Dr Chetan Deshmukh

Lung Cancer

Written by  Monday, 08 September 2014 12:14

Cancer of the lung is the commonest cancer in men worldwide. In some parts of the world, the incidence of lung cancer in women is rising too. Once regarded as a ‘killer cancer’ (the mortality of lung cancer was significantly higher than the other common cancers like breast and colorectal cancer), the success rates in lung cancer are slowly but steadily growing, owing to better knowledge of its biology.

not vary significantly. However, it has now been proven conclusively that the behavior, spread, treatment and outcome of different types of cancer are different. Hence, to assign appropriate treatment, it is important to know the exact pathologic subtype of lung cancer.

Most people believe that lung cancer cannot be operated upon. This misconception stems from the fact that most lung cancers present in an advanced state and are not operable. However, surgery is a very effective and important curative treatment for early stage lung cancer. Patients presenting with stage I-II cancers are operated and then offered appropriate treatment based on the pathology report. The surgery may involve removal of a part of the lung or the complete lung. It should be noted that chemotherapy may be required after surgery even for some early stage patients.

For patients with advanced lung cancer, chemotherapy is the only feasible treatment. A lot of research has gone into lung cancer chemotherapy in the last decade and considerable progress has been made in improving the patients’ outcome with chemotherapy. In early 80’s it was thought that lung cancer chemotherapy was detrimental to survival but since 1990, enough evidence has emerged to suggest that chemotherapy for lung cancer increases survival and reduces the symptoms related to cancer. Chemotherapy does have its share of side-effects but with better drugs available to combat side-effects, administering chemotherapy has become easier and safer than before.

With the advances in molecular biology and better knowledge of human genetics, a new treatment strategy has emerged for lung cancer- targeted therapy. In some types of lung cancer, a genetic mutation can be identified which can then be targeted with a specially designed treatment- a tablet- against it. This treatment does not cause significant damage to other (normal) parts of the body and hence is safer than conventional chemotherapy.

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Dr Chetan Deshmukh Consulting at



1. Deshmukh Clinic & Research Center,
2. Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital,
3. Ruby Hall Clinic, Pune, Maharashtra, India.


Kolhapur Cancer Center, Gokul-Shirgaon MIDC, Kolhapur-Kagal Road, Kolhapur. Maharashtra, India.


Mahatma Gandhi Cancer Hospital, Near Gulabrao Patil Medical College, Miraj, Maharashtra, India.