cancer radiation therapy of lungRadiation therapy in the treatment of malignant diseases uses ionizing radiation. By the turn of radiotherapy for the treatment of all types oflung cancer. In the initial stages the goal of radiation - completely eliminate the disease.

Let us consider how to apply radiotherapy for lung cancer in the clinics of Israel.

When non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) radiotherapy administered alone or with other treatments - chemotherapy or surgery.

Chemo and radiotherapy for lung cancer has been Dr. Julia Greenberg .

In small cell lung cancer (SCLC) obluchenoie sometimes used during or after the treatment with cytostatics. The impact of chemotherapy makes the tumor more sensitive.

Radiotherapy for cancer of lungs and improves results. brain irradiation may be recommended to destroy malignant cells that could get in there. This is called prophylactic.

At later stages of the disease treatment is aimed at reducing tumor disease control. It also reduces the symptoms - cough, shortness of breath.

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Breath tests

Before planning of radiation therapy the patient is undergoing breath tests. But if the treatment of the problem - reducing the symptoms, the need for it will not. These tests measure how much air you can breathe in and out. Doctors can check how much exercise a patient could do before the breath go astray.

External lung cancer irradiation

Generally applicable external radiation therapy in this disease. Linear accelerator directs the flux of radiation to the body. Treatment is carried out in a specialist unit. therapy plan is determined depending on the type and stage of the disease.

If the task - to cure disease, held about 20-36 procedures. Daily treatment sessions carried out on weekdays, approximately 4-7 weeks. Either can be used another mode - three times a day is performed irradiation for about 12 days, including the weekend. This type of radiation therapy in lung cancer called accelerated giperfraktsionnym. Some patients with small cell lung cancer is recommended irradiation twice a day.

If radiotherapy is carried out to control the symptoms, the patient may be one or two treatments per week, or daily session for 3 weeks.

Internal irradiation lung cancer

This treatment is called brachytherapy and endobronchial therapy. The treatment is performed during bronchoscopy. The radiation source is located within the narrow tube, the physician introduces into the respiratory tract for a few minutes.

The main task - to reduce the swelling that blocks or puts pressure on the airways, impedes the process of breathing. Brachytherapy also helps to control bleeding or infection caused by malignancy. Internal radiation therapy for lung cancer can be used in combination with other treatments, to eliminate airway blockage.

If necessary, this treatment is carried out 2 or 3 times.

During the procedure, local anesthesia and sedation. The doctor inserts a bronchoscope through the nose or mouth. Through it he puts a catheter with a radioactive source down, close to the tumor for a few minutes. Thus, a dose of radiation to a small area. The treatment is painless. The doctor then removes the radioactive source together with the catheter.

Consequences of internal radiation therapy of lung cancer

Brachytherapy provides low irradiation region inside the airway, without affecting the healthy tissue. This causes few side effects. After treatment, there may be some pain for a few days, a cough, a large amount of phlegm.

radiotherapy planning

Before you begin treatment, a team of doctors involved careful planning, to determine the dose of radiation exposure and location. Is scanned by CT, MRI can also be used, or PET. On the area of ​​irradiation applied to special characters.

non-small cell lung cancer radiotherapy in Israel

Surgery is the most common treatment for steps 1,2 and 3 non-small cell lung cancer, sometimes followed by chemotherapy. But your doctor may suggest radiation therapy instead undergo surgery. This treatment is called radical radiotherapy oncologist offers it in the following cases:

  1. Operation is not possible due to the state of health - heart failure or chronic lung disease.
  2. Lung cancer has reached the stage 3, and the tumor is close to the heart.
  3. Malignant tumor is located in such a place in the lungs, that the operation is too difficult to carry out.

Radiotherapy is often used in the treatment of tumors which are in the upper part of the lungs. They can be located very close to the nerves and called Pancoast tumors. Radiation therapy may be accompanied by lung cancer chemotherapy. Sometimes then it gives an opportunity to remove the tumor surgically.

How is radical radiotherapy in NSCLC?

There are several modes and approaches. One technique - the patient remains in the hospital on the day he had 3 treatments during the 3 weeks, including weekends. Such exposure is called giperfraktsionnoy radiotherapy. Another way. Daily conducted 1 treatment - 4-7 weeks, only on weekdays during the day hospital.

According to some studies, in some patients giperfraktsionnoe exposure shows better results than the standard daily radiation.

Giperfraktsionnaya radiotherapy is recommended in the following cases:

  1. In step 1 and 2 NSCLC, where there is no possibility to conduct the operation.
  2. At the stage of NSCLC 3A and 3B, if the patient is healthy enough to undergo chemoradiotherapy.

With small external tumors of the lung is carried stereotactic radiotherapy - 3 - 5 times within 2 weeks.

Chemoradiation therapy in NSCLC

In some cases, treatment with cytostatics and radiation are used together. The combination of these two procedures increases side effects. The patient should be healthy enough to recommend him to chemoradiation therapy in lung cancer. At 2 and 3 stages of NSCLC can be provided with this method desired level of overall health. There is also the option to go through this treatment in clinical trials.

Irradiation NSCLC after chemotherapy

In step 3 of lung cancer, when there is metastasis to lymph nodes on the opposite side of the breast tumor may chemotherapy followed by radiation therapy. This treatment is called consistent.

NSCLC radiotherapy after surgery

Performing irradiation lung cancer after surgery can significantly reduce the likelihood of relapse in the lungs of some patients at an early stage. Mainly it carried out radiotherapy, if the surgeon is not completely removed the tumor. Or if the surgeon found the cancer cells in the lymph nodes, closely located to the lungs.

Radiation therapy to improve symptoms of NSCLC

When a patient experiences chest pain or painful cough, coughing up blood, radiotherapy can be used to help control the symptoms of the disease. Also, irradiation can reduce the pain if cancer cells have spread to the bone. Treatment is performed by different approaches:

  • 1 procedure;
  • 2 treatments a week apart;
  • The course of treatment for about 2 weeks.

For each case of the disease is selected therapy based on individual characteristics. Usually 1-2 treatments provide a lower chance of side effects. Adverse effects often develop over a longer course of treatment, but almost always temporary.

With treatment over the course of 2 weeks, the total radiation dose is certainly larger than at 1-2 procedures. But each individual dose - less because of procedures 10 and not 1 or 2. Sometimes it is better to be treated for two weeks if the doctor believes that the long course is more useful in a particular case. For some patients, it helps control the disease longer. But it offers more short-term side effects, especially, pain when swallowing.

small cell lung cancer radiotherapy in Israel

The physician may recommend after radiotherapy or in combination with chemotherapy for early stage NSCLC. This will reduce the likelihood of the disease returning. Such an embodiment is considered, if the cancer is significantly decreased or disappeared after chemotherapy.

Chemoradiotherapy in some cases eliminates people from SCLC. Not detected no signs during scanning and inspection. I achieved complete remission. But sometimes the disease comes back after treatment, and the patient is regularly tested.

Radiation therapy for brain SCLC

The doctor may recommend brain radiation. This is due to the fact that small-cell lung cancer is able to spread to that organ. Radiotherapy for 1-3 weeks reduces the likelihood of metastasis in the brain. Also, exposure of lung cancer prolongs life. This so-called prophylactic cranial radiotherapy.

Irradiation of the brain can cause short-term side effects - fatigue, headaches, nausea within a few weeks. Doctor may prescribe medications to reduce their effects. If the patient feels increased fatigue, need a rest and family support.

Radiation therapy to relieve symptoms of SCLC

Irradiation is very effective for small cell cancer. Chemoradiotherapy can be applied, both to cure cancer and to control its symptoms. For example, irradiation can be carried chest to reduce symptoms such as pain, dyspnea, cough or hemoptysis. Also prescribe radiation therapy bone to eliminate the pain when cancer struck this area. Furthermore, radiotherapy is used to reduce symptoms of lung cancer that has spread to the brain.

Possible effects of radiation therapy

These effects depend on the type of exposure. Several weeks of therapy cause significantly more side effects than 1 or 2 treatments. Typically, symptoms occur slowly and persist for several weeks after the end of therapy. Gradually, the condition improves. A small number of patients have long-term side effects.


The patient will most likely occur this symptom if radiotherapy last several weeks. With the continuation of the treatment it is amplified. This is normal for irradiation in lung cancer. It should rest as much as needed.

Sore throat and trouble swallowing

Pain occurs at 2-3 weeks of treatment, sometimes earlier in the chemoradiotherapy. Soreness appears suddenly. It should inform the doctor about the problems with swallowing and consult how you can eliminate them. It will probably be difficult to drink very hot or very cold drinks.

Very rarely doctors use a dropper for administering liquid into the body if the patient is unable to drink.

Experts recommend that in similar difficulties soft diet. Such food like soups or stews easier to swallow than, for example, the meat on the grill. A nutritionist at the clinic will give advice on this matter.

It can be recommended mouthwash - antacids, analgesics to relieve pain. If there is a sharp pain, apply a strong analgesics. The condition may return to normal by itself, but it often takes a few weeks after the end of treatment.


In most cases, during or after radiation therapy of cough develops in lung cancer, dry or with phlegm. Your doctor may prescribe a medicine for cough, but perhaps it will not help. Cough pass, when the treatment is over. About the symptoms you are sure to inform your doctor, because the cause is infection. Therefore require antibiotic therapy.


Hair usually falls only in the treated area, that is in the chest area. If it is a brain radiotherapy, the patient loses hair on his head. They usually grow back within a few months, but there are also non-uniform. In rare cases, this symptom is permanent. This is related to the dose of radiation therapy in lung cancer.

Chest pain

The patient may experience chest pain after 1-2 treatment procedures. Usually this takes place over 24 hours, special measures are required. But it is important to notify the doctor as the pain may be due to another cause.

Fever and chills

After 1-2 therapy procedures sometimes observed fever and chills. It is recommended to take paracetamol, which will eliminate these symptoms. You also need to inform your doctor because these symptoms can be caused by infection, which is to eliminate the need to take antibiotics.


In some cases, this symptom occurs, but is rare. This is due to a certain part of the lungs, which is being treated. To eliminate nausea used antiemetic drugs. If there is no appetite, recommended high-calorie drinks.

Soreness skin in the treatment zone

Radiotherapy for lung cancer can cause soreness of the skin in the treatment area. Mainly observed by irradiating the tumor Pancoast, with other types of lung cancer - are rare.

The most common skin reaction resembles mild sunburn with redness and irritation. The use of chemotherapy may worsen the reaction. Skin care using plain water instead of using scented soaps or special cleaners, if they have not been discussed with the oncologist.

Possible long-term consequences of irradiation in lung cancer

They develop a few months after treatment is completed. These side effects are rare. If the treatment of the symptoms, only applied radiation therapy, it is unlikely there are any long-term effects. Even with vigorous irradiation for 4-6 weeks, such undesirable phenomena are rare.

Unfortunately, doctors can not say in advance who they can appear, and someone - no. People react differently to radiotherapy. Some patients have increased sensitivity. It is important to remember that the priority is - the treatment of disease. A team of doctors will do everything possible to minimize the likelihood of such effects of irradiation in lung cancer.

Among such side effects include the development of fibrous tissue, which is less elastic than normal. The patient may experience shortness of breath, there is a narrowing of the esophagus, or the effect on the heart or the spinal cord.

  1. Dyspnea. The doctor informs the patient in advance about the risks of suffocation. It is likely that breathing becomes more difficult after radiation therapy for lung cancer. This risk must be balanced with the need to treat the disease. Doctors will do everything possible to minimize the adverse effects, providing the best possible treatment.
  2. Narrowing of the esophagus. Doctors call this condition stricture, which creates difficulty in swallowing. minor surgery is required to remove it.
  3. Effect on the heart and brain. Sometimes radiation therapy to the chest causes the pericardium. operation will be needed to improve the condition.
  4. The impact on the spinal cord. Since the treatment area of ​​radiation therapy of lung cancer is close to the spine, there is a risk of spinal cord injury. This is a very rare side effect.

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