PhotoDynamic Therapy For Lung Cancer

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Photodynamic therapy is a fairly new treatment option for lung cancer.  It is available for all types of lung cancer regardless of stage.  In this procedure, the patient will be injected with a photosynthesizing agent – normally the naturally occurring substance porphyrin, into the bloodstream a few hours prior to procedure.  The agent will be taken up by the cancer cells in the lungs.  The physician will then direct a certain wavelength of light by virtue of a handheld wand into the cancer cell sites and surrounding tissues.  The light activates the agent that will release toxins into the cell thereby destroying the tumor.

This procedure is especially advantageous because of its precise manner of locating the tumor, it’s less invasive nature, and its ability to be redone over the same site for numerous times. Its only drawback is that it can only be used for cancers that can be reached with a light source.