Lung cancer is a cancer or cancerous growth that begins in the lungs. Cancer is the rapid and uncontrollable growth of cells in your body. Lung cancer occurs majorly due to smoking. There are many types of lung cancers. Major two of them are:
- Small cell lung cancer: it occurs almost exclusively in heavy smokers
- Non small cell lung cancer: it is an umbrella term used for several types of cancers other than small cell lung cancer.
Smoking is the major cause of lung cancers. Other causes include:
- Second hand smoking
- Occupational exposure to irritants
- Exposure to airborne pollutants
Initial stages of lung cancer may not exhibit any symptoms. The symptoms that occur eventually include:
- Persistent cough
- Persistent breathlessness
- Chest pain
- Pain while coughing or even breathing
- Coughing up blood
- Unexplained weight loss
- Bone pain
Diagnosis of lung cancer involves:
- Review of signs and symptoms
- Physical exam
- Blood test
- Chest X-ray
- CT Scan
- Sputum cytology
Preventive measures for lung cancers include:
- Avoid smoking
- Avoid second hand smoking
- Check for radon levels in your home
- Protect yourself from carcinogens, especially at work
- Eat a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables
- Exercise regularly.
Treatment plan for lung cancer is chosen based on several factors such as overall health and type and severity of the cancer. Treatment options for lung cancer involves:
- Surgery: surgical procedures are recommended to remove the lung cancer if the cancer is confined only to the lungs. There are different types of surgical procedures depending on the part of the affected lung to be removed.
- Radiation therapy: it uses high energy beams to destroy the cancer cells.
- Chemotherapy: it is the use of drugs to kill cancers.
- Immunotherapy: it is a process of activating your weakened immune system to fight against the cancer cells.
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