Lung cancer is one of the leading causes of cancerous deaths worldwide. Lung cancer happens when cells in the lungs divide in an uncontrolled manner. This leads to tumour growth, reduces a person’s ability to breathe.
Any uncontrollable growth in the body that directly attacks the surrounding tissues and organs and can grow back after being removed is called “malignant” or cancerous.
While lung cancer can be fatal, resourceful diagnosis and treatments can improve the outlook.
Read on to know various aspects related to Lung cancer and how one can prevent this ailment.
Lung cancer and its stages
The staging of Lung cancer explains how severe it is and how far it has spread through the body.
Staging is helpful for doctors to decide on a proper course of treatment.
The primary form of staging is as follows:
1. Localized – Here, the cancer is limited to a specific area
2. Regional – Here, cancer has spread to nearby tissues and lymph nodes
3. Distant – Here, cancer has spread to other parts of the body
Types of Lung cancer
There are 2 main types of lung cancer and both of them are treated differently.
1. Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC): Around 80% of lung cancer patients suffer from NSCLC. Its main subtypes are:
2. Squamous cell carcinoma: Squamous cell carcinomas begin in squamous cells. These are flat cells that line the inside of the airways in the lungs.
They are usually related to a history of smoking and are generally found in the central part of the lungs, near the main airway (bronchus).
3. Adenocarcinoma: It starts in the cells that would typically secrete substances like mucus.
It is generally found on the outer parts of the lungs and can be found before it has spread. It occurs more often in women than in men. This is the most common lung cancer in non – smokers.
4. Large cell (undifferentiated) carcinoma: It can occur in any part of the lung. It tends to grow and spread swiftly, making it difficult to treat.
5. Small cell lung cancer (SCLC): It is also referred to as oat cancer. This cancer grows faster than NSCLC. Due to this, it responds better to radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
However, in some people, this cancer can return at some point.
Symptoms of Lung Cancer
Individuals suffering from Lung cancer may not experience symptoms until a later age.
A few possible symptoms include:
1. Chest pain
2. Shortness of breath and wheezing
3. A lingering cough that might get worse
4. Lymph nodes getting swollen in the middle of the chest
Changes in a person’s voice
Some severe symptoms may also appear. They are:
2.Weight and appetite loss
4. Severe chest pain
6. Bone pain and even fractures
7. Coughing up blood
Your healthcare provider can advise certain diagnostic tests if you had developed any symptoms that could indicate Lung cancer or if screening shows something unfamiliar.
1. Tissue sampling: Your doctor might take a biopsy to check for cancer cells. This is done using a fine needle or a bronchoscope. This is done from outside using needle or from inside using a bronchoscope.
2. Image testing: MRI, X-ray, CT, PET etc. can reveal areas of lung tissue with cancer. It can also expose changes to bones and other organs if cancer has spread.
Other tests: Laboratory tests can tell whether or not cancer is present in the:
i. Pleural effusion, (the fluid that gathers around the lungs)
Information gathered here can confirm the presence of cancer. If it is, then its type and stage can be determined.
While there is no sure way to prevent lung cancer, there are various ways to lower your lung cancer risks.
1. Avoid/Stop smoking: If you have never smoked, great! Don’t start. But if you do, stop smoking now. Deserting smoking lowers your risk of lung cancer, despite you’ve smoked for years.
You can consult your doctor about various stop-smoking strategies that can assist you to quit.
2. Avoid carcinogens at work: Take necessary precautions to refrain yourself from exposure to toxic chemicals at the place of work. You must wear always a face mask in these circumstances.
3. Consume nutritional diet: Pick a nutritional diet with plenty of vegetables and fruits. However, in the name of vitamins, don’t start to take vitamin pills in large quantities. It can cause harm.
Exercise regularly: Exercising can critically lower your lung cancer risks. If you don’t exercise, then start slowly. Ensure you practice your exercise routine most of the week.
Lung cancer depends upon the type of cancer you have, to what extend it has spread, your current health, and so on. You might even have to undertake more than one treatment.
Different Treatment Modalities are:
1. Surgery to get rid of a part or all of a lung
2. Chemotherapy (It refers to a drug treatment that can destroy cancer cells and lessen tumours
3. Targeted therapy (Here, a specific behaviour to prevent tumour growth is targeted)
4. Immunotherapy (This assists the body fight cancer cells)
5. Radiation therapy (It uses high energy rays to destroy cancerous cells)
6. Radiofrequency ablation (Here, a healthcare expert inserts a thin needle and uses an electric current to destroy cancer cells)
7. A healthcare expert will work with the patient and adjust their treatment plan as their conditions change.
8. Palliative therapy, including pain relief, oxygen therapy, and other help that the patient might require manage their symptoms
Vigilant analysis of your lung cancer cells in a lab can convey the type of lung cancer you have. Results of sophisticated testing can tell you the certain characteristics of your cells, which in turn, can help decide your prognosis and guide your treatment.
At Neotia Getwel Healthcare Centre, we have a Complete Pulmonology Department with expert Pulmonologists can help you with lung cancer-related concerns along with a dedicated smoking cessation clinic to help you get rid of smoking. Book your appointment here.
Though all attempts are made to provide correct information on the subject, inadvertent & typographical errors arising out of manual intervention cannot be ruled out. It is requested to bring any such discrepancies to the notice of the blogger for correction.