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Radiation Therapy for NSCLC Patients

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Radiation Therapy for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Join Y. Luh, MD, FACP and Charles R. Thomas, Jr., MD

Introduction

Radiation is a form of energy that has both beneficial and harmful effects on humans. When used properly in controlled settings, radiation can effectively treat lung cancer, and this effect can be intensified with chemotherapy given at the same time.

Radiation therapy is the medical use of radiation to treat

cancer and some benign tumors that are not cancerous. Radiation for cancer works by damaging the DNA of cancer cells. Cancer cells are much more sensitive to the lethal effects of radiation than normal cells because cancer cells have difficulty repairing DNA damage. In addition, cancer cells are more sensitive to the effects of radiation and DNA damage because divide much more rapidly than normal

cells.

Lung cancers are categorized into two groups: small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer.

Radiation may be used for small cell lung cancers, as discussed in the section about small cell lung cancer.

This chapter will focus on the use of radiation therapy for non-small cell lung cancer.

MORE: http://lungcancercap.org/choices/pdf/4_ ... 052312.pdf

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