Lung Cancer is a condition that makes the cells in the lungs to divide uncontrollably. This condition leads to growth of tumors that reduce one’s ability to breathe.
Types of Lung Cancer
They are of two types; Small Cell lung cancer and Non-small cell lung cancer. They differ in how they appear when checked under a Microscope and how they spread to other body parts.
Lung Cancer is the leading killer disease in USA according to Cancer Net.
Causes of lung cancer
Lung cancer is primarily caused by Smoking. Both active and passive smoking cause the disease. Approximately 90% of lung cancer is attributed to cigarette smoking.
Air pollution from vehicles, industry, power generation and inhalation of Asbestos fibres can also cause lung cancer.
It has no obvious symptoms until when the disease gets to an advanced stage.
- Chest pain
- Frequent Pneumonia and Bronchitis
- Loss of weight, Fatigue and feeling weak.
- Blood streaked sputum.
- Persistent cough and hoarseness
- Wheezing and Shortness of breath
- Dry cough, chronic, severe and with blood
Stages of Lung Cancer
Stages refer to the extent to which the cancer has spread to other body parts. Bones, Brain and Liver are the common parts where Lung Cancer spreads to though it can spread to any part of the body. The Staging of the Lung Cancer is as follows:
Small Cell lung cancer
Limited Stage: Cancer confined to the area of the chest.
Extensive Stage: Cancer that has already spread to other body parts.
Non-small cell lung cancer
Stage 1: Cancer that is confined to the lung
Stage 2: Cancer confined to the chest
Stage 3: Cancer confined to the chest but with more aggressive tumors than at stage 2
Stage 4: Cancer that has already spread to other body parts.
Different tests and procedures are carried out to diagnose lung cancer; Physical examinations, imaging tests (X-rays), Blood tests, Bronchoscopy among others.
One has to undergo Radiation Therapy and chemotherapy to kill the cancer cells in the body. Lung Cancer remains incurable unless complete surgical removal of the tumor cells can be achieved.
The most effective was to prevent lung cancer is quitting smoking and avoiding exposure to smoke and polluted air. Its also advisable to go for screening regularly.
For more information read here.