Thoracic cancer explained to patients

Every year throughout the world, over 1.6 million people are diagnosed with thoracic tumors.  Among these, lung cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world but because the early symptoms are often not recognized; two thirds of the people are diagnosed late after the cancer has spread. Over the past ten years our understanding of thoracic tumors has improved, which means that the actual outcomes for patients are gradually getting better.

Thoracic cancer includes lung: Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) and Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC); malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) and thymic malignancies (TM).

Cancer is the result of an uncontrolled reproduction and growth of abnormal cells in the airway, producing a growth called a tumor. Cancerous tumors, called malignant tumors, can spread to invade and damage nearby tissues and organs. Eventually, it may spread through the lymph channels or bloodstream in other parts of the body.

Therefore diagnosis and timely access to tailored treatments can ensure good results and quality of life for patients.  However, thoracic tumors are not just one disease; there are many types but it is important to see the person behind the statistics, so that we can recognize the needs of individuals living with the disease.

Each cancer journey is unique as thoracic tumors are not just one disease.

Specific thoracic tumors need specific treatments and each patient requires a different kind of support to ensure the best possible available treatment, at the earliest possible time, and this is, what the SPECTAlung research program is aiming to achieve by means of targeted treatments.

The information contained in this chapter is informative only and gathers the views of various cancer specialists and recognized international patient advocacy organizations whose aims are to keep patients as best informed as possible throughout their cancer journey to improve their quality of life.

Visualize the video on lung cancer: