Helping patients find the non-small cell lung cancer resources they deserve
What is Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer?
Non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) accounts for 85% of all lung cancer cases in the United States. NSCLC is the most common form of lung cancer and is a general term for several different types of cancer in the lungs including:
- Squamous cell carcinoma
- Large cell carcinoma
- Other rare types
Lung cancer is characterized by small cell and non-small cell. Small cell lung cancer is the less common type of lung cancer, but it spreads faster than NSCLC. Small cell cancer cells under a microscope appear small and round compared to non-small cell cancer cells. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related mortality, not only in the United States but also around the world.
Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Symptoms
Symptoms for NSCLC can differ for each patient, but they generally include:
- Persistent cough
- Hoarse throat
- Coughing up phlegm or blood
- Shortness of breath
- Weight loss due to loss of appetite
What Causes Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer?
It is believed that 90% of all lung cancer cases are caused by smoking. However, there are cases of lung cancer for those who have never smoked before. Some of these cases can be attributed to gene changes, or mutations that are either inherited or developed over one’s lifetime. Although smokers can develop NSCLC, there is a larger number of non-smokers who have NSCLC compared to small cell lung cancer.
Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Risk Factors
Smoking and secondhand smoke are the two biggest risk factors for NSCLC. Other risk factors include:
Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Prevention
The best way to prevent the development of lung cancer is to avoid smoking, or if you’ve already started, then quit smoking. You should also avoid the other risk factors as well as have a balanced diet and exercise to maintain a healthy weight.
Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Treatment
The treatment decision depends on the patient’s overall health, stage of the disease, and the subtype of lung cancer the patient has. The common treatment options for NSCLC patients often includes:
- Radiation therapy
- Targeted therapies
Radical surgery is the standard of care for fit, stage I NSCLC patients. Chemotherapy is used with concurrent radiation for some locally advanced cancers, and palliative chemotherapy for metastatic disease to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life.
Immunotherapy has revolutionized the landscape of NSCLC targeted treatments, significantly prolonging the overall survival of advanced stage patients. Immunotherapy drugs approved to treat lung cancer belong to a class of drugs called checkpoint inhibitors. Doctors use several targeted therapies to treat some advanced non-small cell lung cancers, either alone or along with chemotherapy.
Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Clinical Trials
There are approximately 835 clinical trials for non-small cell lung cancer patients recruiting patients in the United States. With such a long list of trials, it is difficult to know which one is the most beneficial for you. Our team of patient advocates, case managers, and our artificial intelligence based clinical trial matching system will find the best option for your individual case.
With just a few clicks, you can see your clinical trial matches now. Click here to use our advanced clinical trial match tool.
How Do We Help Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Patients?
Massive Bio offers an independent cancer treatment analysis as well as free clinical trial matching for non-small cell lung cancer patients. Our patient advocates work closely with patients to gather information on their current medical status, and then will provide a list of options from available cancer clinical trials close to your home.
We can also provide a comprehensive case analysis through our Virtual Tumor Board from cancer specialists. The Virtual Tumor Board (VTB) is comprised of highly specialized oncologists from nationally-recognized Cancer Centers of Excellence. In just 7-10 days after receiving your medical records, we can get you a treatment plan without having to travel far distances and use your valuable time.