Non-small cell lung cancer
There are several types of lung cancer that are related to non-small cell lung cancer. Each type of malignant cell has its own properties and pathways, but the main feature is the cell shape that can be seen under a microscope.
Types of non-small cell cancer
- Large cell cancer.
- Planocellular or epidermoid carcinoma, which got its name because of the flat type of abnormal cells and have the appearance of fish scales.
- Adenocarcinoma of the lungs – arises from the inner glandular tissue of the alveoli.
- Pleomorphic carcinoma, which has a variety of cell shape and size.
Risk factors affecting the development of non-small cell lung cancer
Causes that may contribute to lung cancer include:
- Smoking cigarettes, cigars, etc. This is the one of the main factors, which is distinguished from the total. It should be noted that the percentage of non-small cell lung cancer increases with early start of smoking and age duration in which person smokes. It also persists for 20 years after the cessation of the habit.
- Inhalation of air with tobacco smoke is no less harmful to human lungs.
- Work with harmful substances – chrome, nickel, resin, asbestos.
- The presence of lung cancer in family history.
- Irradiation with ionizing rays at home, at work, or during medical diagnosis with an x-ray machine.
- The presence of HIV disease.
- Age after 60 years old.
- Factors combination.
Symptoms and clinical manifestations of non-small cell lung cancer
Symptoms do not always indicate the presence of cancer, and may be due to other causes. Most often, lung cancer is detected by x-ray diagnosis of the chest. Incessant cough can speak about an advanced form of cancer as well.
It is recommended that you immediately consult a doctor if you have the following signs that may indicate the development of non-small cell lung cancer:
- Persistent discomfort, pain in the chest or back.
- Persistent aggravated cough, sometimes with hemoptysis (cough with blood).
- Difficulty swallowing.
- Face swelling.
- Weight loss for no apparent reason.
Diagnosis of non-small cell lung cancer and detecting of its stage
For the lung cancer diagnosis in Israel, the following diagnostic procedures and methods are used:
- Physical examination and patient history review.
- X-ray of chest.
- Laboratory diagnostics of physiological parameters – blood, urine, sputum from the lungs.
- The molecular genetic test of a malignant tumor (only upon doctor’s instruction) – is the basis of personalized or precision treatment, and serves to identify the genes and mutations that are specific for non-small cell lung cancer, as well as the selection of an immunological drug that is most effective.
- Immunohistochemical test – the use of monoclonal antibodies to determine the antigens of atypical cells. In this way, you can quickly identify a type of lung cancer.
- CT (computed tomography) or PET-CT (positron emission tomography) – diagnosis of the lungs.
Biopsies are taken by our Israeli specialists in several ways:
- FNA – Fine needle aspiration of the lung under the control of ultrasound, endoscopic ultrasound, x-ray or CT.
- Bronchoscopy, or a type of endoscopy in the form of a thin hollow tube with taking a sample of pathological tissue.
- Mediastinoscopy – for examination and biopsy through the sternum in the form of a thin tube.
- Thoracoscopy – an invasive operation using a thoracoscope.
Treatment of non-small cell lung cancer and prognosis
The treatment prescription of our Israeli oncologists, as well as the prognosis, depends on:
- Type of lung cancer.
- Limited or extended stage of the disease, the presence of metastases.
- Specific biomarker mutations in the genes, for example, EGFR or anaplastic lymphoma kinase ALK.
- The general condition of the patient.
Targeted therapy and immunological preparations are widely used in Israel, and thanks to molecular tests and personalized treatment, cancer cell mutation can be determined. The found mutation helps the tumor to “hide” from the immune system, and at the same time it is its vulnerability, against which the medicine is chosen.
Most often, chemotherapy is combined with biological treatment using antibody bevacizumab, which impedes the growth of blood vessels that feed the tumor. If first-line therapy does not help, use another class of drugs – checkpoint inhibitors, which “remove the person’s immunity from the brakes,” and give the body a chance to fight the cancer. In their practice, our oncologists use the drug pembrolizumab (Kitruda), atezolizumab, nivolumab (Opdivo) and other checkpoint inhibitors.
You can consult with Israeli oncologists about the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer and get a treatment plan, please contact us using the form, by email or phone.