Lung Cancer

The diagnosis of lung cancer triggers a number of questions. What is lung cancer? How will we treat it? Where should I go for lung cancer treatment? Gamma West Cancer Services in Salt Lake City has world-class facilities, highly trained cancer doctors, state-of-the-art equipment and leading-edge cancer solutions. Gamma West is renowned throughout Utah for its success beating lung cancer.

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What is Lung Cancer?
Lung cancer is one of the more aggressive forms of cancer. Cancer is common in the lungs because carcinogens are all too common in the air we breathe. It affects the cells lining the air passages in the lungs and grows into tumors that block necessary airflow.

Lung Cancer Treatments
Surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy are all possible lung cancer treatments. While chemotherapy affects the whole body, radiation therapy is designed to only attack the cancer cells, sparing the rest of the body. Physicians are increasingly recommending against surgery because the combination of chemotherapy and radiation has proven to stop lung cancer from rapidly spreading. Because lung surgery is usually extensive, cancer physicians tend to steer their patients away from the risks, pain, and life interruption when possible.

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TomoTherapy Treatment
At Gamma West based in Salt Lake City, lung cancer treatment is performed with a combination of chemotherapy and the Accuray® TomoTherapy HiArt™ System — a cutting-edge radiation therapy. Traditional radiation therapy uses a wide beam and only a few angles to attack the cancer, which may cause harm to surrounding healthy tissue. In contrast, TomoTherapy divides the radiation beam into thousands of smaller beamlets. These beamlets are then sent through a 360-degree radius, basically running rings around the cancer and attacking if from all sides. The TomoTherapy system also uses a CT scanner to better pinpoint the tumor, so radiation affects far less healthy surrounding tissue.

Examples of Mesothelioma Success with TomoTherapy
Mesothelioma is a type of lung cancer that almost exclusively affects people who’ve inhaled substantial asbestos dust. Instead of developing directly inside the lung, cancerous mesothelioma cells reside in the fluid that surrounds the lung. Treating the whole lung — instead of just the outside fluid layer — has historically damaged patients’ healthy lung tissue.

It used to be difficult to treat mesothelioma due to the horseshoe pattern required to deliver the radiation dose precisely where it is needed while avoiding the majority of the lung, within the middle of the horseshoe, which is not affected by cancer. With TomoTherapy physicians can now create the ideal pattern of treatment beams that pinpoints the cancer. As a result, Gamma West doctors now provide hundreds of Utah mesothelioma patients with new and potentially life-saving options.

Gamma West is One of a Kind in Utah
Gamma West is renowned for success treating cancer. Our doctors have successfully cared for thousands of Utah residents over more than a decade of service. Gamma West is also the only cancer center in Utah that currently offers the revolutionary, curative TomoTherapy system. To schedule a physician consult or to find more information on this and other innovative lung cancer treatment solutions, call Gamma West at 801-350-8400.