Lung cancer kills more people each year than colon cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer combined. With a bleak survival rate of 17%, Lung cancer is one of the most complicated forms of cancer.
Lung cancer is the type of cancer that originates in the lungs. Almost 90% of all cases of lung cancer are a direct result of smoking but the scary fact is that this cancer can also affect people who have never touched a single cigarette.
What Causes Lung Cancer?
The majority of the cases of lung cancer are a direct result of smoking. This also includes passive smoking, which includes inhaling the smoke released by a smoker. According to doctors smoke of cigarettes damages the cellular lining of the lungs. The damage begins right from the moment the smoke makes its way into the lungs. Although the body starts the repairing process simultaneously and initially the damage is healed completely but the continuous exposure to the smoke renders the body useless to repair the damage and ultimately succumb to the disease.
For people who get this cancer with no prior history of smoking of any type, there is no clear trigger found.
Types Of Lung Cancer
Lung cancer is divided into two categories based on the cellular structure as observed under the microscope.
– Small cell lung cancer: This is the most commonly found cancer in heavy smokers.
– Non-Small cell lung cancer: This category contains multiple types of lung cancers viz. Adenocarcinoma, Large cell carcinoma, and Squamous cell carcinoma.
Symptoms Of Lung Cancer
In the early stages of lung cancer, there are no visible symptoms. The visible symptoms that originate, when the disease has progressed to advanced stages, are as follows.
– Abnormal coughing without any reason
– Presence of blood in cough
– Pain in the chest
– Bone ache
Methods Of Treatment
Surgery: The main aim of this procedure is to surgically remove cancer as much as possible. The surgical procedure is divided into 4 types as per the amount of lung tissue removed
– Wedge Resection: Removal of a small section of the lung along with a thin layer of healthy tissue.
– Segmental Resection: Removal of a larger portion of the lung.
– Lobectomy: Removal of an entire lobe of the lung.
– Pneumonectomy: Removal of an entire lung.
Chemotherapy: This treatment method involves the use of drugs that are made up of chemicals. This can be given orally or intravenously. Chemotherapy is also used to shrink cancer before surgery hence making cancer easier to remove.
Radiotherapy: This treatment method involves the use of high-energy radiations like X-rays and protons in order to destroy cancer cells. Radiotherapy is best suited for people whose cancer had not made its way to other parts of the body.
Immunotherapy: The cancer cells have the ability to produce a certain protein that hides them from the immune cells. This treatment is devised to train the immune system to fight cancer more effectively by seeing through the false protein produced by the cancerous cells.
Stereotactic body radiotherapy: Stereotactic body radiotherapy, often known as radiosurgery, is a high-intensity radiation treatment that targets the malignancy with many beams of radiation from various angles.
Risk factors For Lung Cancer:
– Active Smoking: Smoking is the top cause of lung cancer hence it’s better for smokers to quit as soon as possible.
– Passive Smoking: Exposure to the smoke released by a smoker also is a leading risk factor for lung cancer.
– Previous Radiotherapy Session: Having undergone radiotherapy for some others puts one at risk of developing more severe cancer in the future.
– Exposure to Radon: Radon is the gas produced when uranium gets decomposed and ultimately takes up a gaseous form.
– Exposure to carcinogens: coming in contact with substances like asbestos, arsenic, chromium or nickel can increase the risk of one developing lung cancer.
– Stay away from smoking
– Avoid coming into contact with carcinogens
– Eat a healthy diet
– Exercise daily
– Get your home tested for radon