Specialist Treatment for All Stages of Lung Cancer in Singapore
How Lung Cancer Develops
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for both men and women worldwide, with almost 1 in 5 deaths attributable to it. With the current high and ever-increasing rate of smoking in many countries, the incidence of lung cancer and consequent deaths from this disease is predicted to rise in the coming decades.
In Singapore specifically, lung cancer is the third most common cancer in men and women. In addition, lung cancer is also the leading cause of cancer deaths in men. The two main types of lung cancer are small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), with the latter being the most common type.
NSCLC is associated with a good prognosis if diagnosed at an early stage, where surgery is most effective. Lung cancer first develops in the lungs where abnormal cells grow out of control. The cancer cells can affect any part of the respiratory system and then spread to the lymph nodes and other parts of the body in advanced stages.
The most common symptoms of lung cancer are:
- A persistent cough (lasting more than 2 or 3 weeks) or a long-standing cough that gets worse.
- Persistent breathlessness.
- Coughing up blood.
- Chest pain that gets worse with deep breathing, coughing or laughing.
- Loss of appetite or unexplained weight loss.
Unfortunately, compared to other cancers, the mortality rate of lung cancer is high. This is because only around 15% of lung cancer cases are diagnosed at an early stage which allows for curative treatment.
Diagnosis Of Lung Cancer
While some lung cancers can be found by screening, most lung cancers are found only when they are causing problems. Unfortunately, the majority of cases are found only when cancer has spread which can make it difficult to treat.
That’s why screening is so important to look for cancer in people who do not present symptoms. Lung cancer is often diagnosed through a series of imaging tests such as a chest x-ray that can help reveal any abnormal lumps or masses. A low-dose CT scan is the recommended screening test for lung cancer that can reveal small lesions in your lungs that might not be detected on an x-ray.
Depending on your symptoms, risk factors and medical history, a doctor may conduct a series of physical examinations, imaging tests including a chest x-ray or low-dose CT scan and biopsies to accurately detect and diagnose lung cancer.
Don’t Put Your Health On Hold
Over the last decade, there have been significant advances in the treatment of advanced NSCLC. There is now a variety of drugs available on the market that has been demonstrated to improve survival when administered as first-line, second-line or combination therapies. Depending on whether you are diagnosed with early-stage or advanced-stage cancer, the doctor may recommend a treatment plan that includes surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and immunotherapy.
Ultimately, the goal of lung cancer screening is to detect lung cancer at its first stage when it’s more likely to be cured. At International Cancer Specialists (ICS), we relentlessly strive to provide our patients compassionate, competent and cost-effective care for lung cancer treatments in Singapore.
Led by qualified and experienced oncology clinicians and healthcare managers, as well as a multidisciplinary team of medical specialist partners (all of whom are the UK or/and US Board-Certified), we are ready to deliver cutting-edge patient-centred care in a comfortable, welcoming environment.
The price range for cancer treatment options will vary depending on the condition, the length of treatment and how complex the procedure is. We believe in price transparency, get in touch with us to find out more about your treatment plan and costs today.
Who should get lung cancer screening?
Usually, lung cancer specialists recommend screening for people who show no symptoms but are at high risk of lung cancer. Examples would include smokers who are at least 50 years old and older and people who have gotten lung cancer before.Other groups may include those who are exposed to secondhand smoke, such as if your family member is a habitual smoker. To be safe, it’s best to go for a CT scan once a year to determine if you are due for a first-stage lung cancer treatment.
However, going for screening does not reduce the risk of lung cancer. Because lung cancer is associated with smoking, it’s advisable to quit smoking to lower your risk.
Why is it important to get lung cancer screening tests?
Lung cancer screening aims to detect early-stage lung cancer in high-risk individuals who are otherwise healthy.After all, by the time symptoms show, the cancer is usually too advanced for curative treatment. Moreover, if lung cancer is at a later stage, the treatment cost will be much higher.
While low-dose CT scanning may come at a cost, the benefits of the test far outweigh the risks – studies show that lung cancer screening lowers the risk of death.
What are the options for lung cancer treatment?
Depending on the spread and the type of lung cancer, there are several different treatments for lung cancer. Those with non-small cell lung cancer will usually have surgery, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, or a combination of those treatments.On the other hand, those with small cell lung cancer turn to radiation therapy and chemotherapy. It is best to consult a lung cancer specialist in Singapore to get the best treatment plan for you.
What causes lung cancer in Singapore?
The majority of lung cancer in Singapore is from smoking1 While smokers are at the highest risk of contracting lung cancer, those exposed to secondhand smoke are also at risk. In fact, secondhand smoke is generally believed to be more harmful. Nevertheless, there is a minority who still get early-stage lung cancer due to external factors such as air pollution, and a family history of lung cancer. In these cases, the causes may be unclear.
When should you see a doctor for lung cancer treatment?
If you are starting to show symptoms, such as ongoing cough, having mucus mixed with blood, wheezing, hoarseness, or a consistent lung infection, you may be due for a screening to check for first-stage lung cancer.You may need to visit the emergency room if you have any of the following:
- Coughing up blood
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling weak all over the body
- Sudden vision problems
- Consistent chest pain
Can I afford private cancer treatment?
Unknown to many, private cancer treatment may actually be within reach for many of us. Over the past 13 years, International Cancer Specialists has been helping our patients process their treatment claims from multiple insurance companies in Singapore and around the world. As such, our patients from all walks of life have been able to comfortably finance their treatments.
How do I plan for the financing of my cancer treatment?
Be at ease as at ICS you never walk alone, let us plan for financing together. Upon your visit to ICS for treatment, we provide free financial counselling to assist you to make an informed choice on finance matters. Our team of nurses with years of experience in handling international, local, and corporate insurance stand ready to assist with any issues with the financing of your treatment that you may have.
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