Lung Cancer - Symptoms, Risk factors and Treatment

Lungs are one of the most vital organs needed for our survival. If they do not work well, we can not live. They are two spongy organs that serve the purpose of oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange. Lung cancer is one that starts in the lungs. It can spread to other parts of the body as well.


Lung cancer is a condition in which the cells of your lungs replicate uncontrollably, in a haphazard manner. Your body can not regulate or stop its growth. It can affect your breathing, leading to deteriorated respiratory functions over time. Smoking is one of the major causes of lung cancer. However, it can also occur in people who have never smoked. 


There are different types of lung malignancies, namely non-small cell lung carcinoma, which further includes squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, and large cell carcinoma. The other type of lung cancer is small cell lung carcinoma. Out of these, non-small cell lung carcinoma is more common among people.


The oncologist or a histopathologist can tell you about the type of cancer you have if you are diagnosed with it. Survival rate and quality of life vary according to the type of lung cancer you have. If you are diagnosed with cancer, you must attend follow-up visits to your healthcare provider. 


Symptoms:


The symptoms of lung cancer are:


  • Difficulty breathing 

  • Loss of appetite

  • Long term cough that does not improve upon treatment

  • Repeated chest infections and pneumonia

  • Weight loss

  • Decrease in appetite

  • Change in voice-hoarseness

  • Whistling sound from chest or wheezing 

  • Lethargy 

  • Headache 

  • Loss of breath on little physical activity 

  • Chest pain 

  • Blood in sputum 



Causes 

The main causes of lung cancer are as follows.


Smoking Cigarettes

80% of lung cancer cases are of people who smoke cigarettes. It is one of the major causes of lung cancer. Moreover, those who quit smoking before the development of lung cancer, are at lower risk of getting it. But they are still more at risk as compared to those who have never smoked. 


Second-hand smoke can also lead to lung cancer. Long-term exposure to an environment where people smoke puts you at risk of malignancies of the lung. People who are married to a person who smokes are also at risk of developing lung cancer too due to long-term exposure to smoke. 


Environmental pollution 

Environmental pollutants can make an alteration in your DNA, which can lead to mutation, hence cancer. People who are at risk of getting lung cancer are;

Who live in a place where the environment is polluted 

Those who work in factories 

Those who work in laboratories or those who have to deal with asbestos and radioactive materials



Treatment 

The treatment options for lung cancer vary according to the type of cancer and the extent of its spread. Some of the most commonly used treatment options are:


Surgery 

Removing a lobe, a procedure known as lobectomy which is affected by cancer may help in getting rid of it. Also, sometimes, the healthcare provider may remove the entire lung affected by cancer. 


Chemotherapy 

Chemotherapy refers to the drugs used to shrink or kill cancer cells. They may help in getting rid of cancerous cells by stopping their growth. 


Radiation therapy 

The doctors may administer a high beam of energy in the form of radiation therapy that helps in killing the cancerous cells. Usually, it is used when cancer has not spread to the other parts of the body. It may also be given before surgery to shrink the tumor. 


Conclusion

Smoking is one of the major causes of lung cancer. Therefore, to prevent it, you must quit smoking cigarettes as soon as possible. Moreover, you must not delay your visit to the health care provider if you have a complaint of long-term cough or chest pain as early detection can make it easier to treat the condition. 


Doctors For Lung Cancer

Dr. Nadeem Ahmad Rizvi

Lung Surgeon

7 Years

Doctors for Lung Cancer in Different Cities