Lung cancer is the second most commonly occurring cancer in the United States. It is prevalent in both men and women. While there are many types of lung cancer, they are commonly categorized into three groups, namely non-small cell lung cancer, small cell lung cancer and mesothelioma.
Lung cancer treatments include radiation, surgery and chemotherapy. Chemotherapy treatment for lung cancer is decided based on the kind of cancer. Usually chemotherapy is used for treating advanced stages of different kinds of lung cancer.
Chemotherapy for Non-small Cell Lung Cancer
This kind of lung cancer is treated using a wide variety of chemotherapy. Drugs like Cisplatin and Etoposide or Carboplatin and Paclitaxel are usually the first choice chemotherapy drugs.
If these drugs fail, oncologists try other chemotherapy drugs, such as a combination of Adriamycin and Cytoxan, AC Regimen, Docetaxel, Gemzar, Irinotecan and Topotecan. Usually chemotherapy is given every three to four weeks in 4 to 6 cycles.
Chemotherapy for Small Cell Lung Cancer
Many of the chemotherapy drugs used to treat non-small cell lung cancer can also be used to treat small cell lung cancer. However, this form of lung cancer is extremely aggressive and the cure rate is just 20 percent. Chemotherapy drugs used to treat small cell lung cancer include Cisplatin, a combination of Cytoxan, Vincristine and Adriamycin, and Cisplatin in combination with Irinotecan.
Other drugs that can be used for chemotherapy include Etoposide and Ifosfamide in conjunction with Carboplatin. Chemotherapy for small cell lung cancer is also given every 3 to 4 weeks in four to six cycles.
Chemotherapy for Mesothelioma
This is not a very commonly found lung cancer. It occurs due to exposure to asbestos fibers. The prognosis for mesothelioma is not very good, as there is just a 15 percent survival rate for a period of 5 years. Usually, mesothelioma is treated using a combination of chemotherapy drugs.
The oncologist decides on the combination and this decision is based on the health of the cancer patient. Chemotherapy drugs used to treat Mesothelioma include Cisplatin, Incristine, Vincblastine, Cytoxan, Gemzar, Carboplatin, Adriamycin and Epirubicin.