Dr. Orlando Lopez de Victoria, a specialist in cardiothoracic surgery at Hospital Auxilio Mutuo, in an exclusive interview with Medicine and Public Health, indicated that despite the fact that most cases of lung cancer do not use immunotherapy as a treatment option , it can extend the patient’s life from 6 months to a year.
Regarding the use of immunotherapy before submitting the lung cancer patient to surgery, the specialist indicated that it is not the most used method due to its high cost and that not all patients can use this type of treatment.
“The fashion in oncology is not to start with immunotherapy. They always try to leave immunotherapy as a last alternative. They start with classical chemotherapy and if there is resistance, there is recurrence, the results are not favorable according to the type of cell, according to the cancer recipients, it is necessary to see if the patient is a candidate for immunotherapy. And if you are a candidate for immunotherapy, then that would be another alternative that in most patients is the last alternative because it is so expensive, and the data that I have read until 2020 the incidence of health, to cure or eliminate a tumor by immunotherapy is minimal. If the quality of life improves from 6 months to a year in tumors that could kill in less than 3 months. ” explained Dr. Lopez de Victoria
Surgery is considered the best option to treat the patient. While, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and immunotherapy do not guarantee what will be the quality of life of the patient despite the high cost of this treatment and that can be around 100,000 dollars.
“Surgery ends up being better than chemotherapy, because surgery is one and it’s over, and you took it out completely. But, you decide not to operate on that patient and evict that ball that is there, that mass, that tumor, because they are going to treat the only thing that he has left is radiation and chemo and it will be that it may be his second, his third chemotherapy. And we get back to the point they are chemotherapies. And the chemotherapy of 50 thousand, 60 thousand, 80 thousand pesos … There are immunotherapies of over 100,000 dollars, and that well, a surgery is much better than that. And the safest thing chemotherapy does is extend your life a little bit, but it won’t cure you. ” detailed the cardiothoracic surgeon.
Dr. Lopez de Victoria explained that chemotherapy and radiotherapy also take care of those malignant cells that remain in the patient’s body after surgery.
“For example: in a tumor there are a trillion cells and you can operate on it and remove 99.9% of those cells and what is left is left to the radio and the chemo. Radio and chemo now have to fight less against that cancer, and it is easier to defeat that tumor that has little left, than another that has all the trillion cells left. You will not be able to cure it most surely and the tumor becomes resistant to chemo and radiation “, he pointed out.
Despite continuous advances in the scientific field to find the best treatments for lung cancer patients, there is still no single treatment and it will vary depending on the patient’s situation, their health status, how advanced the cancer is and the cost of procedures or possible treatments.
“Cancer is a very bad disease, but there are advances and we are adding more surgical weapons. These engineering inventions are aimed at improving the quality of life of the patient ”, highlighted Dr. López de Victoria.
To conclude, the specialist indicated that advances in the way of intervening patients surgically has changed in a transcendental way in the last 25 years and that it is the task of every professional to keep up to date with the latest technology to offer patients all the Available options.
“It is the responsibility of each doctor according to his specialty to stay at the forefront, and stay trained, educated, certified and offer him the best every time. Once the specialty is finished, we cannot stay as I say dinosaurs, we have to embrace this technology. Science is advancing and I myself can tell you that I do not operate as I was trained 25 years ago ”, he concluded.