.
Radiation therapy involves exposure to high energy beams such as protons or X-rays to eliminate the infected cells. There are two types of methods adopted for radiation therapy including internal radiation or external radiation. This procedure can results in pain relief, easy breathing and clear airways.
Surgical option is used to remove affected tissues in the lung, if disease is localized, by using advanced medical techniques. There are three major procedures used for this surgery including
Pneumonectomy: This procedure involves complete removal of a lung when the disease spread to all the lobes.
Lobectomy: This surgery is done to excise the lobe, if disease has progressed to extensive stage.
Segmental resection: It is a limited procedure conducted to eliminate a tiny part that is infected.
Radiosurgery is an innovative medical intervention applicable to few specific cases with tiny tumors, where surgical option is overruled. Radiosurgery is performed by using high radiation dosage on the precisely targeted tumor area in such as way that healthy cells are not affected.
This procedure consists of application of high level drugs either orally or intravenously to kill the cancer cells.
Cost of Lung Cancer Treatment in India
Without a valid health insurance plan, expenses incurred in treatment of lung cancer could be very high. People from across the world seek low cost medical tourism destination like India, which also offers most advanced treatment alternatives at affordable price compared to its western counterparts.
Besides a pool of expert cancer surgeons, Indian hospitals are also well equipped to offer world class technologies in the field of oncology comprising Rapid Arc Radiation, Stereotactic Radiotherapy, IMRT, Novalis Tx, Linear Accelerator, Proton Beam Therapy, Immunotherapy, IGRT and Cyberknife. Success rate of lung cancer (at all stages) surgeries in India are very successful, as most of the procedures are minimally invasive using video assisted thoracic surgery (VATS).
Recovery time after lung cancer surgery depends on the stage of the disease and type of the procedures conducted. A minimally invasive procedure generally needs hospitalization for 3-4 days and patient may resume routine lifestyle in 4-5 weeks. But chemotherapy and radiotherapy may require months to stay and complete the treatment cycle. Again, in this situation also, cost of staying in India also very low than other developed countries.