Lung Cancer Patients Have New Hope
Doug Abel blamed his severe fatigue and muscle pain on his long hours as a cross-country trucker. He began to develop frequent lung infections, and his chest hurt from constant coughing. Finally, his wife insisted he see the family doctor. He was diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer at age 47. Fortunately for Abel, his sister had read about SonoPhoto Dynamic Therapy (SPDT), a newer treatment that offers long term success in healing lung cancer. SPDT brings patients from around the world to Germany for this treatment.
Lung cancer kills more Americans that the other top 5 cancers combined. Often, there are no symptoms until the disease is advanced. Persistent cough, shortness of breath, hoarseness, unexplained weight loss, anemia and sudden vision problems are also symptoms of lung cancer. Lung tumors are often found during routine medical tests.
Abel’s doctor found fluid in his lungs, and his lymph nodes and liver were swollen. An oncologist ordered a chest X-ray, CT scan, and biopsied tissue samples from his sputum, obtained by inserting a long needle into the pleural fluid. Other routine diagnostic tests for lung cancer include a Bronchoscopy, where a thin lighted tube is inserted through the nose or mouth into the lungs; CT guided fine needle aspiration and Thoracoscopy, where several small incisions are made in the chest and back so a lighted tube can view abnormalities and obtain tissue samples.
A Thoracotomy opens the chest wall to remove lymph nodes and tissue for testing, and a Mediastinocopy creates an incision at the top of the breast bone to view the chest interior and obtain tissue samples. All of these tests are painful, have risks and may require anesthesia.
Thirteen per cent of lung cancers are small cell, which spreads quickly. Non-small cell cancers represent 87 % of lung cancers, and this type spreads slowly. Types are determined by the size of the cancer cell.
Abel’s oncologist recommended the standard treatment – surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. But the prognosis was grim. Over 60% of patients diagnosed with lung cancer will die within one year, and over 75% in two years, even with aggressive treatment. Lung cancer typically spreads to the brain and bones. Side effects of conventional treatment include hair loss, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, mouth and lip sores, damage to the esophagus, coughing up blood and extreme fatigue.
Patients with non-operable lung cancers have a median survival rate of 9 months or less after diagnosis. Complications of conventional treatment include depression, respiratory illness, fluid in the lungs and metastases. These statistics were enough to send Abel looking for alternatives.
With the help of his sister, Abel began researching SonoPhoto Dynamic Therapy, and decided that he would try this non-invasive treatment that had no side effects.
An older version of this treatment, Photo Dynamic Therapy (PDT) has been around for over a hundred years. PDT uses an injectable toxic chemo agent as the sensitizer. PDT is currently used in many countries including the USA. In the 1990’s Russian researchers developed an oral non-toxic sensitizer, and added the element of sound (sono) to create a much more effective, safer cancer treatment. SPDT has recently been determined to be safe and effective in the US, UK and China.
Abel had been a smoker since he was a teenager. According to the National Institutes of Health, smoking one pack a day increases the risk of lung cancer 25 times. Cigarette smoking is the cause of 90% of all lung cancers. Second hand smoke is responsible for 3,000 deaths per year in the US. Other risk factors include exposure to asbestos, polluted air, radon, a prior history of other cancer and occupations where you are exposed to arsenic, chromium, nickel, aromatic hydrocarbons and ethers. Stopping smoking is the best way to prevent lung cancer.
Most conventional lung cancer treatment is palliative, addressing symptoms and offering pain management. With SPDT, lung cancer patients now have a way to get rid of tumors without surgery or complicated treatments with harmful side effects.
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