What is a lung cancer?
Lung cancer or lung carcinoma is a lung tumor characterized by uncontrolled growth of cells in the tissue of the lung. If it is not treated soon, it can spread beyond the lungs to nearby parts of the body. The most common symptom of lung cancer is weight loss, coughing, chest pain and shortness of breath. The most common reason for lung cancer is long-term tobacco smoking. Lung cancer may be seen on computed tomography scan and radiographs. It can only be prevented by avoiding factors including air pollution and smoking. Treatment may be vary according to the stage, cancer, and person overall health. In 2012, lung cancer occurred in 1.8 million people and resulted in 1.6 million deaths. That is why, it has been said that there are only a few chances to cure it.
Classification of lung cancer
Lung cancer is broadly classified into two main types- non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer. Non small cell lung cancer is further divided into different parts-
Adenocarcinoma– it is the most common type of lung cancer in women and nonsmokers.
Squamous cell carcinoma– it is the most common type of lung cancer in men and forms in the lining of the bronchial tube.
Large-cell undifferentiated carcinoma– it is a rapidly growing cancer that forms near the outer edges of the lungs.
Bronchioalveolar carcinoma– this is a rare type of lung cancer that forms near the lungs.
Symptoms of lung cancer
- Blood in a cough
- A cough that does not go away
- Chest pain while breathing, laughing or coughing
- Weight loss
- Feeling weak or tired
- Shortness of breathe
- New onset of wheezing
- Infections such as pneumonia and bronchitis
- Yellowing of the eyes and skin
- Bone pain such as pain in lower back or hips
- Nervous system changes such as weakness and headache
- Lumps near the surface of body
- A smaller pupil in the same eye
- Weakness of one eyelid
- Absent sweating on one side of face
- Severe shoulder pain
What are the causes of lung cancer?
- Genes– cancer can be a result of inherited from family members. It is possible to born with some fault in a gene that more likely to develop cancer later in life. This directly result in lung cancer or develop greater chances of lung cancer due to environmental factors.
- Carcinogens- carcinogens are substances that directly damage DNA promoting cancer. Asbestos, tobacco, the sun, X-rays and other compounds are all examples of carcinogens. Carcinogens steal electrons from other molecules in body and damage cell and functions of the body.
Treatment for lung cancer
- Surgery– surgery is the oldest and best method to cure lung cancer. It can be only done in 1 and 2 stage in which the tumor is completely removed and nearby lymph nodes.
- Chemotherapy– in this treatment, the chemicals travel throughout the body and kill the tumor and cancer cells which are spread in the body.
- Radiation- in this treatment, high-energy rays are passed on the cancer cells to completely shrink or destroy them.
Stages of lung cancer:
There are majorly 4 stages of lung cancer which are defined below:
Stage 1: The cancer cells are localised in lungs. The tumor size is less than 3 cm. There is no lymph node involvement.
Stage2: Cancer cells spreads across lymph nodes and mostly they are at the top of the lungs. The tumor size is between 3cm to 7cm.
Stage3: Cancer cells spread into the chest wall and main bronchitis. Tumor size grows to more than 7cm.
Stage 4: This is the last stage of lung cancer. The cells spread all across the body and affects other organs.
How to prevent lung cancer?
If you follow these measures then you can lower the risk of lung cancer. Always consult your doctor in case of any medical emergency.
- #Note: Consult a doctor in case you are unable to manage the health issues on your own.
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