Increasing hope for some patients with a common type of lung cancer | Health & Wellness – California News

Increasing hope for some patients with a common type of lung cancer | Health & Wellness – California News

(BPT) – Numbers touch nearly every aspect of our life, from social security number assigned at birth, to the ever-growing list of passwords, addresses, telephone numbers and miles traveled. You never know at what point one previously insignificant number might suddenly become fundamental.

Take 14 and 25. Alone, these numbers could mean nothing, anything. But to some, they are a statistic that needs to be changed. Because currently in the U.S., 14 percent of all new cancers are lung cancers, and 25 percent of all cancer deaths are attributed to this disease. Lung cancer causes more deaths than breast, colon and prostate cancers combined. Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) represents 80-85 percent of all lung cancers, and is often diagnosed in its later stages, once it’s spread and become more serious. This diagnosis can be distressing, as patients may have little knowledge of treatment options or what to expect now that life has taken this unexpected turn.

Chemotherapy, surgery and radiation have long represented the standard of care; however, advanced lung cancer’s aggressive nature is driving doctors and scientists to find ways to understand and treat it in new ways. This includes immunotherapies, which work differently, and are now often included among the traditional standard of care options like chemotherapy, surgery and radiation for certain types of cancer patients.

“Research is pushing the boundaries of what we know about the immune system’s ability to fight cancer, which is very exciting,” said David Spigel, MD,…

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