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Lung Cancer Symptoms

The menace of lung cancer is associated with progressive growth of cells in the tissues of the lungs. The growth is invasive, going beyond these tissues, infiltrating into the adjacent organs when the disease is in the advanced stages. The excessive development of cells forms tumors. Usually the cells are carcinomas and eventually end up in bringing about harm or death of the host. There are 1.3 million deaths due to lung cancer in the world every year as estimated in 2004. This type of cancer causes the maximum number of deaths among men and women. Although the most common causes of lung cancer are smoking or exposure to tobacco smoke, not every case is restricted to it.

There are mainly two types of lung cancers - primary and secondary.

1. Primary lung cancer begins in the lungs and spreads to other organs
2. Secondary one has its beginning in some other part of the body and gradually invades the lungs. These are categorized according to their place of origin, like breast cancer.

Lung cancer can also be divided according to the size and appearance of the cancer cells:
1. Small cell lung carcinoma (SCLC) - Small cell lung cancer generally can be treated with chemotherapy or radiation. The incidence of small cell lung cancer is rare but is strongly associated with cigarette smoking. 2. Non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) - The lung cancer treatment for this type consists of surgery.

Lung Cancer Treatment

Cigarette smoking affects 85% of the victim of the illness and the rest are threatened by radon gas, asbestos, genetics, air pollutants or tobacco smoke (passive smoking). Lung cancer can be diagnosed by chest radiograph, CT scan, clinical examination of blood and sputum. Biopsy confirms the presence of the ailment. Success rate of lung cancer treatment is dependent on:

  • Degree of severity of the disease
  • Age of the patient
  • Type of the lung cancer
  • General health of the patient

Once the cancer has been diagnosed, lung cancer therapy can be started. Survival rate of a lung cancer patient is normally 14% only.

Signs and symptoms of lung cancer are many and varied. Some of them are:

  • Dyspnea or shortness of breath
  • Hemoptysis or coughing of blood
  • Chronic cough
  • Wheezing
  • Pain in the chest
  • Loss of appetite and weight, fatigue
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Changes in the voice

Instead of resorting to some form of lung cancer therapy, one should take precautionary measures to live life to the fullest. Prevention could include giving up the bad habit of smoking.

The best and the most economical way to combat lung cancer are to keep it at bay. Elimination of cigarette smoking is the most fundamental step while waging a war against the deadly disease. Most of the prevention programs focus on the younger generation. Strict rules have been formulated that disallow smoking in public places to safeguard the masses against attack by passive smoking. Once the causes of lung cancer have been ascertained, it will take a strong will power of the individual to give up tobacco inhalation.

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