In the past, cancer patients had limited treatment options - surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy. Recently there’s been a big push for new types of treatments, like immunotherapy and greater access to clinical trials.
Patients and families face important decisions about cancer care: what hospital to choose, the treatment options available to them, who will care for the patient at home, and how they’ll pay for medical bills. Our lung cancer lawyers are here to help you answer these important questions.
Immunotherapy for Lung Cancer
Immunotherapy is a type of experimental cancer treatment that programs the body’s own immune system to attack tumors. Scientists have made incredible progress with immune-based cancer treatments.
Two drugs showing the most potential for lung cancer are Keytruda and Tecentriq. Both show better rates of survival compared to chemotherapy, but there’s one important difference between them:
Keytruda, the drug that helped send Jimmy Carter’s cancer into remission, is intended only for patients who haven’t been treated for cancer yet, while
Tecentriq can be used by patients who’ve already tried other cancer treatments.
Surgery for Lung Cancer
There are many surgical options for lung cancer patients. When choosing a hospital, remember that the more lung cancer surgeries a hospital performs, the better. The fewer cancer surgeries a hospital does, the more likely you are to suffer a serious, even life-threatening complication.
You are free to choose which hospital and doctor you want to perform your surgery, as long as they’re in your insurance network.
Hospitals that perform only one or two per year are considered “low-volume” hospitals. Thousands of cancer patients go to low-volume hospitals even when they live within 50 miles of a hospital that would perform the surgery better and more safely.
Patients at hospitals that do more lung cancer surgeries benefit by having:
- Lower rates of cancer recurrence
- Fewer repeat surgeries
- Reduced readmissions
Look for hospitals that perform more than 20 lung cancer surgeries per year. How do you find out this number? California patients can look here. Patients in other states can find high-volume and high-performing hospitals on U.S. News, here.
You can also go to your insurance provider’s website and search for doctors or hospitals in your area that perform lung cancer surgery.
Chemotherapy for Lung Cancer
Chemotherapy kills cancer cells using highly toxic chemicals. Traditionally, side effects were debilitating and mostly ineffective. Although chemotherapy drugs are better now, doctors are still dissatisfied.
There are many types of chemotherapy, and they’re often used in combination. It’s usually offered along with surgery (either before or after) and radiation.
You should be very clear with your doctor about your chemotherapy schedule, any potential side effects, and names of the drugs you’ll receive.
A common side effect of chemotherapy is temporary hair loss, but one drug in particular, Taxotere, can cause permanent hair loss. We’re currently representing women who took Taxotere for breast cancer treatment and suffered this devastating side effect.
Legal Options for Lung Cancer
We’ve been representing lung cancer patients and their families for 30 years, and have won millions for our clients. Our lung cancer specialists work with clients all over the country, from all walks of life. If you have any questions about the legal process or any other lung cancer issue, call us for a free review or visit our website to submit your question.