Lung cancer happens when cells in the lungs divide uncontrollably. And it causes tumors. Tumors diminish a person’s ability to breathe. Furthermore, it spreads to other parts of the body.
According to a study conducted by the American Cancer Society (ACS), it is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States.
Lungs are two spongy organs in the chest that take in oxygen when a person breathes in and release carbon dioxide when they breathe out.
Smoking is the main risk of lung cancer.
The early stages of lung cancer don’t cause any symptoms. So, most people with it may not have any symptoms until the last stage.
If symptoms appear, they can reach those of a respiratory infection.
Some symptoms include:
- Changes to a person’s voice (hoarseness)
- Coughing up phlegm or blood
- Bronchitis or pneumonia
- Swelling in the lymph nodes in the middle of the chest
- A lingering cough that may start to get worse
- Shortness of breath
- Severe chest pain
- Bone pain and bone fractures
- headaches and balance issues
- Blood clots
- Appetite loss and weight loss
- Numbness in arms or legs
Types of Lung Cancer:
There are two main types. They are NSCLC (Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer) and SCLC (Small cell lung cancer).
They are different in the size of the cell.
NSCLC (Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer)
NSCLC type is the most common among people with it.
There are three subtypes:
- squamous cell carcinoma
- large cell carcinoma
SCLC (Small cell lung cancer)
SCLC is the least common among people with it 13%. And it grows faster than NSCLC.
Risk factors include:
Quitting smoking at any age diminishes the risk of lung cancer because the risk of it depends on the number of cigs you smoke and the year you have smoked.
Exposure to secondhand smoke:
Secondhand smoke (Non-Smokers) causes more than 7,300 lung cancer deaths in the U.S each year.
Previous radiation therapy:
Radiation therapy may increase the risk of it.
Exposure to radon gas
Radon gas may increase the risk of lung cancer.
Exposure to asbestos and other carcinogens
Exposure to asbestos and other carcinogens may increase the risk of it.
If someone’s a parent or sibling with lung cancer, they have a high risk of the disease.
Small tumor, minimally invasive and has not spread at all in one lung.
The tumor grows larger and begins to spread slightly in one lung.
Cancer begins to spread from the lungs to the lymph nodes and nearby organs, like the esophagus and trachea.
Cancer has spread widely through the lungs and body and may affect external organs.
If someone has any symptoms indicate lung cancer. Or, there is something undefined. A physician will recommend some diagnostic tests to discover it.
An MRI, an X-ray, a CT, or a PET scan may show areas of lung tissue with cancer or tumor.
If cancer has grown, imaging tests can also show changes to bones and other organs. Moreover, scans can help follow the progress of treatment.
A provider may take a biopsy to look over for cancer cells. They will do it by using a needle or a bronchoscope.
A bronchoscope is a lighted scope with a camera on the end that penetrates the lungs through the nose or mouth. A provider can use it to examine for lesions and take samples.
Laboratory tests can discover whether or not cancer exists in these:
- pleural effusion
This information can help affirm whether cancer exists and, if it is, defines its type and stage.
Treatment may be in several ways, depending on the type of it and the stage.
People with non-small cell lung cancer can be treated with chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy, surgery, or a combination of these treatments.
People with small cell lung cancer are usually treated with chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
Physical removal of the tumor from the patient’s body.
Medical treatment that attacks fast-growing cells such as cancer.
3- Targeted Therapy:
Medical treatment that targets cancer-specific genetic changes is used to slow tumor growth or kill cancer cells.
High-energy rays are particles that damage or kill cancer cells.
Medical treatment helps the patient’s immune system to fight cancer.
These are tips for prevention.
Worth to mention, that there is no guaranteed method to prevent it. But, you can lower your risk if you:
- Quit smoking: Smoking is the main risk of it. If you are a smoker or (Secondhand smoke), you have a high risk of lung cancer.
- Avoid radon: You can have your home tested for radon to help reduce your exposure and it risk.
- Avoid other cancer-causing chemicals: Restricting your exposure to chemicals can increase your risk of lung cancer.
- Eat a healthy diet.
CliniDo wishes you all a life full of health and happiness!