Treatment of lung cancer in Germany
Lung cancer is a common oncological disease which is widespread in the developed countries. Its frequency is 50-80 cases per 100.000 people. The peak incidence is at the age of 55-65 years.
Lung cancer – Diagnostics
Early diagnostics of the lung cancer is complicated. 70% of patients visit a doctor when the disease in incurable. This is due to the lack of pain syndrome, because there are no nerve endings in the lungs.
The main methods of diagnostics are radiography and sputum cytology, or bronchoalveolar lavage (this way abnormal cells can be identified). Computed tomography is used as an alternative to radiography, because this examination is more informative.
To assess the stage of the pathological process and to determine the histological forms of cancer, bronchoscopy with biopsy is normally performed. It is the most informative method for the central cancer diagnostics, because small bronchi can’t be reached with the help of a bronchoscope.
The other diagnostic methods are:
- Transthoracic aspiration needle biopsy (a needle is inserted through a puncture in the body)
- Diagnostic thoracotomy (a surgery with penetration into the chest cavity is performed when it is impossible to establish the diagnosis by other methods)
- Mediastinoscopy is an invasive diagnostic method allowing to assess the state of the lymph nodes
- Biopsy of the neck and cervical lymph nodes can be performed within the framework of mediastinoscopy to determine the stage of the pathological process and histological form of the cancer
Best clinics for the lung cancer diagnostics in Germany:
Medipol Mega University Hospital Istanbul
Academic Hospital Augustinerinnen Cologne
University Hospital Duesseldorf
Lung cancer – Treatment
Only 20% of patients can be completely cured with the help of surgery, which is due to the late visiting of the hospital. The surgery can also be contraindicated in the following cases:
- Unresectable tumor
- Presence of the distant metastases, which make the operation useless
- Presence of contraindications to surgery (cardiac or respiratory failure, decompensated diseases of other internal organs)
The volume of a surgery depends on the stage of the pathological process, tumor growth form, its size, presence and localization of metastases. Following parts can be removed in the course of surgery:
- Lung lobe – lobectomy
- Two lobes of the lung – bilobectomy
- The whole lung – pneumonectomy
Simultaneously, the regional lymph nodes, parts of the chest wall, blood vessels, pericardium pieces, diaphragm, trachea, oesophagus, and other tissues, which are affected by the tumor, can be removed, if necessary.
Chemotherapy and radiation therapy can slow down the growth of malformation and reduce its size making the patient’s life easier. But these techniques are additional. If they are applied without surgery, they will not affect the patient’s survival.
Lung cancer – Innovative treatment
Together with the main treatment methods, new therapeutic techniques are introduced. They will help to prolong the patients’ lives.
Dendritic cells are the immunotherapy method. Dendritic cells are taken from the blood or bone marrow. Then they are cultured and injected subcutaneously, so that the patient's immune system begins to fight the tumor.
The main advantages of the treatment of lung cancer with the help of dendritic cells are:
- Higher efficiency in comparison to radiation and chemotherapy
- Better tolerability
- Outpatient treatment
Targeted therapy presupposes the use of drugs that can selectively affect tumor, without killing healthy cells, including those that divide quickly. Only in 2016 two new drugs for targeted therapy of lung cancer appeared. Target therapy is much more effective than chemotherapy, and is better tolerated.
Best clinics for the lung cancer treatment in Germany:
Medipol Mega University Hospital Istanbul
Gamma Knife and Radiotherapy Center Krefeld
University Hospital Duesseldorf
Lung cancer – Rehabilitation
Most patients require rehabilitation after the treatment of complex oncological diseases. It includes the following aspects:
- Prevention of complications that may occur as a result of treatment. It can be pneumonia, lymphostasis, thromboembolic or infectious complications.
- Restoration of general health. The elimination of the consequences after surgeries and chemotherapy is carried out. The functions of internal organs are restored with the help of various medical and rehabilitation measures.
- Restoration of occupation. A person must not just stay alive. He must have physical and intellectual capabilities, which are sufficient for employment.
- Psychological support. First of all, it is required for patients, whose occupational performance was harmed because of the disease. Patients with deterioration of appearance also will benefit from psychological help.
- Restoration of appearance. If necessary, you can use surgical and other methods in Germany to restore appearance defects caused by cancer. For example, to carry out the reconstruction of the breast.
- Social and domestic rehabilitation. A person with reduced workability is trained to act in the society and perform everyday tasks in new conditions.
In German clinics, rehabilitation is carried out in a comprehensive manner. The patients are provided with qualitative care here. Doctors' monitoring and conservative treatment allow to avoid complications, which usually happen after treatment of oncological diseases. Psychotherapy, physiotherapy and physical therapy are actively used in Germany.
Specialists in different medical spheres take part in the rehabilitation process. These are massage therapists, speech therapists, specialists in physiotherapy exercises, physiotherapists. Social and occupational therapy is carried out, as well. If necessary, people are taught how to eat properly, take care of a postoperative scar, etc.
In Germany, rehabilitation is carried out with the maximum level of comfort for the patient. A person feels the results quite quickly and it improves his motivation and promotes further recovery.
Best clinics for oncological rehabilitation in Germany:
Author: Dr. Nadezhda Ivanisova
Here you can find the cost of treatment for this disease at the German University Hospitals. Leave a request and we will provide a free consultation with a doctor and will start organizing the whole treatment process.
The program includes the following:
- Issuing of an invitation for getting a visa for treatment as quick as possible
- Fixing an appointment at a time convenient for you
- Preliminary organization of a comprehensive examination and discussion of the forthcoming treatment plan
- Arranging transfer from the airport to the hospital and back to the airport
- Provision of interpreting services and services of a personal medical coordinator
- If necessary, assistance in the organization of further surgical treatment
- Provision of a medical insurance against treatment complications covering up to 200,000 euro
- Preparation and translation of medical records and recommendations from the hospital
- Assistance in the subsequent communication with your attending physician, including consultations on repeated X-ray images through the unique medical document management system E-doc