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Last Updated: Sep 04, 2019
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All You Need to Know About Lung Cancer - Symptoms, Causes And Treatment

What Does it Mean to be Lung Cancer ? How Do You Know if You have Lung Cancer? What Can Cause Lung Cancer? What Precautions Should be Taken in Lung Cancer? How Do You Diagnose Lung Cancer? What is the Treatment of Lung Cancer? What are the Home Remedies for Lung Cancer? What Should be Eaten in Lung Cancer?

What Does it Mean to be Lung Cancer ?

Generally, the body cells die at a certain point in their life cycle to avoid excessive growth. But, cancer disease overrides this condition, and causes cells to replicate faster. This overgrowth of cells leads to various cancers and it depends on the organs where they overgrow. When such cells’ growth occurs in the lung, it is called lung cancer. The Lung is a vital organ for respiration. It is a prevailing condition and leading to many deaths in the United States of America.

When compared to colon, breast and prostate cancer, lung cancer is highly common in men and women. There are two types of lung cancer namely small and non-small cell and they are diagnosed based on how they appear under the microscope. Non-small cell lung cancer is more common than the small-cell type. Cigarette smoking, exposure to smokes, and chemicals increase the risk of it.

How Do You Know if You have Lung Cancer?

  • Shortness of breath: This is medically termed as “Dyspnea” which would be experienced at the later stages of the disease. When the tumor obstructs the airway, this problem arises.
  • Chest pain: When the it spreads to the chest wall or causes swollen lymph nodes, it induces pain in the shoulders, chest or back. Chest pain worsens when you laugh, cough or breathe deeply.
  • Cough with blood: When you see the blood while coughing or rust colored phlegm with no cause, it shows an indication of it.
  • Hoarse voice: If you find changes in your voice for more than two weeks, it may be a sign of lung cancer. This symptom starts when the tumor affects the nerve that controls the voice box.
  • Bone pain, weight loss, headaches, wheezing, fatigue, vision problems are other signs and symptoms of lung cancer.

What Can Cause Lung Cancer?

  • Smoking cigarettes: This is the biggest risk factor for lung cancer. When you use tobacco in other forms, it will lead to the risk of developing lung cancer and other types such as the mouth and esophageal cancer. Cannabis is also a risk factor.
  • Breathing Radon: This is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that comes from smaller amounts of uranium present in all soils and rocks. While breathing radon, it can damage the lungs; particularly it affects a passive smoker.
  • Pollution and occupational exposure: In several occupations, many chemicals and substances are used which have a higher risk of developing lung cancer and these chemicals are asbestos, cadmium, coal, arsenic, nickel and silica. Air pollution from vehicles, power plants, and prolonged exposure to highly polluted air increases the risk of it.
  • Hereditary: It is also noticed genetically from both smoking and non-smoking families.

What Precautions Should be Taken in Lung Cancer?

  • Hereditary: It is also noticed genetically from both smoking and non-smoking families.
  • Though quitting smoking is difficult, but still, many people have come out successfully. The addiction is because of the presence of nicotine. Check out with your doctor to know more tips.
  • Check out radon level at your home using many economic kits available in the hardware stores to measure it.
  • Doing a moderate amount of exercise prevents lung cancer. Involving in gardening work for at least twice a week lessens the chances of developing lung cancer.
  • Drinking green tea prevents the cells from damage due to smoking.

  • Eating fruits and rainbow color vegetables reduce the risk of it.

  • Avoid beta-carotene supplements that increase risk factors in smokers.

How Do You Diagnose Lung Cancer?

If your routine physical examination reveals symptoms such as weak breathing, weakness in one arm, abnormal sounds in the lungs, swollen lymph nodes above the collar bone, expanded veins in the neck, arm and chest, droopy eyelids, he may suspect that it may be lung cancer.

Firstly, X-ray will be advised and if nothing is seen, secondly Ultrasound, CT, MRI, Bone Scan and PET scan will be advised. Lung biopsy, bronchoscopy, mediastinoscopy, thoracoscopy, thoracentesis, video-assisted thoracic surgery, sputum test, molecular tissue test, and pulmonary function test along with arterial blood tests are advised to confirm lung cancer and its stage.

What is the Treatment of Lung Cancer?

The doctor will decide the treatment plan based on the stage, age, general health, whether you have a metastatic stage, and your preferences. Surgery will be the best option for non-small cell lung cancer. Radiation and chemotherapy will be advised after the surgery. Radiofrequency ablation is an alternative for surgery.

Targeted treatment using drugs like Avastin, Tarceva. Lorbrena, Tagrisso, Zykadia, Alecensa are recommended to control cancer that has already spread. Immunotherapy drugs like atezolizumab, durvalumab, nivolumab and pembrolizumab are prescribed as they use the bodys' own cells to attack cancer cells. Sunscreen, Aloe Vera, Vitamin E are prescribed for home care..

What are the Home Remedies for Lung Cancer?

Some of the possible home remedies which can help in providing a supportive care during lung cancer are as follows:

  • Nausea and vomiting will be due to the post-treatment and due to dehydration the symptoms will be more. To control the symptoms, IV fluid is a must.
  • To treat Lung cancer, eat a small amount of low fibre foods frequently, drink plenty of fluids, avoid raw veggies and fruits, stop eating cabbage, carbonated drinks, fried and fatty foods, strong spices.
  • Constipation due to chemotherapy can be managed by eating high fiber foods, vegetables, fruits, drink plenty of water and juices, do regular exercises.
  • To treat dry mouth, rinse the mouth with water and you can add salt or baking soda, apply lip moisturizer, and sleep at the cool room.

What Should be Eaten in Lung Cancer?

The patients should pay special attention to food and they are as follows:

  • Apples and pears that contain phloretin that is well-known for anti-tumor activities.
  • Presence of Vitamin D in Fatty Fish helps in deterring the growth of lung cancer
  • Curcumin in Turmeric has the property to stop the lung cancer cells growth
  • Ginger prevents the spread of cancer and controls symptoms

  • Anthocyanidins present in blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and cranberries have the tendency to inhibit the growth of it.

  • Cinnamon’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties help in treating lung cancer before and after treatments.

Popular Questions & Answers

My mother has nscl lung adenocarcinoma metastatic egfr mutation positive. No liver or bone metastatic. Only in lymph node. She treat with daily gefitinib 250. So what is life expectancy?

M.Ch - Surgical Oncology, MS - General Surgery, MBBS
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The life expectancy in a metastatic lung cancer has conventionally been dismal, maybe 6 months. But with newer generation medicines like gefitinib, even metastatic cases can live upto 2-3 years. In any case, I am curious that if the disease has sp...
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Hello, am from mauritius I want an information from you doctor. My mother has lung cancer when it arive her day to do chemotherapy doctor here in mauritius check her blood almost everything is okay just her urea and creatinine is high she has diabetes hypertension. Can you please help me doctor? Can suggest me some medicine or some natural remedies? Thank you^^

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We need to look at what type of lung cancer it is whether it is small cell carcinoma of lung or non small cell carcinoma of lung depending on the renal function and the type of malignancies further chemo to be decided. If the renal function is not...
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My father is 76 and diagnosed with adenocarcinoma stage 4 Should we take chemotherapy for him or not. Very confused and cannot make a decision. Please reply asap.

MD - Radiotherapy
Oncologist, Vadodara
Sorry to know about your father. Even at age 76 years Chemotherapy can provide relief if given under supervision of a experienced Oncologist.
2 people found this helpful

I have been smoking and drinking for last 35 years. Who are the doctors who can check me up? What are the tests for oral cancer and lung cancer? Where these test can be done? I need to find if there is any problem in initial stage only. Thank you.

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MS - ENT
ENT Specialist, Kannur
First all All those who smoke need not get cancer and all those who have cancer need not be a smoker. It's just the people who has oral or lung cancer are mostly smokers. Hence don't worry about it. If you have any problems like Persisting oral ul...
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