Lung Cancer

About Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is one of the most common types of cancer.People who smoke have the greatest risk of lung cancer.The lungs are spongy organs that sit on both sides of the chest. The left lung has two lobes; the right lung has three.People who have had lung cancer before are at higher risk of recurrence.

Causes and Risk Factors for Lung Cancer

 Age :The average age at diagnosis more then 60.

Family history: A family history of lung cancer may increase c lung cancer risk.

Smoking : The two primary carcinogens in tobacco smoke are chemicals known as nitrosamines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons causing the cancer.The longer you smoke and the more packs a day you smoke, the greater your risk.

Secondhand smoke: Even if you don’t smoke, you may be at an increased risk for developing lung cancer if you are exposed to tobacco smoke.

Exposure to radon gas: exposure to radon gas as the number one cause of lung cancer in non-smokers.

Exposure to radiation: Radiation therapy to the chest from childhood through early adulthood increases lung cancer risk.

Exposure to asbestos and other carcinogens: Long-term exposure to asbestos is linked to an increased risk of lung cancer and other substances known to cause cancer  such as arsenic, chromium and nickel — also can increase your risk of developing lung cancer.

Lung Cancer Symptoms

  1. A cough that does not go away
  2. Coughing up blood  (spit or phlegm)
  3. Chest pain that is often worse with deep breathing, coughing, or laughing
  4. Hoarseness
  5. Shortness of breath
  6. Headache
  7. Loss of appetite
  8. Unexplained weight loss
  9. fatigue or weakness
  10. Persistent infection such  as bronchitis and pneumonia

Lung Cancer Types

1)Non-small cell lung cancer

There are several types of non-small cell lung cancer. The most common types  are as follow:

  1. Adenocarcinoma
  2. Squamous cell carcinoma 
  3. Large cell carcinoma
  4. Bronchoalveolar carcinoma

2)Small cell lung cancer

Small cell lung cancer is also known as “oat-cell” cancer because the cells look like oats under the microscope.Small cell lung cancer makes up about 15% of lung cancers and almost always is caused by tobacco smoking.

Diagnosis lung cancer

Blood Test

Sputum cytology

Sputum looking at the sputum under the microscope can sometimes reveal the presence of lung cancer cells.

Biopsy

It is used to help diagnose cancer and help  differentiate an adenocarcinoma from squamous cell carcinoma.

Imaging Test

CT Scan (computed tomography scan)

A computed tomography (CT) scan is an imaging test that uses a computer to put a series of x-ray images together to create detailed 3D images of organs, tissues, bones and blood vessels in the body.

MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)

A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is an imaging test that uses powerful magnetic forces, radiofrequency (RF) waves and a computer to make detailed 3-dimensional pictures of the organs, bones and tissues inside your body.

PET (positron emission tomography) scan

A positron emission tomography (PET) scan uses radioactive materials called radiopharmaceuticals to look for changes in the metabolic activity of body tissues. A computer analyzes the radioactive patterns and makes 3-D colour images of the area being scanned.

A PET scan may be used to:

  • help find out if a tumour is more likely to be cancerous or non-cancerous
  • check for small groups of cancer cells
  • find out if cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

Bone scan

A radionuclide bone scan may be used to diagnose and stage bone cancer.A bone scan can also be an important tool for detecting cancer that has spread (metastasized) to the bone from the tumor’s original location.

Endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS)

A  bronchoscope with an attached ultrasound device is used to check for lung cancer inside nearby chest lymph nodes.

Autofluorescence bronchoscopy

This technique allows  physicians to identify cancerous cells in the bronchial tubes that may not be visible under white light examination.

 

Treatments of Lung cancer

Small cell lung cancer

This type of lung cancer may be aggressive and may require immediate treatment. Treatments for small cell lung cancer include:

  1. Surgery
  2. Chemotherapy
  3. Immunotherapy
  4. Laser therapy
  5. Radiation therapy

Non-small cell lung cancer

This is the most common form of lung cancer. Treatments for non-small cell lung cancer include:

  1. Surgery
  2. Chemotherapy
  3. Cryotherapy
  4. Immunotherapy
  5. Laser therapy
  6. Photodynamic therapy
  7. Radiation therapy
  8. Targeted therapy

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy also called radiotherapy.Radiation therapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses beams of intense energy to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors.Radiation therapy most often uses X-rays, but protons or other types of energy also can be used.

Radiation therapy is often used along with chemotherapy.At high doses, radiation therapy kills cancer cells or slows their growth by damaging their DNA. Cancer cells whose DNA is damaged beyond repair stop dividing or die. When the damaged cells die, they are broken down and removed by the body.

it often causes side effects. These are different for each person. Some common side effects are fatigue, dry mouth,nausea, vomiting, pain, and hair loss.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. In general, normal cells grow and die in a controlled way. Cancer cells keep growing without control. It stopping them from spreading, or slowing their growth.

Chemotherapy is often used along with radiation therapy and surgery  in treating cancers. It may be used before surgery to shrink a tumor or after surgery to destroy any cancer cells that remain and to prevent the cancer from coming back. Chemotherapy may also be used to relieve symptoms, improve quality of life and extend life for people with advanced cancer

Chemotherapy drugs kill cancer cells, but they can also damage healthy cells.Some common side effects are fatigue, nausea, vomiting, pain, and hair loss.

Immunotherapy

It is designed to stimulate the body’s defenses to attack and kill cancer cells. Immunotherapy is a type of biological therapy(  Biological therapy is a type of treatment that uses substances made from living organisms to treat cancer) and it helps your immune system fight cancer.

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