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Lung Cancer: Everything You Need to Know

Lung Cancer: Everything You Need to Know

Have you ever had a group of friends that are addicted to smoking? If your friends are addicted to this habit, they will almost surely tell you to come and join them. However, there are consequences regarding smoking that you must be aware of. The most significant one of them is lung cancer. 

This article will provide a comprehensive outline of this cancer and how you can treat it appropriately. 

What is Lung Cancer?

Lung cancer is a consequence of a cell mutation procedure going out of control. The irregular cells create a tumor in specific portions of your body. These cancer cells can also occupy neighboring areas. 

The initiation of this cancer comes from the cells that make up the lungs. Lungs are sponge-type organs that have the responsibility of bringing oxygen into your body and removing carbon dioxide. 

Types

The starting stage of lung cancer occurs in the lungs. Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) is the likeliest type of this cancer, making up around 85% of the cases. Around 30% of these cases commence in the cells, creating a border of the body’s cavities and surfaces.

NSCLC usually occupies the external area of the lungs, i.e., adenocarcinomas. Another 30% of these cases occupy the respiratory tract passages. A section of adenocarcinoma starts in the small areas of the lungs, i.e., alveoli. NSCLC isn’t aggressive and may not require instant treatment.   

Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC) represents about 15-20% of cancer cases. This type is faster and much more aggressive than NSCLC. The aggression of this type makes it likelier to respond to chemotherapy. Unfortunately, there are few chances for its cure. In a few cases, lung cancer tumors may contain the cells of both of these types.

Mesothelioma is the third type of lung cancer, which is related to asbestos uncovering. The lung tumors grow before you realize their symptoms. The earlier symptoms can be flu, which makes people disregard the severity of the situation initially. This incompetence is one of the reasons why doctors cannot catch lung cancer in the initial stages.    

Symptoms

The symptoms of SCLC and NSCLC have many similarities. For instance, the symptoms of both of those types are as follows:

  • Cough that worsens
  • Coughing out blood
  • Chest infection
  • Shortage of breath
  • Hoarseness
  • Tiredness
  • Weight Loss 

You may also experience lung infections such as bronchitis. In addition, as cancer occupies different organs of your body, you will experience external symptoms. Those symptoms are based on the formation of new tumors. For example, if in the

  • Lymph nodes: lumps, in your neck or collarbone
  • Bones: bone pain, in your ribs and back
  • Brain: headaches, stress, anxiety and imbalance
  • Liver: skin turning yellow or pale, dizziness in eyes.

Relation with back pain

Back pain is arguably the most common medical issue in the world today. Nevertheless, there is a link between lung cancer and this problem. Most people having cancer may have back pain, whereas some do not. For a few people, back pain is the first indication of cancer.

Back pain can be a consequence of the development of massive tumors in the lungs. It may also mean that cancer has occupied your rib section. As cancer grows, it creates pressure within your spinal cord. This pressure results in neurological issues leading to:

  • Pain in arms and legs
  • Loss of sensation
  • Urinary excretion 

Causes 

Lung cancer is not immune to anybody. However, if you are caught in smoking habits, you have a 90% chance of catching this cancer. It is because when the smoke gets to your lungs, it starts hurting your lung tissue. The lungs may initially show resistance to this, but continuous inhalation of smoke may make it difficult to repair the damage continuously. 

The damaging of cells may bring an abnormal behavior out of them, resulting in cancer. SCLC is usually related to smoking. When you leave your smoking habits, the chances of lung cancer also get extinguished imminently. 

The American Lung Association claims that vulnerability to radon, a radioactive gas, is the second most common cause of cancer. Therefore, if smokers are exposed to this gas, they also have an increased chance of developing cancer symptoms.

Few substances that result in this disease include:

  • Arsenic
  • Nickel
  • Uranium

Risk Factors

The most notable risk factor surrounding lung cancer is smoking. Smoking habits include smoking cigars and cigarettes. All of these substances are associated with Tobacco products.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statement, smokers have around 30 times more chances to catch cancer than nonsmokers. Heavy smoking makes it more likely for you to acquire cancer. 

Even if you do not smoke cigars or cigarettes, associating yourself with secondhand smoke is also a massive risk factor. Vulnerability to radon, a radioactive gas, is one of the leading causes of cancer among nonsmokers. A simple home evaluation can determine whether the level of radon in your home is catastrophic or not.

The risk of developing cancer may increase if you are exposed to diesel exhausts in a factory or other workplaces. Other risk factors include:

  • Family members having cancer symptoms previously
  • Personal history of cancer
  • Preceding radiation treatment to the chest 

Relation with Smoking

You are not required to be a smoker to have lung cancer. However, this doesn’t mean that you are immune to this disease if you have smoking habits. Apart from smoking, inhaling from other’s smoke may also create symptoms of cancer. It is because tobacco has around 7000 chemicals; 10% of those chemicals result in cancer. 

When you breathe tobacco smoke, the chemicals move straight to your lungs. Then, those chemicals start mechanisms that disrupt your lungs. They may also enter your bloodstream and provoke the chances of other types of cancers. 

Diagnosis 

After the physical evaluation, your doctor will prescribe you ways to conduct specific tests. For example:

Imaging Tests

An abnormal case is visualized on the X-ray or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). These scans give an in-depth analysis of the injuries seen in the images.

Sputum Cytology 

If you are producing blood when coughing, microscopic tests will find out if there are cancer cells found in your lungs.

Treatment

Make sure to overview every second opinion before going to the treatment table. However, if you tend to go for a treatment, there will be a group of doctors undergoing your operation, including

  • Thoracic surgeon
  • Lung specialist
  • Radiation oncologist 
  • Medical oncologist 

The treatment of NSCLC depends upon the severity of your health. There are four stages for the treatment of this type. They are:

Stage 1: Removal of a specific portion in your lungs. Chemotherapy may also get involved, especially if there is a risk of repetition. 

Stage 2: Requirement of surgery to remove a specific portion or the entirety of your lung. Chemotherapy is usually involved. 

Stage 3: Requirement of a blend of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation treatment.

Stage 4: A stage that is tough to treat. The operations may include surgery, radiation treatment, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy. 

Considering their lung cancer is in an advanced stage, some patients choose not to do the treatment. Instead, they focus on curing the symptoms of cancer instead of entire cancer.

Home remedies

Home remedies are usually not the answer for treating lung cancers. But, specific homemade remedies may cure some of its symptoms. First, you must ask your doctor regarding the eating habits that you must follow.

Some remedies may interfere with your ongoing treatment and hamper your physical condition. Hence, do consult your doctor about the recommended therapies and ensure that they are safe for you.

Options of home remedies include:

  • Massage: It can relieve stress and pain.
  • Meditation: It can relax your body and improve the quality of your life.
  • Yoga: It can strengthen your respiratory system and your sleep.

Conclusion

To sum up, lung cancer is one of the most catastrophic forms of cancer today. The American Lung Association claims that there were 2.1 million cases reported in 2018, out of which 1.8 million resulted in deaths. 

Another study from Lung Cancer Alliance claims NSCLC is the most common type of cancer, as it has reported around 85% of the cases. 15-20% of the cases are associated with SCLC. 

Anybody can catch lung diseases, but if you are a smoker, there is a 90% possibility of ending up with this life-threatening disease. In the US, there are 7,300 reported deaths per year due to secondhand smoke. 

Ex-smokers also have the risk of catching this disease, but quitting this habit may change your fortunes. Within a decade after quitting smoking, your chances of getting cancer decrease by 50%. 

To overcome this disease, you must create homemade remedies. Specific homemade remedies are vital to relieving some of its symptoms and side effects. Unfortunately, if you are still unable to cure its symptoms, it is better to contact your doctor. He will recommend the best treatment to cure this disease.

Written by HealthRadar360

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