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Treatment of Bronchiectasis
Treatment of Asthma
Treatment of Tuberculosis
Treatment of Shortness of Breath
Treatment of Pneumonia
Treatment of Bronchitis
Treatment of Asphyxia
Treatment of COPD
Treatment of Sleep Apnea
Treatment of Persistent Cough
Treatment of Fluid in the chest
Treatment of Occupational Lung Disease
Treatment of Asbestosis
Treatment of Sleep Disturbance
Treatment of Breathing Problems
Treatment of Lung DIseases
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Patient Review Highlights
Lung cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in one or both lungs. These abnormal cells do not carry out the functions of normal lung cells and do not develop into healthy lung tissue. As they grow, the abnormal cells can form tumors and interfere with the functioning of the lung, which provides oxygen to the body via the blood.
Lung cancer is the most common cause of death due to cancer in both men and women throughout the world. According to the U.S. National Cancer Institute, approximately one out of every 14 men and women in the U.S. is diagnosed with cancer of the lung at some point in their lifetime. Lung cancer is predominantly a disease of the elderly; almost 70% of people diagnosed with lung cancer are over 65 years of age, while less than 3% of lung cancers occur in people under 45 years of age.
What Causes Lung Cancer?
The development of lung cancer is strongly associated with cigarette smoking, approximately 90% of lung cancers are attributable to use of tobacco. Pipe and cigar smoking can also cause lung cancer, but the risk is not as high as with cigarette smoking. Tobacco smoke contains more than 4,000 chemical compounds, many of which are cancer causing (carcinogens). Passive smoking, i.e. the inhalation of tobacco smoke by non-smokers who live or work with smokers, is also an established risk factor for the development of lung cancer.
Genetic susceptibility (i.e. family history) may play a role in the development of lung cancer. Other causes of lung cancer include air pollution (from vehicles, industry, and power generation) and inhalation of asbestos fibres (usually in the workplace).
Lung Cancer Symptoms:
Early symptoms and signs of lung cancer:
There may be no symptoms at the onset of the disease. When present, common symptoms of lung cancer may include:
- Coughing: This includes a persistent cough that doesn't go away or changes to a chronic smoker's cough, such as more coughing or pain.
- Coughing up blood: Coughing up blood or rust-colored sputum (spit or phlegm) should always be discussed with your doctor.
- Breathing Difficulties: Shortness of breath, wheezing or noisy breathing(called stridor) may all be signs of lung cancer.
- Loss of Appetite: Many cancers cause changes in appetite, which may lead to unintended weight loss.
- Fatigue: It is common to feel weak or excessively tired.
- Recurring infections: Recurring infections, like bronchitis or pneumonia, may be one of the signs of lung cancer.
Signs of advanced stages of lung cancer: Advanced stages of lung cancer are often characterized by the spread of cancer to distant sites in the body. This may affect the bones, liver or brain. As other parts of the body are affected, new lung cancer symptoms may develop, including:
- Bone pain
- Swelling of the face, arms or neck
- Headaches, dizziness or limbs that become weak or numb
- Lumps in the neck or collar-bone region
Treatment: Treatment for cancer involves a combination of surgery to remove cancer cells, chemotherapy and radiation therapy to kill cancer cells. Lung cancer is incurable unless complete surgical removal of the tumour cells can be achieved. Surgery is the most effective treatment for lung cancer, but only a few percentage of lung cancers are suitable for surgery i.e. Stage I and II NSCLC and cancer that has not spread beyond the lung.
Radiation therapy may be used for both NSCLC and SCLC and is a good option for people who are not suitable for surgery or who refuse surgery. Chemotherapy is used for both NSCLC and SCLC. Chemotherapy drugs may be given alone or in combination with surgery or radiation therapy. Chemotherapy is the treatment of first choice for SCLC since it has usually spread extensively in the body by the time it has been diagnosed.
Also used in the treatment of lung cancer are targeted therapies. These are drugs (gefitinib and erlotinib) or antibodies (cetuximab, bevacizumab) that block the growth and spread of cancer by interfering with specific molecules involved in tumor growth and progression. They are used in some patients with NSCLC that does not respond to standard chemotherapy.
COPD stands for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and is generally used to describe a broad category of diseases. These include chronic bronchitis, emphysema, non-reversible asthma as well as some forms of bronchiectasis. All of these diseases, however, can be prevented from getting worse by taking similar measures as the causes of these diseases are very similar.
Here are the ways to prevent COPD exacerbations:
- Cleanliness: It is crucial that you do not allow infections to set in. Infections are probably the worst type of exacerbation possible in COPD. All you need to do to prevent infection is to take a little care to ensure good hygiene. Wash your hands often and do not allow people with colds or flu to come close to you.
- Take vaccines: Make sure your flu and pneumonia shots have not been missed.
- Take medicines: It is crucial that medicines for your lungs are taken on schedule, if you have COPD. The possible medicines which you could take if your doctor prescribes it includes inhaled beta-agonists, steroids and anticholinergics.
- Spirometry: Doctors often recommend the use of the portable Spirometry device, Spirometer, in case of COPD. Spirometers check the condition of the lungs by measuring various parameters to see how well the lungs are working. Spirometers can easily measure FEV1, a parameter which measures how much air can you blow out in one second. This is especially great if you do not know whether your condition has exacerbated or not.
- Corticosteroid: It is another type of medicine used, which can prevent COPD exacerbations. In its place, even inhaled beta-agonists or anticholinergics can also be used.