Lung Cancer

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Lung cancer is a cancer of the lungs. It is a cancer related to the respiratory system which is occurring due to an uncontrolled growth or due to abnormal amount of cells in the passages of the air in the lung. It is one of the deadliest kinds of cancer both amongst men and women.

Women with a no smoking history are also prone to lung cancer than compared to men who have no smoking history.  Normally it happens in the lungs that old and damaged cells in the lung stop the process of dividing and eventually die. In the case of lung cancer the old and damaged cells continue the process of cell division in an uncontrolled manner. These cells form a huge and malignant mass eventually which is called a tumor.

Lung cancer

If it is continued untreated, the cells continue multiplying and spreading to other parts in the body (metastasis).  As there is the process of the cancer, there is a hindrance in the process of the lungs and other vital organs it has spread to. It leads to various life threatening complications and gets fatal in majority of the cases.

Signs and Symptoms of Lung Cancer

There are no visible symptoms in the beginning or in the early stages when it can be treated. The symptoms cannot or may not occur for a period of ten years. When there is an occurrence of symptoms, the lung cancer has its progression to an advanced stage which is not curable at all or less curable. Some symptoms are:

  • A cough which gets more severe day by day
  • Pain in the chest
  • Coughing up of blood (hemoptysis)
  • Difficulty in breathing, wheezing, breathing difficulties including shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent occurrence of pneumonia as well as bronchitis
  • Hoarsening
  • Coughing over a long period of time
  • Loss of weight

Causes of Lung Cancer

Cancer of the lung is a highly preventable type of cancer. The majority of the cases occur due to smoking. Exposure to smoking damages the lungs’ cell lining thus the damaged cells dividing and creating a tumor later on. The cancer eventually spreads to other organs like adrenal glands or bones or the brain too (metastatic). A few causes can be:

  • Smoking of all kinds inclusive of pipes, cigars and cigarettes.
  • Exposure to passive smoking
  • Exposure to carcinogens like asbestos and radon which cause cancer
  • Due to metastasis, i.e. spread of cancer from other parts in the body

Treatment of Lung Cancer

Regular medical care should be administered. The goal remains to cure the cancer completely or to bring a remission on to the cancer. Treatment includes:

  • Chemotherapy in early stages or late stages. In the end stages only for shrinking the tumor
  • Medications for pain management
  • Diet maintenance for nutritional purposes
  • Medications for pain management
  • Palliative care
  • Physical therapies to further strengthen the body and reduction of fatigue
  • Radiation therapies in early stages of cancer or late stages of cancer
  • Quitting smoking or slowing it down to relieve the effects and to stop/slow the growth of cancer
  • Supplying of oxygen externally
  • Surgical removal of cancer or possibly all or part of lung affected. Most effective during early stages of cancer