Lung cancer – When we think of the deadliest diseases in the world, cancer is the number one disease everybody is going to think about. Even though in recent years scientists have come up with multiple treatments for cancer, it is still one more day deadliest disease.
There are different types of cancer, and lung cancer is one type of it. In today’s article, we will talk about all the basic things of lung cancer, such as symptoms of lung cancer, diagnosis of lung cancer, causes of lung cancer, etc.
What is lung cancer?
When lung sales start to grow out of control, it is called lung cancer. As per the statistics, lung cancer is one of the most common types of cancer. It is also one of the leading causes of death due to cancer in both men and women in the United States of America.
The US diagnoses more than 200,000 cases of lung cancer each year. The American Cancer Society estimates 236,470 new cases of lung cancer in the United States of America for the year 2022. In another estimation Cancer Society also estimates that there will be more than 130,000 deaths due to lung cancer alone.
Types of lung cancer
Experts generally classify lung cancer into two different types. The first type is small cell lung cancer, and the other is known as small cell lung cancer. Doctors use the microscopic appearance of the tumor cells and later classify cancer depending on the size.
Both of these cancers grow, spread, and trade in different ways. That is why it becomes very important to classify cancer before starting the treatment.
Non-small cell lung cancers
no one small cell lung cancer is the most common type of lung cancer. As per the American Cancer Society, more than 80% of lung cancer are NSCLC. It further has three different types of cells.
- Squamous cell carcinoma
- Large cell carcinoma
Small cell lung cancers
As compared to non-small cell lung cancers, small cell lung cancer comprises about 10% of lung cancers. It is a very aggressive type of lung cancer, and it can grow rapidly. It is also very hard to discover small cell lung cancer because usually, they are discovered after they have spread.
Causes of lung cancer
Now let’s talk about a few main causes of lung cancer. It is very important for you to know about the main causes So that you can take precautions and stay safe.
Cigarette smoking or any other kind of tobacco smoking, including cigars, is one of the leading causes of lung cancer. As per the American Cancer Society, smoking causes about 90% of lung cancers in men and women in the United States of America.
As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people who smoke have 2000% more chances to get lung cancer and die from it than people who do not smoke.
Cigarette smoking can or doesn’t cause different types of cancer. It has more than 250 harmful chemicals, and 69 of them can cause cancer which is a huge number.
That is why doctors recommend everyone to quit smoking. Even if you get cancer due to smoking, your chances of dying drop 50% if you quit smoking. Don’t let the body heal the damaged tissues.
If you don’t smoke, this doesn’t mean that you can’t get lung cancer due to smoking. As per many reports, secondhand smoke can also cause lung cancer. Secondhand smoke is when other people are smoking, and you are around the same environment and inhaling the smoke.
Radon is the 2nd leading cause of lung cancer in the United States of America. Radon is natural gas, and it does not have any taste or smell. You can’t even see radon. Radon can enter and get trapped in the houses or buildings through small cracks through the foundation.
As per the Centers for Disease Control and prevention, radon causes about 21,000 deaths due to lung cancer each year. Other than that, one out of every 15 homes in the United States of America has high levels of radon.
If you or someone in your family is a lung cancer survivor, there is a chance that you might get it again, or your family member will get it. Don’t worry. It does not spread like a communicable disease.
Experts believe that families pass genes from one generation to the next. If anyone in that chain got lung cancer, it is possible that other family members might get it too. As per the Cancer Society, family history contributes to 8% of lung cancer cases in the United States.
Symptoms of lung cancer
For your own safety, It is very important for you to know about all the symptoms of lung cancer. If you already know about the common symptoms, you can self-diagnose and detect lung cancer as early as possible.
Uncontrollable cough is one of the most common symptoms of lung cancer. If cancer has not spread to any other body parts, it is very common that the affected person will have an uncontrollable cough.
If you can not control your cough and might have other symptoms also, you should consult with your doctor and get tested for lung cancer.
In many cases, people don’t get uncontrollable coughs, but whenever they cough, it bleeds. As per the Centers for Disease Control and prevention, cuffing blood is the second most common symptom of lung cancer. Yes, there are a few other conditions in which you can cough blood, but if you have never been diagnosed with any of those, it is a wise decision to get tested for lung cancer.
Many people diagnosed with lung cancer have chest pain when they Breathe deeply, laugh, cough, etc. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend everyone with chest pain while breathing get consultation for lung cancer.
People affected with lung cancer might not be able to get treated completely for respiratory infections. It is possible that you might get bronchitis or pneumonia again and again due to your lung cancer.
Sudden weight loss
Sudden weight loss due to unknown causes is also one of the most common symptoms of lung cancer. Other than that, you might lose your appetite due to lung cancer. If you are not trying to lose weight and you are still losing weight rapidly along with any other symptom, you should consult with your doctor.
Fatigue and weakness
Fatigue and weakness are also very common symptoms of lung cancer. You might get a fever that won’t go away easily, along with severe headaches and body pain. These are very common symptoms of cancer which apply to lung cancer also.
Diagnosis of lung cancer
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend everyone get an annual physical exam. In annual physical exams, doctors might catch basic symptoms of lung cancer, and depending on that, you will be suggested to Continue further.
- Imaging tests such as X-rays, MRI, CT scans can detect abnormal mass in the lungs.
- Phlegm Under microscopic examination can also detect cancer cells.
- A biopsy is another great way to detect if a tumor has any cancerous cells or not.
Treatment for lung cancer
Treatment of lung cancer depends on various factors such as stage of cancer, type of lung cancer, and age of the patient.
People affected with non-small cell lung cancer can be treated using all the ways possible. At the same time, people with small cell lung cancer can only use radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
- Doctors can cut cancer tissues using surgery.
- In chemotherapy, doctors use special medicines to shrink or kill the cancer cells.
- In radiation therapy, doctors use high energy to kill cancer.
Lung cancer is a very common type of cancer in the United States. It is also one of the deadliest types. More than 200,000 people get diagnosed with lung cancer each year in the US.
Smoking is one of the main causes of lung cancer in the United States and the whole world. Even though it is very hard to detect lung cancer in its early stage, if you know all these symptoms and you are cautious enough, you can get detected as early as possible.
How many stages does lung cancer have?
The stage of cancer helps doctors to guide treatment for it. Lung cancer has two different types of stages. Non-small cell lung cancer has four main stages, and Cell lung cancer has two main stages. Usually, lower the stage means cancer has not spread to two other important parts of the body, and it can be treated without many complications.
Can I prevent lung cancer?
Yes, there are a few things you can do to prevent Lung cancer but remember not all lung cancers can be prevented. You can stay away from tobacco and cigarettes to lower your chances of getting lung cancer 20 times than the person who is smoking.