Alternative NamesCancer - lung
What is Lung Cancer
Lung cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the lung. Normal lung tissue is made up of cells that are programmed by nature to create lungs of a certain shape and function. Sometimes the instructions to a cell go haywire and that cell and its offspring reproduce wildly, without regard for the shape and function of a lung. That wild reproduction can form tumors that clog up the lung and make it stop functioning as it should. Because of the large size of the lungs, cancer may grow for many years, undetected, without causing suspicion.
Signs and symptoms
Some symptoms of lung cancer that are in the chest:
- Changes in the voice or being hoarse;
- Harsh sounds with each breath (stridor);
- Recurrent lung problems, such as bronchitis or pneumonia;
- Coughing up phlegm or mucus, especially if it is tinged with blood;
- Coughing up blood;
- Coughing, especially if it persists or becomes intense;
- Pain in the chest, shoulder, or back unrelated to pain from coughing;
- A change in color or volume of sputum;
- Shortness of breath;
If the original lung cancer has spread, a person may feel symptoms in other places in the body. Common places for lung cancer to spread include other parts of the lungs, lymph nodes, bones, brain, liver, and adrenal glands.
Some symptoms of lung cancer that may occur elsewhere in the body:
- Loss of appetite or unexplained weight loss;
- Headaches, bone or joint pain;
- Bone fractures not related to accidental injury;
- Neurological symptoms, such as unsteady gait or memory loss;
- Neck or facial swelling;
- General weakness;
- The cancer may spread to other parts of the body (metastasis).
- Fluid in the chest (pleural effusion).
- Shortness of breath.
- Coughing up blood.
- Smoking (Smoking is responsible for 87% of lung cancers overall).
- Environmental Causes (Environmental causes of lung cancer include exposure to chemicals, wood smoke, and radiation. In one study, air pollution was estimated to be the cause of lung cancer in 5% of men and 3% of women in the United States).
- Radon (Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers, and the second most common cause of lung cancer overall).
- Secondhand Smoke (Secondhand smoke is responsible for roughly 3,000 lung cancer deaths per year in the United States. Living with someone who smokes raises your risk of developing lung cancer by 20-30%).
- Occupational Causes (Occupational causes of lung cancer include exposure to chromium, tar, arsenic, and nickel, among other substances).
The best ways to prevent lung cancer are:
- Do not smoke (Cigarette smoking is highly addictive, and quitting often proves to be difficult).
- Health-care workers play an important role in identifying smokers and helping them quit.
- Test your home for radon (Using a home radon test kit can identify and allow correction of increased radon levels in the home, which can also cause lung cancers).
- Avoid secondhand smoke (If you live or work with a smoker, urge him or her to quit).
- Eat healthy food full of fruits and vegetables.
- Drink alcohol (Limit yourself to one drink a day if you're a woman or two drinks a day if you're a man).
- Do exercise(Biking, swimming and walking are good choices).
1. Surgery Surgery may be used to treat NSCLC if the cancer hasn’t spread. A small section, a lobe or a whole lung may be removed, depending on the size, type and position of the cancer. It also depends on how healthy your lungs are to start with).
Surgery for non–small cell lung cancer can be done in several ways:
- Wedge resection : The surgeon removes the tumour and a small part of the lung.
- Lobectomy : The surgeon removes the lobe of the lung containing the tumour. This is the most common surgery for lung cancer.
- Pneumonectomy : The surgeon removes the entire lung. You will be able to breathe with your remaining lung.
2. Radiation therapy
Radiotherapy uses radiation to destroy cancer cells. A beam of radiation is targeted on the cancerous cells, which shrinks the tumour. Radiotherapy is commonly given with chemotherapy, particularly in SCLC.
Chemotherapy uses medicines to destroy cancer cells. It’s the main treatment in SCLC but can also be used in NSCLC. You may have it before or after surgery or with radiotherapy.
4. Biological therapies.
Biological therapies are medicines that use substances occurring naturally in your body to kill cancer.
5. Radiofrequency ablation.
Radiofrequency ablation (or laser therapy) is when a high-energy beam of light is used to destroy cancer cells. It’s suitable if you have early stage NSCLC or you don’t want or can’t have surgery.
6. Photodynamic therapy.
Photodynamic therapy is when light-sensitive medicines are injected into your body and absorbed by the cancer cells.
|Treatment Guidelines for Small Cell Lung Cancer|
|Stage||Standard Treatment||Alternate Theraphy|
|Limited||Radiation Therapy Chemotherapy (single drug or combination)||Surgery|
|Extensive||Radiation Therapy Chemotherapy (combination of drugs)||Radiation therapy to the brain prophylactically Surgery (palliative)|