According to the latest studies, the fourth most prevalent cancer type among Indians is lung cancer. Lung cancer has a high mortality rate. Around 8.9 percent of all cancer-related deaths are due to lung cancer. Lung cancer, as the name suggests, starts in our lungs. Inhaling toxic chemicals and smoking can result in cancerous lung tissues. The lungs are crucial organs in our body. They are a part of the respiratory system. The lung cells can change, grow, or become abnormal. These cells can either become benign and non-cancerous or malignant. They end up destroying nearby healthy tissues. In advanced stages, these cells spread to other organs.
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Based on the original location of the lung cancer cells, they can be grouped accordingly.
Small Cell Cancer: This lung cancer type grows very quickly. It is usually from years of smoking. Symptoms are cough, bloody phlegm, chest pain, and breathing issues. Surgery is appropriate for small tumors. For bigger cancer, a combination of chemotherapy and surgery is used.
Non-Small Cell Cancer: It can happen to both non-smokers and smokers. Symptoms will be persistent coughing, breathing problems, weight loss & blood-filled cough. Treatment options can be radiation, surgery, or chemotherapy.
Adenocarcinoma: This lung cancer can be found in our glands. They grow in the lining of the organs and spread from there. Common types are lung, pancreatic, stomach, breast, prostate, or colorectal cancers.
Bronchialveolar Carcinoma: It is an infrequent type of lung cancer. It causes around 206 to 4.3% of all lung-related malignancies. It developed within small air ducts, in the outer regions of the lungs.
Squamous-Cell Carcinoma: SCC is a non-small cell type of lung cancer. It grows slowly. Symptoms are blood in the cough, breathing issues, prolonged cough. Surgery is the common treatment option. For aggressive or extensive cancer, doctors may suggest radiation or chemotherapy.
Large-Cell Carcinoma: These cells are found in the external lung areas. They grow and spread more quickly compared to other lung cancer types. Common signs are breathing issues and exhaustion.
There are also other lung cancer types. These include
Symptoms comprise a combination of persistent and recurrent signs. These are generally found among most people diagnosed with lung cancer. Common early symptoms and signs are:
Lung cancer is identified as the most lethal cancer type across the globe. It is a major worry in India. Also, the number of lung cancer cases is increasing at a frightening rate. Healthcare experts are looking for ways to prevent this increase. Understanding the causes of this mutation is of paramount importance. Some of the major causes of lung cancer are:
If a person has had lung cancer, the risk of developing it increases. When compared, the risk of lung cancer is lower among those without any personal history or family history. For those with non-small cell cancer, the risk increases to 1-2 percent every year. For those with non-small cell cancer, the risk increases to 6 percent every year.
Early diagnosis automatically increases successful treatment probability. This helps in early diagnosis and treatment. Lung cancer is often difficult to diagnose. This is because patients rarely show symptoms during the early stages.
Non-small cell cancer: There are four stages of non-small cell cancer:
Stage 1: The cancer cells can be found in the lungs. They have not yet spread outside of the lungs.
Stage 2: In this stage, the cells have infected the neighboring lymph nodes.
Stage 3: Cancer has reached the chest after spreading in the lungs & lymph nodes. It spreads across the lining of the lungs. From there, it progresses to the other end of the lymph nodes and the chest. It also reaches the collarbone area.
Stage 4: Both lungs are infected. Cancer has reached the area surrounding the lungs. It can spread across distant organs.
Small-cell lung cancer (SCLC): It has two major stages. In the first stage, cancerous cells are found in one of the lungs or adjacent lymph nodes. In the advanced stage, cancer spreads across several regions. These can be:
Doctors have a comprehensive method for detecting lung cancer. Apart from normal symptoms, several other factors are observed by the doctor. These can be the medical history of the patient and results from previous examinations. These factors can accurately predict the diagnosis.
A preliminary diagnosis involves blowing into the lung ‘spirometer’. Your pulmonologist or doctor will ask you to conduct this diagnosis. It will measure the air you breathe in & breathe out. Yet, complete assessments can involve several other tests.
There are other methods for lung cancer diagnosis. These are:
Lung cancer treatment varies based on type, spread, and patient factors. Various treatment facilities are available for non-small cell cancer. These include:
There are three major treatment options for small-cell cancer. These are: