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Lung Cancer Treatment: Delaying Chemotherapy Can Be Good for the Patient

Update Date: Jan 12, 2017 08:00 AM EST

Lung cancer is commonly caused by excessive smoking but can be cured if detected in its early stages. Usually, a patient needs to undergo chemotherapy right after surgery to prevent it from reappearing in the body. However, a new study shows that it can actually be good for the patient to delay chemotherapy and take the time to recover.

Recent research shows cases where it was found beneficial for a patient to take time to recover before undergoing chemotherapy. Associate Professor of Surgery at Yale School of Medicine Daniel J. Boffa and his colleagues studied the 12,473 cases of lung cancer patients and the results of taking chemotherapy sessions after 7 to 18 weeks after surgery compared to 6 to 9 weeks after surgery.

According to their study, patients who were diagnosed with NSCLC or non-small cell lung cancer and delayed their chemotherapy still benefited from the treatment and could possibly even lower risk of death compared to taking surgery alone.

This means that lung cancer patients can now consider, with their doctor's consent, delaying their chemotherapy sessions after surgery if they think they need more time to recover.

Lung cancer is reported to be one of the most common causes of death in the whole world. Out of the 8.2 million cancer deaths in 2012, 1.59 million of it is because of lung cancer. In the United States, one in every 14 men and one in every 17 women is diagnosed with it. People who smoke are more likely to have it but those who do not can still get it through secondhand smoke.

As long as the lung cancer is detected in its early stages, there is a big chance of the patient of surviving. As of today, there are almost half a million people in the U.S. alone that have survived the disease. The treatment usually requires surgery, which should soon be followed by chemotherapy.

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