Lung Disease Q&A with Prof. Nir Peled
HMC Hosted its monthly Q&A Facebook session, where our members get to ask questions around a certain medical topic and receive answers from a medical expert in the field. The topic this month was lung diseases, and Professor Nir Peled - HMC’s leading oncologist and a pulmonologist, answered the questions.
Professor Nir Peled - Thoracic Medical Oncologist and Pulmonologist
Professor Peled graduated from the Faculty of Medicine in Haifa University the "Technion" in 1994. Specializing in the field of lung cancer. Professor Peled received training in the United States, in the University of Colorado. Professor Peled is one of the leading experts in the field of lung cancer not only in Israel but also in the world. Professor Peled is the author of hundreds of published articles on the topic of chronic, inflammatory and oncological diseases of the lungs.
Q: The doctor has told me that she wants me to start on chemotherapy. I have heard bad things about the reactions to chemotherapy, and would rather be on radiation for my lung cancer. Why can’t I have radiation instead of chemotherapy?
A: Radiation is recommended when the tumor is still local. Once the tumor has spread – systematic treatment is necessary and chemotherapy is prescribed.
Q: I was diagnosed with lung cancer and my doctor suggested an experimental treatment. Should I consider participating in a clinical trial?
A: There are many clinical trials for lung cancer and they can offer you new and untested treatment methods. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the experimental treatment will be better or effective.
Q: My husband is a heavy smoker, can second-hand smoke cause a non-smoker to get lung cancer?
A: Second hand smoke is very dangerous and should be avoided.
Q: My lung cancer was discovered at a late stage. Doctors tried everything but it keeps spreading. What options do I have for metastatic lung cancer?
A: In the last few years, several treatments have been developed for metastatic lung cancer, which can offer long-term benefits with minimal side effects. You should get a full genetic analysis of the tumor so that your oncologist can offer you effective treatment.
Q: Does asthma have different stages? Does it get worse with time?
A: Yes, asthma does have different stages of severity. It won’t necessarily get worse, but if it does you should contact your treating physician so that he can correct your treatment plan.
Q: I have been told that I have lung cancer and the doctor said it was “inoperable.” Does that mean that my situation is hopeless and that I’m just going to die?
A: This is a complicated condition. Today there are new therapies that may offer long term benefit and even with minimal adverse events. Therefore, you should consult with a medical oncologist about possible therapies.
Q: My doctor says that I will have an operation to remove my lung cancer, but he still wants me to go through chemotherapy and radiation before the surgery. Why is that?
A: Such therapy is sometimes recommended to make the tumor smaller and to allow a better operation.
Q: How accurate is the doctor’s prognosis about my lung cancer? I keep hearing others talking about getting a second opinion. Should I get a second opinion?
A: The prognosis depends on the stage, the histology and the genetic profile of the disease and the response to therapy. considering all those factors may provide an accurate prognosis. A second opinion, however, is always advised.
Q: I have family members who had lung cancer, I do not smoke, but I am still anxious about having lung cancer. Are there screening tests that can find lung cancer early?
A: A family history increases the risk for lung cancer. However, there is no recommendation for a screening test for this population yet.
Q: My doctor found something suspicious in my lung X-ray, Are lung tumors ever benign or is it for sure cancer?
A: Lung lesions may be benign or malignant; upon the appearance on the CT scan, we may evaluate the risk for malignancy.
Q: Can a chronic lung disease evolve into lung cancer?
A: Lung cancer is more common in patients with chronic lung diseases. However, it doesn't mean that a chronic lung disease evolves into cancer.
Q: My doctor says I need to have a lung removed. Do I need to have a lung transplanted, or can I live with only one lung? What happens to the space that's left in the chest?
A: Many people live with one lung. Your post-operative functions should be evaluated prior to the surgery to make sure you can tolerate the surgery. The void left after a lung removal is usually filled by the inflation of the other lung, and fluids.
Q: I was recently diagnosed with asthma, and was prescribed an inhaler. Are asthma medicines dangerous in the long term?
A: In general, those medications are safe and were approved considering long-term therapy. Some inhalers may cause eye complications, therefore require a routine check-up after a certain amount of time.
Q: Can someone die from an asthma attack?
A: Of course. Asthmatic patients may suffer from a hyper acute condition. Although this is a rare situation, it might occur.
Q: I'm told I should find a surgeon who does a lot of lung cancer surgeries. I'm not sure what that means. What kind of a surgeon treats lung cancer and should he have a specific specialty?
A: You should discuss your case with an experienced thoracic surgeon.
HMC will continue hosting live Q&A sessions with leading physicians every month, to better serve our patients and the public. If you have any questions In case you have any other question regarding lung diseases, lung cancer, and wish to receive a medical quote, do not hesitate to contact us.