What is a lung cancer?
It is a cancer type that starts in lungs. Cancer tends to form in the lung tissues, typically, in cells that line the air passages. The spongy organs, lungs are positioned in our chest are responsible for taking in the oxygen and releasing out carbon dioxide. People with smoking habits are at a higher risk to develop lung cancer. In short, the more cigarettes a person smoke, the more he invites the fatal disease! However, quitting it would means reducing the chances of lung cancer, significantly!
What are the symptoms of lung cancer?
Normally, lung cancer may not cause any noticeable symptom in the early stage. However, when symptoms do occur in the advance stage, they may include:
- Cough that gets worse or does not go.
- Loss of appetite.
- Weight loss.
- Chest pain which may worse with laughing, coughing or deep breathing.
- Infections for example pneumonia and bronchitis.
- Feeling weak or tired.
- Breathing difficulties.
- Coughing up sputum or blood.
What causes lung cancer?
Clearly, smoking causes lung cancers! People who smoke, plus people those exposed to smoke, say secondhand smoke, are both at a higher risk of developing lung cancer. However, this does not mean, others are entirely safe! Lung cancers are also reported in individuals who have never smoked or exposed to prolong smoke. Thus, in such cases, the exact cause is unknown.
What are the risk factors of lung cancer?
You are at a higher risk of developing lung cancer if:
- You are a chain smoker.
- Are exposed to smoke.
- Have a family history of the disease.
- Exposed to radon gas.
- Exposed to certain substances for example nickel, chromium and arsenic.
- Exposed to asbestos.
What are the possible complications of lung cancer?
Lung cancer can lead serious complications including:
- Pleural effusion.
- Extreme pain.
- Coughing up blood.
- Breathing difficulties.
How is lung cancer diagnosed?
In case the doctor doubts lung cancer, he can suggest the following tests in order to seek cancerous cells:
- Imaging tests.
- Sputum cytology.
- Biopsy (tissue sample).
Once the doctor diagnoses lung cancer, he will then suggest further tests (imaging tests) for determining the stage of cancer. This will help him decide your treatment plan. The staging tests will also help your doctor see if cancer has spread to other organs or parts of your body.
- Imaging test: CT scans, MRI, bone scans and PET (positron emission tomography).
How is lung cancer treated?
The treatment of lung cancer depends upon numerous factors, for example stage and type of cancer, your health and preferences. Treatment options for lung cancer include:
- Surgery: Wedge resection, segmental resection, lobectomy and pneumonectomy.
- Radiation therapy.
- Targeted drug therapy: bevacizumab, erlotinib, crizotinib,
- Quit or do not smoke.
- Avoid exposure to secondhand smoke.
- Consume a diet full of vegetables and fruits.
- Exercise daily for at least 25 minutes.
- Avoid carcinogens.
- High levels of radon can be dangerous, so test your home.
By : Natural Health News