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Mri report- mild diffuse disc bulge at l4-l5 level causing the cal sac indentation and bilateral mild neural formalin narrowing (l> r). Please advice.
I have been suffering from disk problem since 7 months. I have consulted a doctor. I took x-Ray as per his advice. He said disk has been narrowed. He prescribed some painkillers and vitamin tablets. Could anyone please prescribe some medicine for me. I am really unable to sit without any support.
My rt. Breast surgery for breast cancer had done and presently from last 3-4 months rt. Hand and full arm are swelling.
Lung cancer occurs at slightly younger age in women than in men. Adenocarcinoma is the commonest type of lung cancer in women. It warrants testing for some molecular markers which form the basis of targeted therapies. Thus lung cancer in women behaves biologically and clinically different from that in men
Women should take care of their health, stay away from tobacco and think positive
The uterus is a very important organ within the human reproductive system as this is the chamber where an embryo grows into a baby. Due to a multitude of factors, the incidence of uterine cancer has been on the rise. Let's look at some of its symptoms.
Symptoms of uterine cancer
When cells within the uterus grow abnormally and turn malignant, it may be termed as uterine cancer. This may be in the form of a fibroid or tumor or be part of the uterine tissue itself. It may be caused due to a multitude of factors such as late menopause, radiation exposure, estrogen treatments and many others. Some of the common symptoms for uterine cancer could be:
a. Pain in the abdomen, lower back and especially the pelvic area.
b. Pain during urination,
c. Weight loss without any apparent reason
d. Vaginal bleeding with or without discharge
e. Pain during sex
Stages of uterine cancer:
Before we understand the stages of uterine cancer you need to know how doctors diagnose the various stages. This is done by the three following steps in the TNM method:
Tumor - Doctors try and search for tumors and locate them within the uterus, estimate its size and whether it is malignant or not.
Node - If the tumor is malignant, then doctors try to find out whether the tumor has reached the lymph nodes or not.
Metastasis - Doctors look for Metastasis which is whether the cancer has spread to other organs within the body and to what extent.
Stages of cancer - Cancer is primarily grouped in five stages from 0 to V according to the T, N and M stages mentioned below.
Stage 0 - This is a very early stage of cancer where the cells have malignant growth but are still small in number and haven't spread anywhere.
Stage I - If the cancer has developed a little but is restricted within the uterus, it is considered as stage one. This is also further divided into Stage 1A and 1B.
Stage II - When the cancer has started spreading but only to some parts of the cervix from the uterus, it is diagnosed as stage 2 uterine cancer.
Stage III - Categorized into Stage IIIA, Stage IIIB, Stage IIIC1 and Stage IIIC2, it is primarily where the cancer has spread to other organs but it is only limited to the pelvic area.
Stage IV A - When the cancer has gone beyond the pelvic area and also spread to the rectum and balder area.
Stage IV B - This is where the cancer has metastasized in the groin area or gone to other organs within the body as well.
The spine plays a very crucial role, both from a person’s movement and sensation point of view. It carries the nervous supply for a lot of internal organs and the lower body. By virtue of its structure, it also helps in movement through the disks. Due to various reasons, spinal injury is common, causing pain along the back, lower extremities, neck etc.
Medicines and exercise are the first line of treatment for most spinal injuries. The issue, however, is that these only provide relief from the pain and the medicines, but do not actually ‘rectify’ the underlying problem. Whether it is a herniated disk or a pinched nerve, the medicines and exercise can relieve the symptoms, but the disk continues to be herniated and the nerve continues to be pinched. Definite treatment is in the form of surgery, and with recent advancements in the field of spinal surgery, there are minimally invasive surgical options, which provide complete cure with minimal recovery time. Some of the benefits of this are listed below-
Smaller incision compared to traditional surgical procedures, where only the injured area is accessed
The surrounding tissues are untouched, unless they are injured and require repair
Lesser bleeding compared to earlier techniques
Lesser painful procedure
Reduced hospitalization period
Quicker recovery and return to normal activities
The question, however, is whether this is indicated in everybody. A detailed discussion with your surgeon keeping the below points in mind will help identify the answer for this. The main driver should be the answer to the question – will the surgery be able to effectively relieve you of the pain and symptoms? Additionally, the following factors help in getting better results out of a minimally invasive spinal surgery.
Presence of symptoms relating to nerve compression, including pain from the spine down the leg.
Recent onset of symptoms, with pain starting days to months before seeing the doctor. This indicates the condition is relatively new and so damage is minimal, indicating favorable outcome. Chronic pain conditions take slightly longer time compared to recent injuries.
People with active lifestyle who engage in regular physical exercise are likely to have better benefits from the minimally invasive procedure.
Smoking reduces blood flow to the spine, leading to disk degeneration and weakening of bones. Healing is highly slowed down and recovery is overall delayed.
Excessive weight puts strain on the back, and so healing can be delayed or badly affected with more complications. It is not a contraindication, but be prepared for a longer recovery period.
Hi I am Dr. Kirti Yadav, senior physiotherapist from Mat-Harbor family clinic, Gurgaon.
Today I want to talk about a very common problem which every one, if we count about the population 100% then 70% of people they talk about Disk pain. So I want to enlighten this topic today. If there is a normal pain and ache in your neck or back you go to a doctor and the doctor assess you and tells you to get an MRI done. Whenever you get an MRI done there is some level of disk involvement and the doctor ask you to take rest, not to do exercise and all those things and then just being fear of disk pain you don’t exercise for the rest of your life.
So just to come onto that area, just to enlighten this topic, as a physiotherapist I want to tell you about the fact. Disk pain, YES it happens but it happens in 20% of the cases. The rest 50% of the cases have been misdiagnose, they take disk pain and they don’t do exercise all of their life. Now we don’t exercise, we don’t strengthen up our muscle that is the problem that we get these pains and aches and the muscle is being stretched which is counted to be as the disk pain. Now when we talk about this, when you get an MRI done even today if I get my MRI done I will have some level of disk involvement whether the disk is causing you pain or not that is more important. The nature of pain tells you about the disk involvement.
So if you have tingling sharp shooting burning kind of pain which travels through a nerve, which travels through area, it dignifies, it signifies the disk pain. But if you have a localized dull, aching kind of pain please don’t take it as a disk pain and don’t take it as a nerve pain. So just coming to the treatment part. About 50% of the people who don’t have disk pain, who says we have cervical spondylitis but they don’t have cervical spondylitis they have trapezius muscle involvement. In that case what we do please strengthen up your trapezius muscle, please strengthen up your shoulder muscle so that you don’t have these pains and aches again and again. Why this happens? This happens because of repetitive strain injuries that happens because of more of computer use more of mobile use, texting and other sedentary live cells which we are going in. So the ultimate solution for pains and aches muscular is strengthening the particular part.
If you want to know more about this, if you want to talk more about it you can contact me through Lybrate.
Breast cancer begins when cells in the breast(s) start to grow out of control. It is understood as being the most common cancer, seen predominantly in females, globally. It is reasonably treatable and often curable.
1. Type: Adenocarcinomas constitute more than 95% of breast cancers with infiltrating ductal carcinoma (IDC) being the most common form of invasive breast cancer.
Frequently occurring breast cancers present as one of the following types mainly
1. Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS): Is the most common type of non-invasive breast cancer and is confined to the milk ducts of the breast. There is no invasion in the basement membrane. Pure DCIS metastasizes rarely. Non comedo cribrioform carcinoma is the most common DCIS found which, when compared to the comedo type, is mostly non-aggressive.
2. Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma (IDC): Represents majority (about 3/4th) of the breast cancers, and is known to metastasize commonly to bones, lungs and liver.
3. Lobular Carcinoma In Situ (LCIS): Develops in multiple lobules of the breast (bilaterally). LCIS is less commonly seen, compared to DCIS.
4. Infiltrating Lobular Carcinoma (ILC): Represent about a tenth of all breast cancers and tends to metastasize to other regions of the body.
Less commonly occurring breast cancers such as
5. Inflammatory Breast Cancer: Is relatively uncommon and are caused probably owing to viral infections. The breast is warm, red and swollen.
6. Paget’s disease of the nipple: Is a rare form of breast cancer. It begins in the milk ducts and spreads to the nipple and areola.
7. Medullary Carcinoma
8. Mutinous Carcinoma
9. Tubular Carcinoma
10. Phylloides tumor etc all.
2. Gender: Affects the female populace predominantly. However, a small percentage of breast cancer is attributable to the male populace as well.
3. Etiology: No definite cause is known. However, diet, lifestyle, environment, hormonal/ reproductive factors, personal or family history of breast cancer especially in first degree relatives and also any benign breast disease history etc all are known to increase the risk of breast cancers. Specifically, excessive fatty diet, obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, benign breast disease, heredity/ inheritance of mutated breast cancer genes 1 (BRCA1) and 2 (BRCA2), smoking, alcohol intake, infertility, estrogen therapy/ hormone replacement therapy (long term) in post menopausal women, delayed age at first pregnancy, nulliparity (not having child), early menstruation, delayed onset of menopause, lactating mothers not breast feeding, exposure to ionizing radiation, sedentary lifestyle, depression, exposure to MMTV virus etc all can potentially increase the risk for breast cancer.
4. Features: Signs & symptoms, of breast cancer, manifest majorly in the following ways
Lump/ nodule in the breast that gets attached to the skin of the breast over time. The lump / nodule could be hard and painless with irregular edges or it could also be soft, rounded, tender and painful.
Enlarged lymph nodes in the axilla which are palpable.
Swelling of whole or a part of a breast. This is even if there is no distinct lump felt.
Retraction or thickening of the nipple(s).
Pain in the breast or nipple.
Discharge from nipple other than breast milk.
Irritation/ scaliness of skin over the breast.
Redness of nipples
Rarely, red, swollen and tender breast.
5. Screening: Is generally recommended for asymptomatic populations goal of which, as usual, is to be able to detect & diagnose breast cancer at an early stage which is potentially curable. It is mostly radiologic with mammography/ USG being instrumental in raising suspicions for further diagnostics (i.e. biopsy) that help detect breast cancer, if any, early.
6. Diagnosis: A self-examination/ clinical exam of the breast(s)/ axilla that reveals a palpable mass prompts the following diagnostics. Abnormal blood test results may be indicative of malignancy, but a follow up imaging/ biopsy is always the gold standard for accurate diagnosis.
- Blood: ER/ PR/ HER2/neu, uPA, PAI-1, CA15-3, CA27.29 etc all tumor markers are helpful.
- Imaging: Mammography/ USG Scan usually, as relevant. Again, CT Scan of abdomen & pelvis and chest, PET CT scan, bone scan etc all help detect metastasis, if any, for cancers in stage III & above.
- Biopsy: either excisional, incisional, fine needle aspiration (FNA) or core biopsy technique, as contextually appropriate, is frequently employed and a histopathological examination (HPE) thereof clinches the diagnosis and the nature of the disease.
7. Treatment: Conventional treatment includes surgery, radiotherapy, hormone therapy/ chemotherapy as deems appropriate. Simultaneously, an adjunctive or integrative naturopathic treatment with suitable complementary & alternative medicines (CAM) too can help improve clinical outcomes and facilitate recovery as would be feasible contextually.
8. Prognosis: Preventive measures, earlier diagnosis and right early treatment is key for an effective therapeutic management & better prognosis. Like most other cancers, the chances of cure for an early stage breast cancer are more. The cure/ recovery chances are influenced by the type, grade, stage of cancer, recurrence and the patient’s general health & vitality etc all. Above-mentioned apart, age, menopause status, lymph node status, ER/ PR/ HER-2/ neu status, size & extent of breast cancer etc all also influence the treatment outlook in breast cancer. The five year survival rate is strongly correlated with the stage of breast cancer.
9. Prevention: Rightly said, prevention is always a better choice. Although genetic risks are difficult to modify, still an increased focus on protective factors and avoidance of the risk factors can be of help. An adherence to a Mediterranean diet, maintaining an ideal body weight and an active lifestyle with due emphasis on regular exercising (for at least 30 minutes daily), de-stressing and relaxation is highly recommended for reducing the risks of breast cancer. A healthy eating plate comprises essentially a low fat diet, fibre rich foods including whole grain cereals, green leafy vegetables cooked using healthy vegetable oils, fresh fruits of all colours as seasonally available and healthy proteins/ fats including fresh fish, poultry, beans, nuts etc all. It is advisable to limit milk/ dairy, preferably of low fat content, to 1 to 2 servings max daily. Although alcohol is optional and is not for everyone, the consumption of the same, if any, has to be strictly in moderation, and is best avoided. Smoking is to be avoided as well. Again, red meat, butter, refined grains, sweets, sugary drinks including carbonated beverages and other high calorie foods etc all, if any, are to be taken sparingly or are best avoided too. Limiting dosage/ duration of hormone therapy, if any, especially to counteract post menopausal symptoms and also avoiding exposure to radiation and environmental pollution can help reduce the risks of breast cancer. Apart from the above-mentioned, for high risk cases, a prophylactic oophorectomy, prophylactic radical mastectomy, long term hormone therapy etc all can help reduce the chances/ risks of developing breast cancer significantly. Breastfeeding is known to confer protection against breast cancer risk too.
I am bodybuilder I had a disc replacement due to bulge in my disc. Is it possible to continue bodybuilding. Lifting weights etc. Plzz help me.
Your ankle may get injured at any point in time, sometimes it can be driven by sudden trauma or injury or it may find its virtual roots into such serious problems like venous insufficiency, arthritis, heart disease and so on. When a complaint of the swallen ankle is made by a patient, at first before prescribing anything homoeopathic treatment follows a procedure of detailed investigation to manage it.
There are basically two types of treatments for swollen ankles. In the case of swollen ankles aggravated by some kind of injuries, arthritis homoeopathic medicines work independently while if any vital organ is involved in the swallen ankle, homoeopathic treatment would act there as a support to other medicines.
Homoeopathic Remedies For Swollen Ankles:
The most effective homoeopathic medicines for swollen ankles are as follows
- In the case of dropsical swelling over ankles: Apis Mellifica and Apocynum are the first to be named in this series. These are effectively used when one is found with dropsical swelling due to an accumulation of excessive fluids in the tissues. When the ankle gets swollen due to certain kind of injury it is preferable to use Apis Mellifica. On the other hand, dropsical swelling of ankles soon after cardiac diseases are likely to be treated with Apocynum.
- For Swollen Ankles Due To Arthritis: Where the ankle swelling is owing to arthritis, doctors generally prefer to prescribe Ledum Pal in such cases. The characteristic symptoms of this type of ankle swelling are hot and painful ankles. Ledum Pal has the reputation for working substantially in such cases.
- About The Top Grade Homeopathic Medicine For Swollen Ankles: Arnica is the most popular homoeopathic medicine for swollen ankle owing to injury. Arnica works wonderfully in resolving the swelling and reconciles the painful symptoms arising out of the injuries to the ankle.
- In Case Swollen Ankles Resulting From Sprain: Sometimes overstretching of the ligaments may lead to a sprain as the ligaments hold the joints in a place. Sprain ankle can be cured successfully with one of the most excellent homoeopathic medicines called Ruta. Besides curing sprain ankle, it also appears helpful in case of lameness or weakness in ankle joint. For its added effectiveness Ruta has been ranked among the best medicines for Swollen ankles.
- For The Ankle Swelling Due To Varicose Veins: If the ankle swells due to the varicose veins, there is a medicine called Hamamelis which works very fast in treating ankles swelled for varicose veins. If swelling happens due to varicose veins you may have come through the symptom like cutting pain.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
I have a slip disc problem month ago. Now the pain has gone ,but there some stretch in my leg and I also feel less strength like I have before the episode .so now I planning to go for a gym for aerobic exercise and cycling because I feel to loss my wait. Therefore please answer that I can go for gym, swimming,or cycling or not?
Sir I have slip disk problem in l4 l5 Vert disk and pain in lower spine and pain goes to leg randomly both legs. This is from last 6 months What is easiest way to solve this problem.
Bone cancer is a cancerous tumour in the bone, destroying the normal bone tissues. Tumours on bone tissues are not always cancerous or malignant, they are mostly benign. Primary bone cancer is when the malignant tumour begins to form in the tissues of the bones, but when these cancerous cells spread to other body parts like breasts, prostate or lungs, it is called metastatic cancer. Primary bone cancer is less common than metastatic cancer.
Bone cancer can be of three different types:
Osteosarcoma: In this case, the malignant tumour arises from the osteoid bone tissue. This occurs mainly in the upper arm and knee areas.
Chondrosarcoma: In this case the cancerous cells form in the cartilaginous tissues, causing a lot of pain. This occurs mostly in the pelvic area.
The Ewing sarcoma generally arises in the bone but it can also form in the soft tissues. Other kinds of soft tissues affecting cancerous cells are known as soft tissue sarcomas.
There aren’t many clear defined causes; however, several factors have been identified by researchers.
Osteosarcoma is seen to occur more frequently in people who have been through a high external radiation therapy dose.
In people who have frequently been treated with anticancer medications, children tend to be most affected.
Heredity may be an adding cause, although the percentage of hereditary transfer of cancer cells is very low.
People with hereditary bone defects or implants have a higher chance of acquiring bone cancer.
The most common and saddening symptom of bone cancer is painful, although not all bone cancers cause pain. Unusual or persistent swelling or pain around a bone maybe a red flag for bone cancer. In case of a situation like this, immediate doctor’s opinion is required.
Usually, diagnosis of a bone cancer can be made using X-rays; for example, a bone scan, a computed tomography scan, a magnetic imaging procedure—positron emission tomography, and an angiogram. Biopsy and blood tests are also helpful in bone cancer diagnosis.
The size, location and stage of cancer, age, and health of the person decide the kind of treatment that should be given to the patient. Various treatment options include chemotherapy, radiation therapy and cryosurgery.
The combined survival rate of all sorts of bone cancers is 70%. This percentage may vary with the type of bone cancer and also its stage.
Age 51 years male. Slip disc happened jan'2010 and get to normal after 4 years doing only exercise till now and used lumbo scrarol belt when out of home. Due to filling uneasy during walking, a tmt brace protocol suggested. Is it ok to do the test.
The most powerful and amazing organ in our body is the brain. It differs from many other organs of our body not only by its shape, but also by its special type of cell called neurons. When these cells gets affected or dead it can never be reverted or regenerated which is the most exclusive nature found only in brain cells. The cells in other parts of our body has the capacity to regenerate (can be replaced or new one can be grown or produced), but brain cells are exception. Hence any damage to the brain, injury or trauma is really a crucial thing to be considered with utmost care.
Brain surgeries really need skill, proper training, confidence and intelligence to perform this highly complicated and risky surgery.
Brain surgeries are performed to:
- Remove the brain tissues that are grown abnormally
- Aneurysm is clipped to prevent flow of blood cliff off an aneurysm
- Biopsy purpose or to remove the tumour
- Make a nerve free
- Drain the abnormal blood or clot collection or to drain any excessive fluid collection caused by infection.
- To implant artificial electronic device as a treatment for conditions like Parkinson’s disease
- Biopsy: A part of brain tissue is removed for the brain or whole tumour is removed.
- Craniotomy: The skull bone is opened to remove tumour, an aneurysm and drain fluid or blood from infection.
- Minimally invasive endonasal endoscopic surgery: Endoscopic devices are inserted through the nose to remove the lesions or tumour.
- Minimally invasive neuroendoscopy: Similar to endonasal surgery but small incision is made.
- Anaesthesia risks like breathing difficulty, allergic reaction to medications, excessive bleeding or clots and infection.
- Risk related to the brain surgeries are seizures, coma, swelling of brain, infection to brain or meanings, surgical wound infection that intrudes to the brain structures, abnormal clot formation and bleeding.
- General risks include muscle weakness, disturbances in memory, speech, vision, coordination, balance and other functions that are controlled by the brain. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a neurosurgeon.
A Pap Smear is a screening test done to to test for occurrence of uterine cancer. Carried out in a quick and simple way to extract a sample, the sample is collected from the cervix area of a woman during a pelvic exam. The examination of the sample takes place under a microscope thereafter to find abnormalities that can point towards cancer and pre cancer changes.
There are many reasons why women should get a pap smear screening done:
1. Women who are HIV positive should get this test done regularly so as to detect any anomalies in the cervix. This condition usually comes with higher risk of infections and cancer, which is why regular screening is required.
2. Age is also another factor and women over the age of 30 should go through an annual screening on a compulsory basis. This is also true for women who have been through pregnancy and child birth.
Preparing for a Pap Smear: To prepare for a pap smear test, you need to ensure that you are not menstruating at the time. Also, you may want to avoid sexual activity just before the test so as to get the most accurate readings. During the process, remember to stay calm and relax your body physically.
Procedure: The pap smear procedure is a quick one that might be only slightly uncomfortable. This test is usually carried out on the examination table at the gynecologist's clinic. The legs will need to be spread and placed in stirrups. The doctor will insert a speculum to hold open the vaginal opening so that the spatula can be inserted easily to take a sample from the area. This sample of the cells will be tested in a lab after due preservation.
Test Results: The test results can either be normal or abnormal. An abnormal result does not point at the presence of cancer. Rather it can simply mean that abnormal cells exist in the cervix. The doctor may ask you to go through these tests and screening more frequently so as to study the anomalies in a more detailed manner. Consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Breast cancer is a type of a cancerous infection that develops in the skin cells of the breast. This condition is more commonly diagnosed after you have skin cancer and is more common in women than men. There are certain signs to identify this disease, which are as follows.
1. Breast lumps - Lumps are patches of skin that occur due to the thickening and swelling of the skin. Breast lumps is a very common phenomenon for women but that does not always lead to a breast cancer; however, frequent and reoccurring instances of the same increases the risk of breast cancer. A breast lump is easily identifiable through the naked eye as it looks different from the surrounding tissues.
2. Blood discharge - The nipple is one of the most sensitive areas in the human body. In case of women, it is meant to emit milk during pregnancy, in order to feed the infant externally. A probable symptom of breast cancer can also be a frequent discharge of blood from the nipple without any visible damage or injury.
3. Breast changes - If you are experiencing any visible changes in the size, appearance or shape of the breast, then it is an indicative sign that you may have breast cancer. Thus, it is of paramount importance that you observe, touch and physically examine your breast regularly for changes. If there is any major change detected then it is advisable to consult a doctor.
4. Inverted nipple - The tip of the nipple is generally bulging and pointing outwards both in cases of men and women. But sometimes the tip of the nipple is pushed inside due to excessive suction caused by the skin tissues present inside the breast around the nipple area. This suction forces the nipple to grow inwards which is abnormal and might harm the breast and skin in various ways.
However, apart from these main symptoms, some other signs are also there that increase your chances of being diagnosed with breast cancer. They are redness or pitting of the skin over your breast like an orange, peeling or scaling of the pigmented area around the nipple, dimpling of the skin on the breasts, and such others. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Gynaecologist.
Good day to you. For a few months i've been having numbness and weakness in my left leg and scrotum. Got my mri results back and they say. Mild scoliosis at L4 L5 region with minor disc bulge with no nerve compression. No sign of cauda equina. Small annular tear at L4 region with muscular spasm. What's causing my numbness? How do I fix the disc bulge?
Left paracentral L5-S1 disc protrusion causing compression of left traversing nerve roots associated with diffuse L1-L2 Disc bulge. Now what is best treatment for me.
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.