Have a look at the essential statistics about lung cancer:
Every 1 in 16 people in the United States of America is identified with lung cancer.
Over 228000 persons will be detected with lung cancer this year, a new diagnosis happening every 2-3 minutes.
Almost 60-65 % of the lung cancer patients are those who have either never smoked in their entire lifetime or are former smokers.
10-15% of new lung cancer patients are non-smokers.
What Is Lung Cancer?
Lung Cancer starts in the lungs. The cancer cells usually multiply in the lungs and annihilate the nearby tissue. It can affect other parts of the body, as well. When cancerous cells start to develop from the lungs, it is referred to as primary lung cancer.
Lung cancer is of two types depending on how they appear under the microscope:
Small Cell Lung Cancer
Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
Non-small cell lung cancer is more common among individuals. In general, anyone can have lung cancer. But, if you smoke or even live with a person who smokes, you are at a higher risk of developing lung cancer than others.
Exposure to other toxins and chemicals can also increase your chances of getting lung cancer.
What Are the Symptoms Of Lung Cancer?
Not all people get the same symptoms of lung cancer in the initial stage. Some of the signs that a person with lung cancer usually experience are:
- Loss of appetite
- Unintended weight loss
- Breathing difficulties
- Persistent cough
- Husky voice
- Pain in bones or chest
- Coughing up blood
- Difficulty swallowing
What Are The Risk factors For Lung Cancer?
Smoking is a leading cause of death from lung cancer in the United States Of America. Utilization of similar things to intake tobacco like pipes and cancer can also raise the risk of lung cancer. Quitting cigarettes at any time can significantly lower your risk of lung cancer.
Susceptibility to second-hand smoke
People who live or work with smokers are also at high risk of developing lung cancer. Every year, 7300 lung cancer deaths in the U.S happen due to exposure to second-hand smoke.
Susceptibility to radon gas
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas. When uranium found in water, soil or rock breaks down, radon forms. It becomes a constituent in the air you respire.
Susceptibility to radon gas is another significant risk factor associated with lung cancer.
Susceptibility to asbestos and other carcinogens
Exposure to asbestos and other carcinogens like tobacco smoke, pesticides, arsenic, nickel, chromium, etc. can increase the risk of lung cancer.
If you have someone in your family with lung cancer, you are at serious risk of getting affected with the disease.
How Are Lung Cancers Diagnosed?
Imaging tests are significant as they help to find out if a person has lung cancer. X-Ray is done to detect the presence of abnormal masses in the lungs. CT scan is done to find out the tiny lesions in the lungs.
Imaging tests can also be done for the following reasons:
- To identify the location in the body upto which cancer has spread.
- To get further specific details about the skeptical location that can be carcinogenic.
- To reveal the effectiveness of the treatment.
- To check the possibility of cancer returning after the medication.
Sputum cytology refers to a process in which sputum of a person is examined under the microscope to identify the presence of cancer cells.
Sputum is a fluid substance that is ejaculated by trachea and bronchi. It varies from saliva in a way that it comprises of the cells that queue in the respiratory passageways.
In this, a needle is embedded in the chest wall and the suspicious lung tissue. The doctors can also do the test lymph nodes.
The inside of the lungs, including bronchi, are examined with bronchoscopy. In this, the doctor inserts a thin tube comprising light and camera via mouth or nose.
What Are The Different Stages Of Lung Cancer?
Stage 1: The cancer is only present in one lung and has not yet spread to nearby lymph nodes or organs.
Stage 2: Cancer in the lung has spread to adjacent lymph nodes.
Stage 3: Cancer is identified in the lung in the lymph nodes in the middle of the chest.
Stage 3A: If cancer has spread to lymph nodes on the same side of the chest where disease started.
Stage 3B: If cancer has spread to the lymph nodes on the opposite side of the chest where cancerous cells started.
Stage 4: This is the final stage of cancer. In this stage, cancer spreads to the other lung to the fluid around the lung or heart or to other organs in the body.
How To Treat Lung Cancers?
There are several treatment options available for the treatment of lung cancer. The treatment you should go for depends on your lung cancer stage and the type of lung cancer you are suffering.
Some of the treatment alternatives are listed below:
Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is a treatment that is given to control the rapid growth of cells in the body. It is generally used to treat cancer as the cancer cells grow and spread very quickly.
Immunotherapy: Also called biologic therapy, is a kind of cancer treatment that improves the defensive mechanism of the body and makes it capable of fighting cancer.
Radiation therapy: In this treatment, beams of intense energy is utilized to destroy cancer cells. The most commonly used energy beams are x rays, although proton and other kinds of energy can also be utilized.
Interventional Pulmonology: Employs tools like endoscopy to treat ailments in the lungs and chest.
Targeted therapy: Targeted therapy can be given alone or in combination with other treatments or medications like radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or immunotherapy.
Surgery: Surgery is recommended in some cases to eliminate cancerous tissue and tumors from the lungs.