Non-small cell lung cancer and its treatment
Havvanur Akbulut1, Semanur İncedayı1, Özüm Atasoy2
1Biruni University School of Medicine, İstanbul, Turkey
2Department of Radiation Oncology, Dr. Lütfi Kırdar Kartal Training and Research Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey
Keywords: Immunotherapy, new drugs, non-small cell lung cancer
Lung cancer is among the top causes of cancer-related deaths in Western countries. The two main types of lung cancer according to histological type include non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) (85%) and small cell lung cancer (SCLC) (15%). Many factors including smoking, air pollution, environmental factors, occupational carcinogens, diet, viral infections, history of lung diseases, genetic and immunological factors play a role in the etiology of lung cancer disease. Non-small cell lung cancer is frequently undiagnosed until late stages. Coughing is the most common symptom in 50-75% of patients, followed by hemoptysis, chest pain, and dyspnea. Other less common symptoms include laboratory abnormalities or paraneoplastic syndromes. Diagnosis requires biopsy for histological confirmation. Non-small cell lung cancer staging is important enough that it determines treatment options and prognosis. TNM staging is based on criteria of primary tumor characteristics (T), degree of lymph node involvement (N), and presence of metastasis (M). Non-small cell lung cancer treatment options are according to the cancer stage, however, certain aspects of the cancer itself, as well as other factors of the patient such as general health and respiratory function are also important. In this review, NSCLC etiology, diagnosis, treatment, and novel drugs used in treatment shall be discussed with context to the literature.