Lung cancer is the development of cancerous tumour in the lungs. It occurs when lung cells change and stop growing. The leading cause of lung cancer is smoking. However, it can even occur in people who have never smoked. Visit Jaslok hospital to learn about the various risk factors.
Lung cancer is very common in males and is very difficult to diagnose in its early stages as the signs & symptoms aren't visible until very late. Some of the common symptoms visible later are:
- Swelling of the face or neck - Lung cancer may lead to a swelling in the neck or face due to the development of tumours.
- Chest pain - The pressure exerted by the tumours can even lead to chest pain.
- Coughing up blood - This is one of the most common symptoms of lung cancer. Apart from blood, the cough may also contain mucus and phlegm.
- Shortness of breath - The restricted airways due to the tumour can lead to shortness of breath.
- Loss of appetite and weight loss - Cancer can cause a loss of appetite and subsequent weight loss in the patients.
- Difficulty swallowing - The tumours can obstruct the oesophagus and restrict the passage of food. The chest pain can also make it difficult to swallow food.
- Fatigue and weakness - Due to the decrease in the functioning of the lungs, enough oxygen may not be provided to other parts of the body. This can lead to fatigue or weakness.
Understanding Lung Cancer:
Lung Cancer is caused when the cells change and grow exponentially. There are two types of lung cancers - a. Small cell lung cancer b. Large cell lung cancer. Small cell lung cancer is easier to treat as compared to large cell lung cancer which may require the removal of the entire affected tissue.
Lung cancer can be detected using the following tests:
- Bronchoscope - It is one of the best ways to detect lung cancer. It allows the doctor to see inside the lungs through an instrument inserted in the airways. Visit Jaslok Hospital for early diagnosis through bronchoscopy.
- Needle Biopsies - In a needle biopsy, the doctor introduces a needle inside the lungs to remove a sample of abnormal blood cells. It can be even used to get samples from the liver or lymph nodes.
- Sputum Cytology- In this procedure, the sputum is seen directly under the microscope to check the presence of lung cancer cells.
- CT (Computed Tomography) scan- A CT Scan is used to view detailed pictures of the lungs to detect cancer.
Treatment of lung cancer involves several procedures. Some of them are as follows:
- Surgery - Surgery is used by doctors when the cancer is confined to the lungs. It is done to remove the tissue and parts of the lung or an entire lobe which is affected by cancer. The doctors may even remove the lymph nodes if they show signs of cancer.
- Chemotherapy- Chemotherapy uses a variety of drugs to kill cancer. It is usually employed in combination with radiation therapy or after surgery to kill any extra cancer cells. It can even relieve the patient of pain or any visible symptoms.
- Radiation Therapy- This treatment directs energy beams from x-rays and protons to kill cancer cells in the affected area. It can be used before surgery to shrink cancer or can be combined with other therapies for better results.
Lung cancer is one of the major causes of death in adults. You can prevent it by not smoking and avoiding going to places where there's a high level of pollution. For further queries, book an appointment at the Jaslok hospital