Lung cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells that start off in one or both lungs; usually in the cells that line the air passages. The abnormal cells do not develop into healthy lung tissue, they divide rapidly and form tumors. As tumors become larger and more numerous, they undermine the lung’s ability to provide the bloodstream with oxygen. There are two main types of lung cancer like Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and Small cell lung cancer. NSCLC is the most common type of lung cancer. If the lung cancer is made up of both types, it is called mixed small cell/large cell cancer. Lung cancer is the deadliest type of cancer for both men and women. Each year, more people die of lung cancer than of breast, colon, and prostate cancers combined. It is more common in older adults. It is rare in people under age 45.
Major risk factor for lung cancer is cigarette smoking. Secondhand smoke (breathing the smoke of others) also increases your risk for lung cancer. Other risk factors include:
- Exposure to cancer-causing chemicals
- Family history of lung cancer
- High levels of air pollution
- High levels of arsenic in drinking water
- Radiation therapy to the lungs
- Radon gas
Early lung cancer may not show symptoms. Symptoms depend on the type of cancer you have, but may include Chest pain, Cough that doesn't go away, Coughing up blood, Fatigue, Losing weight without trying, Loss of appetite, Shortness of breath and Wheezing.
Other symptoms that may also occur with lung cancer, often in the late stages includes Bone pain or tenderness, Eyelid drooping, Facial paralysis, Hoarseness or changing voice, Joint pain, Nail problems, Shoulder pain, Swallowing difficulty, Swelling of the face or arms and Weakness.
These symptoms can also be due to other, less serious conditions, so it is important to talk to your doctor and undergo proper diagnosis.
Lung cancer can be detected by a chest x-ray or CT scan, bronchoscopy (a thin tube with a camera on one end), CT scans, MRI scans, and PET scans. Physicians will also conduct a physical examination, a chest examination, analysis of blood in the sputum and a biopsy.
Treatment plans for lung cancer at Guru Specialty Hospital includes Surgery, Chemotherapy and Radiation. Cryotherapy is another treatment option that can be used if the cancer starts to block your airways. This is known as endobronchial obstruction, and it can cause symptoms such as breathing problems, cough and coughing up blood.
Photodynamic therapy is a treatment that can be used to treat early-stage lung cancer when a person is unable or unwilling to have surgery. It can also be used to remove a tumour that is blocking the airways.