Is Stage 3 Lung Cancer Curable?
By Madeline May |
When lung cancer develops into stage 3, it has begun to spread beyond the original site. Medical professionals refer to this period as an advanced stage of lung cancer. Many people wonder though - is stage 3 lung cancer curable?
Can Stage 3 Lung Cancer Be Cured?
Lung cancer patients typically learn of their diagnosis during stage 3, which is considered an advanced stage. Although lung cancer is considered the leading cause of cancer death in the US, there is still hope.
What Does Stage 3 Lung Cancer Do to The Body?
Stage 3 is considered an advanced stage of lung cancer as the tumors have further developed. During the third stage, tumors typically reach around 3 centimeters in diameter. These tumors spread and further affect lymph nodes, the chest, and the windpipe. Additionally, tumors can be found in the primary bronchus, the lung’s membrane, inside airways, or between the lungs
During the early stages of lung cancer, there are fewer noticeable symptoms compared to the more advanced stages, like stage 3, where signs become obvious. Common early symptoms of lung cancer signaling an advanced stage of lung cancer include a persistent, lingering cough or a change in a smoker’s cough such as apparent blood or mucus.
Signs and symptoms of advanced-stage lung cancer include:
- Inflamed lungs
- Trouble breathing
- Chest pain
- Bone pains
- Extreme, unexplained weight loss
- Coughing and wheezing
- Hoarse voice
Symptom severity for stage 3 lung cancer varies for each patient but it can take over the body physically and mentally.
Can You Live With Stage 3 Lung Cancer?
There are several treatment options available to patients including those that work to cure patients of cancer and those that simply ease the pain. Treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation can be utilized to rid patients of tumors. On the other hand, medicine and complementary treatments can reduce the discomfort a patient may experience.
Complementary treatments include:
- Physical therapy
- Nerve Stimulation
Ease Symptoms at Home
Managing the pain of symptoms and treatments can be beneficial. Working with health professionals to control the pain can also help fight the onset of depression.
Symptoms in those who smoke are drastically different from patients that do not. Additionally, treatment typically responds better to those that give up smoking. There are many steps a patient can take to ease the symptoms that accompany stage 3 lung cancer. Patients can utilize humidifiers and other machines to clear mucus and airways. Additionally, there are many resources on breathing exercises to aid those with lung cancer.
A patient’s mental health can be severely affected after receiving a prognosis. To combat the possible negative tolls a cancer prognosis can have, seeking support is vital. Support groups and resources benefit those who need assistance coping with grief, handling legal challenges, or keeping up a household. Furthermore, there are several support resources available to patients including lodging programs, information call centers, and rides to treatments.
Stage 3 Lung Cancer Survival Rate
According to the American Cancer Society, those with lung cancer can expect to live another 5 years after diagnosis.
The survival rate of lung cancer is broken into different categories. These categories of cancer include:
- Localized – Cancer is limited only to lung tissue
- Regional – Cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes or structures
- Distant – Cancer has spread to distant organs
Health professionals have assigned survival rates based on these categories.
- A localized stage of lung cancer has a 59% survival rate
- A regional stage has a 31.7% survival rate
- Distant cancer stages are associated with a 5.8% survival rate
- Unstaged cancers have an 8.3% rate of survival
Is there Treatment for Stage 3 Lung Cancer?
Treatment can greatly encourage the improvement of stage 3 lung cancer. Many patients wonder if stage 3 lung cancer is curable. There is no lung cancer cure, however, there are several treatment options.
Stage 3 Lung Cancer Treatment Options
There are several methods of treatment for those with lung cancer including:
- Radiation Therapy
- Targeted Therapy
- Laser Therapy
Can Immunotherapy Cure Stage 3 Lung Cancer?
Immunotherapy utilizes the cancer patient’s own body to recognize and attack cancer cells. A primary form of immunotherapy is immune checkpoint inhibitors.
The body uses checkpoints to turn immune responses on or off. However, cancer cells often avoid these checkpoints to continue developing. Immunotherapy drugs target these checkpoints to destroy the cancer cells.
Immunotherapy is a promising form of cancer treatment that uses one’s own body to fight cancer. Although immunotherapy is not a miracle cure, it often improves the survival rate for lung cancer patients.
Can Chemo and Radiation Cure Stage 3 Lung Cancer?
Chemotherapy and radiation are two primary forms of lung cancer treatment.
Chemotherapy is a chemical substance used to treat lung cancer. This treatment method uses medications to shrink or kill cancer tumors. The goal of administering chemotherapy is to cure or control the spread of tumors.
Additionally, radiation is used as a treatment for many lung cancer patients. Radiation utilizes high-energy X-rays to kill cancer cells and prevent tumors from spreading any further. There are several types of radiation techniques employed depending on the type and stage of cancer.
Lung Cancer Research and Clinical Trials in 2022
Lung cancer research is always evolving to ensure that patients have access to the best medications and techniques available.
Several lung cancer patients turn to clinical trials for lung support. Clinical trial researchers primarily focus on lung cancer research. After confirming that the researched treatment is safe, people can access the new medicine.
Through clinical trials, lung cancer patients are able to utilize medications and techniques that are not available in other places.
Current Clinical Trials for Lung Cancer
There are several government and educational organizations that compile lists of clinical trials. Patients can find clinical trials through organizations such as:
How You Can Help Find A Cure
Lung cancer is the leading cancer in America, affecting over 235,000 men and women. Whether you are living with lung cancer, know someone who is, or are just looking to help, there are several ways YOU can help find a cure.
If you are in a position to do so, donating to lung cancer research is extremely helpful. Donations support cancer research to help improve treatment options, prevent new cases, and find a way to end lung cancer for good.
Additionally, others have staging questions, and raising awareness for lung cancer is something everyone can do with ease. Posting on social media platforms or participating in a fundraiser are simple ways to contribute to the search for a lung cancer cure.