Lowdown On Lung Cancer

"Cigarette smoking is dangerous for your health".

We hear that advisory all the time. There is that emphasis on the word - "dangerous". Indeed cigarette smoking is one of the reasons why lung cancer takes place. About 90 percent of lung cancers are connected with smoking. Indeed, lung cancer is not an easy matter. It destroys. It kills.x-ray showing lung cancer

Lung cancer is the unstoppable growth of abnormal and malformed cells in one or both lungs. Such cells multiply at a rapid speed until a tumor is formed, disrupting the lung and making it function malevolently.

Risk factors of lung cancer include smoking nonstop, exposure to asbestos and radon gas, exposure to arsenic and other industrial components, exposure to radiation, air pollution and having been diagnosed with tuberculosis. Take note that there were 163, 510 cases of lung caner reported in 2005, making it one of the most common and pronounced killer diseases in America.

There are different types of lung cancer. Lung cancer can be categorized into two: non-small cell lung cancer and small-cell lung cancer.

Non-small cell lung cancer makes up eighty percent of this disease. The tumors involved are the following: epidermold carcinoma (or squamous cell carcinoma) that is seen in the bronchial tubes' lining and known as the most prevalent among men; adenocarcinoma which is located in the lungs' mucus glands and  is very common among women; bronchioalveolar carcinoma and large-cell undifferentiated carcinomas.

Twenty percent of lung cancers belongs to the small cell lung cancer category. The cells involved are small but they grow at a fast rate and become big tumors in a short time. Smoking accounts for this lung cancer type.

Here are the signs and symptoms of lung cancer:

1. A cough that goes on for more than two weeks

2. Large volume of sputum and change in its color

3. Back, shoulder and chest pain

4. Presence of blood in sputum

5. Constant wheezing

6. Difficulty in breathing

7. Hoarse voice

8. Tiredness

9. Appetite loss

10. Aching joints and recurring headache

11. Bone fractures not caused by accidents

12. Memory loss

13. Swelling of the face and neck

14. Drastic weight loss

To test if one is a lung cancer victim and to find out more about the improvement of the chances of survival, the following tests will be conducted:

1. Physical examination

2. Chest examination

3. Computed Tomography or CAT scan

4. Chest X-ray

5. Positron Emission Tomography or PET scan

6. Magnetic Resonance Imaging or MRI

7. Sputum cytology

8. Biopsy

9. Bronchoscopy

As for stages, small cell lung cancer has two: the limited and extensive stage. The former is when the tumor is found in one lung and has spread to the lymph nodes near the area. The latter is when the tumor has spread to other organs.

For the non-small cell lung cancer, there is Stage 1 wherein a tumor is found only in one lung. Stage 2 is when it has spread to the lymph nodes near the lung. When the tumor has found itself in the diaphragm and chest wall, that's already stage 3a. Stage 3b is when tumor has gone beyond the lung and into the neck. Stage 4 is when the tumor has spread to other parts of the body other than the chest.

There are three types of treatment for lung cancer: surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

All is not lost when one finds himself afflicted with lung cancer. He just has to be aware of the treatments and actively participate in them for speedy recovery.




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