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Airway/Trachea

Treatment for shortness of breath due to a blocked windpipe (trachea or bronchus)If a patient is short of breath, Providence St Johns has several options to open the windpipe to improve the breathing.

  • Laser: If the blockage is inside the windpipe, a laser beam can vaporize the tumor to open the windpipe.
  • Photodynamic therapy (PDT), is a different type of laser treatment that involves 3 steps. First, a chemotherapy medicine called Photofrin is injected into the vein. Over the next 2 days, it is concentrated in the tumor. Second, bronchoscopy points a special laser is pointed at the tumor to activate the Photofrin. Third, bronchoscopy is again performed to remove the dead cells and open the windpipe.
  • Cryospray: Liquid nitrogen is sprayed at a tumor in the wind pipe to kill the tumor and open the windpipe.

Chemotherapy uses anticancer drugs to kill cancer cells throughout the entire body.For more advanced lung cancers, Chemotherapy may be used before or after surgery to increase the cure rate offered by an operation alone. For incurable lung cancer, chemotherapy can be used to slow down the cancer.

Immunotherapy: can be used to activate the body’s immune system to kill lung cancer cells. After many years of research, immunotherapy has finally shown some promising results.

Clinical trials and targeted therapy Biological drugs now exist that target specific lung tumors based on their genetic makeup. DF/BWCC has developed some of these approaches and every tumor is analyzed for its genetic make-up in order to maximize patient benefit and tailor the best therapy for each patient