Lung cancer symptoms, diagnosis and risks

When Dana Reeves, the wife of the late Christopher Reeves, passed away from lung cancer, it created a great deal of ripples in the cancer community. Resources that were once not available started to become possible, and answers to this deadly disease started coming slowly but surely. While lung cancer has not been eradicated by a long shot, we
have made huge strides towards helping huge numbers of people survive the diagnosis.

Lung cancer attacks everyone without regard to status, gender or personality. So what is a person to do to guard themselves from lung cancer? Fight back! Knowledge is power when it comes to lung cancer. You have to learn how it works, why it happens and how to lower your risk factors for this deadly disease.

Lung cancer is a cancer that starts in the lungs; the two sponge-like organs found in the chest. It can start in the cells found in the lining of the lungs called the bronchi. The cancer cells are not limited to this area as they can also begin in the bronchioles or alveoli.

Types of Lung Cancer

There are 2 major types of lung cancer. Despite this, it is possible to have both types. This is is called small cell/large cell cancer. Even though this type of cancer is possible, it is uncommon.

small cell lung cancer

SCLC makes up 10% to 15% of all lung cancers. The name small cell comes from the appearance of the cell when viewed through a microscope lens.

non-small cell lung cancer

NSCLC contributes to 85% to 90% of all lung cancers. It was given its name due to the many sizes, shapes and chemical make-ups by which it appears under the lens of a microscope.

Causes of Lung Cancer

There are many different causes of lung cancer, and many of them are totally avoidable. If you take the time to truly adjust your lifestyle, you can do a great deal to avoid lung cancer. Like all cancers, some things are unavoidable.

Small cell lung cancer is caused by:

  • Tobacco smoke
  • Radon
  • Asbestos
  • Arsenic
  • Family history of lung cancer
  • Air pollution
  • Certain vitamins

Non-cell lung cancer Is caused by:

  • Smoking
  • Gene Change
  • Inherent Gene

Symptoms of Lung Cancer

Typically lung cancer does not show symptoms until it has spread. It is highly recommended that you see a physician if one of these common symptoms are noticed.

• A person may have a persistent cough.
• Having pain in the chest when laughing, breathing or coughing can signal problems such as lung cancer.
• Being hoarse can be a symptom of lung cancer.
• Lung cancer patients may notice a sudden loss of appetite or weight.
• Lung cancer can cause coughing up bloody or rust-colored fluid.
• One often notices shortness of breath can be a symptom.
• Cancer often shows as symptoms of being tired or weak feeling.
• Having repeated infections such as bronchitis or pneumonia can be a symptom.
• Wheezing that is new to your medical history can be a lung cancer symptom.

Treatments of Lung Cancer

The treatment selected for lung cancer is determined by which lung cancer type the patient has; small cell or non-small cell. They are treated very differently.

Small cell is treated with:
• Surgery
• Radiation therapy
• Chemotherapy
• Targeted therapy

It is common for many of the above listed treatments to be recommended at a time.

Non-small cell is commonly treated with:
• Chemotherapy
• Anti-angiogenesis drugs

•Vaccines

As with all types of cancer prevention and early detection are proven keys to winning the battle. Knowing your medical history along with having people in your life that know your typical behaviors can be a huge benefit to assisting in one’s personal fight against lung cancer.

More research is needed, but at this time it is believed by some researchers that a diet high in fruits and vegetables can be a great source of protection. As far as smoking, it has been estimated by scientists that smoking is the cause for about 87% of lung cancer diagnosis.

Lung cancer is being researched all over the world. Until the cure and defiant risk factors are identified, eating healthy and limiting as many toxins into the body, such as cigarette smoke, is a good way to feel better and live a holesome life. We do not need to live in fear of lung cancer but rather increase our awareness.

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