Lung cancer, also known as lung carcinoma, is the cancer that start from the lungs. Lung cancer is a malignant lung tumor characterized by uncontrolled cell growth in tissues of the lung. This growth can spread beyond the lung by the process of metastastis into nearby tissue or other parts of the body. Most cancers that start in the lung, known as primary lung cancers, are carcinomas. The two main types are small-cell-lung carcinomas (SCLC) and non-small-cell-lung carcinomas (NSCLC).The most common symptoms are coughing (including coughing up blood), weight loss, shortness of breath, and chest pain.
Cancer develops following genetic damage to DNA and epigenetic changes. These changes affect the normal functions of the cell, including cell proliferation, programmed cell death (apoptosis) and DNA repair. As more damage accumulates, the risk of cancer increases.
Tobacco smoke is by far the main contributor to lung cancer. Cigarette smoke contains at least 73 known carcinogens, including benzo[a]pyrene, NNK, 1,3-butame and a radioactive issotype of polonium, polonium 210. Across the developed world, 90% of lung cancer deaths in men during the year 2000 were attributed to smoking (70% for women). Smoking accounts for about 85% of lung cancer cases.
Passive smoking—the inhalation of smoke from another’s smoking—is a cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers. A passive smoker can be defined as someone living or working with a smoker. Studies from the US, Europe and the UK have consistently shown a significantly increased risk among those exposed to passive smoke. Those who live with someone who smokes have a 20–30% increase in risk while those who work in an environment with secondhand smoke have a 16–19% increase in risk. Investigations of sidestream smoke suggest it is more dangerous than direct smoke. Passive smoking causes about 3,400 deaths from lung cancer each year in the USA.
Marijuana smoke contains many of the same carcinogens as those in tobacco smoke. However, the effect of smoking cannabis on lung cancer risk is not clear. A 2013 review did not find an increased risk from light to moderate use. A 2014 review found that smoking cannabis doubled the risk of lung cancer.
Exposure to radon, a naturally existing radioactive gas, is the second leading cause, according to the American Lung Association.
Breathing in other hazardous substances, especially over a long period of time, can also cause lung cancer. A type of lung cancer called mesothelioma is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos.
The following are also the causes of lung cancer according to healthlines
- some petroleum products
Inherited genetic mutations may make you more likely to develop lung cancer, especially if you smoke or are exposed to other carcinogens.
The following are the symptoms of the two types of lung cancer that are to be taking note off,
Respiratory system like coughing, coughing up blood wheezing and shortening of breath.
Symptoms due to the cancer mass pressing on adjacent structures: chest pain, bone pain, difficulty swallowing.
Weight loss, weakness loss fever and clubbing of finger nails are all part of systematic symptoms.
Chest pain that occurs whenever you cough and laugh.
The above are the symptoms of the early stages of lung cancer.
As cancer spreads, additional symptoms depend on where new tumors form. For example, if in the:
- lymph nodes: lumps, particularly in the neck or collarbone
- bones: bone pain, particularly in the back, ribs, or hips
- brain or spine: headache, dizziness, balance issues, or numbness in arms or legs
- liver: yellowing of skin and eyes (jaundice)
Tumors at the top of the lungs can affect facial nerves, leading to drooping of one eyelid, small pupil, or lack of perspiration on one side of the face. Together, these symptoms are called Horner syndrome. It can also cause shoulder pain.
Tumors can press on the large vein that transports blood between the head, arms, and heart. This can cause swelling of the face, neck, upper chest, and arms.
Lung cancer sometimes creates a substance similar to hormones, causing a wide variety of symptoms called paraneoplastic syndrome, which include:
- muscle weakness
- fluid retention
- high blood pressure
- high blood sugar
- coma pics from wikipediaDIAGNOSIS
Performing a chest radiography is one of the first investigative steps if a person reports symptoms that may suggest lung cancer. This may reveal an obvious mass, widening of the mediastum (suggestive of spread to lymph nodes there), atelectasis(collapse), consolidation (pneomonia) or pleural effusion. CT imagining is typically used to provide more information about the type and extent of disease bronchoscopy or CT-guided biopsy is often used to sample the tumor for histopathology.
Lung cancer often appears as a solitary polmary nodule on a chest radiograph. However, the differential diagnosis is wide. Many other diseases can also give this appearance, including metastatic cancer, hamartomas, and infectious granulomas such as tuberculosis, histoplasmosis and coccidioidmyoccis. Lung cancer can also be an incidental finding, as a solitary pulmonary nodule on a chest radiograph or CT scan done for an unrelated reason. The definitive diagnosis of lung cancer is based on historical examination of the suspicious tissue in the context of the clinical and radiological features.
Lung cancer stages is vary within the types of the cancer. The earlier the discovery of the cancer is better treated. Lung cancer stages tell how far the cancer has spread and help guide treatment. The chance of successful or curative treatment is much higher when lung cancer is diagnosed and treated in the early stages, before it spreads. Because lung cancer doesn’t cause obvious symptoms in the earlier stages, diagnosis often comes after it has spread.
Non-small cell lung cancer has four main stages:
- Stage 1:Cancer is found in the lung, but it has not spread outside the lung.
- Stage 2:Cancer is found in the lung and nearby lymph nodes.
- Stage 3:Cancer is in the lung and lymph nodes in the middle of the chest.
- Stage 3A:Cancer is found in lymph nodes, but only on the same side of the chest where cancer first started growing.
- Stage 3B:Cancer has spread to lymph nodes on the opposite side of the chest or to lymph nodes above the collarbone.
- Stage 4:Cancer has spread to both lungs, into the area around the lungs, or to distant organs.
Small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) has two main stages. In the limited stage, cancer is found in only one lung or nearby lymph nodes on the same side of the chest.
The extensive stage means cancer has spread:
- throughout one lung
- to the opposite lung
- to lymph nodes on the opposite side
- to fluid around the lung
- to bone marrow
- to distant organs
At the time of diagnosis, 2 out of 3 people with SCLC are already in the extensive stage.
It’s usually a good idea to seek a second opinion before beginning treatment. Your doctor may be able to help make that happen. If you’re diagnosed with lung cancer, your care will likely be managed by a team of doctors who may include:
- a surgeon who specializes in the chest and lungs (thoracic surgeon)
- a lung specialist (pulmonologist)
- a medical oncologist
- a radiation oncologist
Discuss all your treatment options before making a decision. Your doctors will coordinate care and keep each other informed.
Treatment for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) varies from person to person. Much depends on specific details of your health.
Stage 1 NSCLC: Surgery to remove a portion of the lung may be all you need. Chemotherapy may also be recommended, especially if you’re at high risk of recurrence.
Stage 2 NSCLC: You may need surgery to remove part or all of your lung. Chemotherapy is usually recommended.
Stage 3 NSCLC: You may require a combination of chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation treatment.
Stage 4 NSCLC is particularly hard to cure. Options include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy.
Options for small cell-lung cancer (NSCLC) also include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. In most cases, the cancer will be too advanced for surgery.
Clinical trials provide access to promising new treatments. Ask your doctor if you’re eligible for a clinical trial.
Some people with advanced lung cancer choose not to continue with treatment. You can still choose palliative care treatments, which are focused on treating the symptoms of cancer rather than the cancer itself.
Prevention is better than cure, and it should be the first thing to always taught off. The following are the preventive ways of taking care of lungs cancer.
Home remedies and homeopathic remedies won’t cure cancer. But certain home remedies may help relieve some of the symptoms associated with lung cancer and side effects of treatment.
There’s no diet specifically for lung cancer. It is important to get all the nutrients your body needs. If you’re deficient in certain vitamins or minerals, your doctor can advise you which foods can provide them. Otherwise, you’ll need a dietary supplement. But don’t take supplements without talking to your doctor because some can interfere with treatment.
Once cancer enters the lymph nodes and bloodstream, it can spread anywhere in the body. The outlook is better when treatment begins before cancer spreads outside the lungs.
Other factors include age, overall health, and how well you respond to treatment. Because early symptoms can be easily overlooked, lung cancer is usually diagnosed in later stages.
Survival rates and other statistics provide a broad picture of what to expect. There are significant individual differences, though. Your doctor is in the best position to discuss your outlook.
Ref; healthlines and wikipedia