Lung Cancer - Definition, Symptoms, Causes, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Prevention, Treatment
Writer : dR. Sabrina Olan
Cancer Cells begin to multiply uncontrollably in the lungs, resulting in a disease known as 'lung cancer' (the organ that functions to spread oxygen into the blood when you inhale and remove carbon dioxide when you exhale).
Symptoms of Lung Cancer
The majority of lung cancer symptoms are found in the lungs, but other symptoms can also be found in other parts of the body. Cancer has metastasized, which is a medical term for spreading to other parts of the body. Additionally, the severity of the symptoms can differ greatly from person to person. Some people may even show no symptoms at all or simply feel tired. A few symptoms to watch for include:
- Chest discomfort or pain
- An unrelenting cough that worsens over time.
- Breathing problems
- Blood in phlegm (coughed mucus from the lungs)
- Trouble swallowing
- Loss of appetite
- Loss of weight without known reasons
- Feeling very tired
- Inflammation or blockage in the lungs
- Swelling or enlarged lymph nodes in the chest in the lung area.
Causes of Lung Cancer
The vast majority of cases of lung cancer are caused by cigarette smoking. Lung cancer is most often brought on by smoking, which is the most common cause of it. There are more than 60 different carcinogens in a single pack of cigarettes. Carcinogenic substances are the names given to these harmful substances.
A person who smokes 25 cigarettes a day is 25 times more likely to get lung cancer than someone who does not smoke. Lung cancer and other cancers can also be caused by other forms of tobacco consumption, such as cigars or chewing. For instance, esophageal and oral cancers.
Marijuana smoking raises one's chance of developing lung cancer as well. Additionally, exposure to secondhand smoke raises one's risk of lung cancer as well. Passive smokers who live with a smoker face a 25 percent higher risk of developing lung cancer than nonsmokers.
Toxic substances like asbestos, silica and gas or gasoline odors, as well as NO gas (products from vehicles) can also increase the risk of lung cancer.
Lung Cancer Risk Factors
Lung cancer is primarily caused by smoking. Active smokers have a higher risk of lung cancer than nonsmokers. Smoking is the primary cause of about 85% of lung cancers. Lung cancer doesn't necessarily strike everyone who smokes. People who don't smoke also have a higher risk of lung cancer, but it's much less common.
Inhalation of arsenic, radiation, and air pollution, in addition to smoking, are additional causes of lung cancer. In addition, lung cancer is more common in the elderly.
Lung Cancer Diagnosis
Doctors will use symptoms and a physical examination to make a diagnosis of lung cancer. Additional research is also needed. The amount of air exhaled and inhaled during a spirometry test is a way to determine how well one's lungs are working. To rule out an infection, blood tests are commonly performed.
Lung cancer can be diagnosed using radiology as well. In most cases, a chest X-ray will reveal a gray-white mass. A lung abscess, on the other hand, may be to blame for the appearance.
Lung cancer can be examined in greater detail using other radiological procedures, such as CT scans and PET-CT scans. Bronchoscopy and biopsy procedures will be performed if lung cancer is found to be present. An examination of the biopsy specimen will be carried out.
Lung Cancer Prevention
Lung cancer can be prevented by abstaining from smoking. Lung cancer risk is cut in half if a person quits smoking for ten years.
Lung cancer and other cancers can be reduced by a diet low in fat, high in fiber, and high in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Lung cancer and other cancers have been found to be reduced by regular exercise. Adults should perform 150 minutes of aerobic exercise at a moderate intensity each week.
Treatment of Lung Cancer
Lung cancer treatment is based on the specific type of cancer and the patient's overall health. Treatment outcomes will improve if cancer is diagnosed at an earlier stage and in a smaller area.
Surgical removal of lung cancer is an option. Radiation therapy can be used to kill cancer cells if the patient's health is already compromised. Surgery and radiotherapy aren't an option if the cancer has spread. Chemotherapy is frequently prescribed in these situations.
When to go to the doctor?
In the event that anyone in your circle is experiencing any of the above-mentioned signs or symptoms, feel free to bring them up with your doctor.