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Other therapies

Overview

Chemotherapy, immunotherapy and other standard therapies are not the only options for lung cancer patients. There are several other options that can be used in conjunction with the more conventional therapies to treat lung cancer and its symptoms.

Photodynamic therapy (PDT)

Photodynamic therapy (PDT)

Photodynamic therapy kills cancer cells by using a combination of a light sensitising drug and a very bright light. This treatment can shrink a tumour that is blocking an airway, hence helping to ease breathlessness and coughing up of blood. PDT may be prescribed if the patient has a small early stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and can’t have surgery, or has tumours in both lungs or has a relapse of lung cancer after surgery.

Laser therapy

Laser therapy

Laser therapy uses a focused beam of light to destroy cancer cells. Laser therapy may be prescribed for lung cancer patients who have a very small, early lung cancer. Laser therapy may also be employed if the cancer is blocking an airway and causing breathlessness.

Microwave ablation

Microwave ablation

Microwave ablation uses high frequency microwave energy to kill cancer cells and is primarily used as a treatment for large lung cancers. A small probe is inserted into the skin of the chest directly into the tumour, then an electrode in the probe creates high frequency microwave energy to destroy the tumour.

References:
Cancer Research UK: Lung Cancer Treatment: Photodynamic Therapy.
Retrieved Nov 2017 from http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/lung-cancer/treatment/photodynamic-therapy-pdt;
Cancer Research UK: Lung Cancer Treatment: Laser Therapy.
Retrieved Nov 2017 from http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/lung-cancer/treatment/laser-therapy;
Cancer Research UK: Lung Cancer Treatment: Microwave Ablation.
Retrieved Nov 2017 from http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/lung-cancer/treatment/microwave-ablation