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Overview

Lung Cancer - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

Lung cancer starts from the lungs and spreads to other body parts. In most cases it starts in the airways of the lungs, known as alveoli and bronchioles. There are over 20 types of lung cancer. The cause of most lung cancers is smoking, both from smoking and passive smoking. People who never smoke are also prone to get it and the cause in such cases isn’t known.

The two major types of lung cancer based on the microscopic appearance are:

  • Small-cell lung cancer: It is the major type of lung cancer and affects smokers exclusively.
  • Non small-cell lung cancer: It is a term for lot of different lung cancer types that have similarities. Large-cell carcinoma, squamous-cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma all come under this category.

Chemotherapy aims at killing cancer cells. Drugs might be administered by a vein, usually in the arm or through the oral route. Multiple drugs are generally given over few months. A surgeon removes the cancer and some part of the adjacent healthy tissue.

Here are the procedures done to obliterate lung cancer:

  • Wedge resection- A small part of the lung that has the tumour with marginal healthy tissue is removed.
  • Segmental resection- A larger part of the lung is removed.
  • Lobectomy- A whole lobe of the lung is removed
  • Pneumonectomy- An entire lung is removed

Radiation therapy employs energy beams obtained from protons and X-rays for killing the cancerous cells. It can be done externally or may be placed within the body close to the affected area through seeds, catheters or needles. Palliative care, a specialty medicine field, involves a doctor’s help to reduce symptoms and signs.

Alternative and complementary lung cancer treatment options are available to reduce symptoms and signs, even though they may not be able to cure cancer:

  • Meditation- It involves focusing on a thing like an image, sound or idea. It helps reduce distress and improves the life quality of cancer patients.
  • Yoga- It includes stretches with meditation and deep breathing. It helps with sleep. An instructor can guide you through the exercises and movements. Don’t do stretches that strain you or feel uncomfortable.
  • Acupuncture- A trained professional puts in tiny needles in specified points in the body during an acupuncture session. It may reduce pain and the side effects of cancer treatment. However, there isn’t any evidence that acupuncture affects the cancer in any way.
Treatable by medical professional Require medical diagnosis Lab test not required Chronic: can last for years or be lifelong Non communicable
Symptoms
It generally doesnt have any symptoms. When the symptoms start appearing , they can be scary like blood in the mucus. Wheezing with chest pain Swollen face and neck Difficulty in swallowing Severe headaches, body pain and fatigue

Popular Health Tips

Thoracic Ultrasound - What You Can Expect After Undergoing It?

Dr. Mool Chand Gupta 89% (33451 ratings)
MD PULMONARY, DTCD
Pulmonologist, Faridabad
Thoracic Ultrasound - What You Can Expect After Undergoing It?
When your doctor suspects of the presence of extra fluid in your lungs, you might be advised for a thoracic ultrasound. What is a thoracic ultrasound and why do you need it? With a thoracic ultrasound, your doctor will be able to look at everything in the thoracic cavity and can know if your lungs, heart, and other structures in the chest are working fine. The pulmonologists can efficiently determine the lung condition even in critically ill patients using a non-invasive ultrasound technique. And, since the method is based on sound, there is no risk of exposure to potentially harmful ionizing radiation or nephron-toxic contrast dye in this case. Hence, a thoracic ultrasound has become the most preferred technique for conducting a preliminary examination or to further check and confirm a finding noted using other imaging techniques for thoracic diseases. Reasons to have a chest ultrasound The doctor usually refer an ultrasound when he or she can feel that there is some extra amount of fluid in your chest. The ultrasound can tell the physician the reason behind the deposition of excess liquid. The ultrasound would help detect the type of fluid that is present in the chest, whether it is exudate that is caused due to inflammation, an infection, or lung cancer, or whether it is transudate that is a leakage from the lymph nodes or the blood vessel. It determines the movement of the diaphragm. Chest ultrasound can be done in conjunction with other examinations like CT scan, MRI to evaluate the condition of the chest. It has to be noted that, in certain circumstances such as severe obesity and barium in your esophagus, the procedure can give an inaccurate result. Hence, it is always advisable to talk with the health care provider and share your complete medical history before undergoing this procedure to prevent such occurrences. After a Thoracic Ultrasound After the results of the ultrasound are received, the doctor can detect what the condition of your chest is at the moment. Your doctor will also confirm if the lungs have collapsed or if there is water in the lungs, or excess fluid has deposited into the lungs. Ultrasound can also reveal if you have pneumonia. A diagnosis like this does not take a long duration, and thus the ultrasound plays a significant role in expediting the treatment process. There are no hard and fast regulations to follow after the ultrasound. The physician may recommend few instructions depending on your situation. In typical cases, there is no special preparation like fasting is required and you need not be sedated during the ultrasound as well. A safe and painless method to detect the condition of the chest and the respiratory organs and the blood flow through the organs in your chest, a thoracic ultrasound is a preferred procedure that can help your doctor to diagnose your condition and decide upon the treatment method.
3359 people found this helpful

CyberKnife Therapy of 24 Multiple Brain Metastases From Lung Cancer!

Dr. Debnarayan Dutta 90% (10 ratings)
MD, MBBS
Oncologist, Ernakulam
CyberKnife Therapy of 24 Multiple Brain Metastases From Lung Cancer!
Brain metastases from systemic cancer are the most common type of intracranial neoplasm in adults, being almost 10 times more common than primary malignant brain tumors, which cause a significant burden on the management of patients with advanced cancer (1). The lungs represent one of the most frequent sources of metastases to the brain, with a probability of (36 64%) (3). Symptoms suffered by the patients include headaches, epilepsy, focal weakness, numbness or changes in mental status. The prognosis of patients with brain metastases is not optimistic and the median survival time is 1 2 months if left untreated. The 1-year survival rate has been recorded as 10.4% (4,5). The treatment of metastatic brain tumors is complex; not only due to being able to provide local control and improve neurological function, but also due to factors such as age, performance and systemic disease status and the size, volume, location and number of metastases at presentation CyberKnife is a robotic radiosurgery system with a linear particle accelerator (linac), which is coupled with real-time imaging to track and compensate for the patient s or target s motion. As a relatively non-invasive treatment modality, CyberKnife demonstrates certain benefits, including a more accurate target localization and improved dose delivery for the management of metastatic brain tumors that allows higher biologically effective dose delivery without increased incidence of toxicity. In the present case, the results for the treatment of multiple brain metastases after CyberKnife surgery with a 7 8 Gy marginal dose was promising. CyberKnife for metastatic brain tumors is an effective and safe method for reducing the marginal dose prescribed for multiple brain metastases and for minimizing the radiation-related neurotoxicities. In conclusion, CyberKnife, a focused, highly-targeted radiosurgery and fractionated radiotherapy is particularly useful for multiple brain metastases. CyberKnife provides the advantage of the management of local recurrence and a tolerable complication rate. Although the treatment of brain metastases has been performed with CyberKnife, the clinical significance and optimal dose fractionation scheme require further investigation. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
3230 people found this helpful

When is Lung Cancer Screening Recommended?

Dr. (Brig.) Ashok K. Rajput 90% (86 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Pulmonary Medicine, DNB - Pulmonary Medicine, MD - Internal Medicine, Diploma in Tuberculosis and Chest Diseases (DTCD)
Pulmonologist, Delhi
When is Lung Cancer Screening Recommended?
One of the major causes of death worldwide is lung cancer and it has been continuously affecting men and women accounting for about 150,000 deaths every year. Astonishingly, this figure is more than the combined death rate of the next three kinds of cancer, namely, colon, breast, and pancreatic cancer. As with any type of cancer, lung cancer to has increased life expectancy when diagnosed in the earlier stages. Thus, being informed about the causes and signs of this deadly disease becomes critical to treat the condition. The prevalent causes The major risk factor for lung cancer is smoking and second-hand or passive smoking. The risks are increased when the smokers are exposed to other potential risk factors such as getting exposed radon and asbestos. Who should be screened? As said earlier, cancer when diagnosed early has an increased success rate for a cure. Most people do not admit that they are vulnerable to lung cancer and this mindset has to be changed first and foremost. There are many people who would benefit from an early diagnosis. This is because the modern medical procedures are highly beneficial in changing the lives of the affected, for better. People, who are avid smokers or have a history of smoking, should always opt for lung cancer screening. In this regard, it should be kept in mind that people, who have stopped smoking for the last 15 years, should also be tested. People belonging to the age group of 55-80 and who have smoked in the past should also come under the screening procedure. Who should not be tested and why? Lung cancer is a ghastly disease, but still, it is advised that everyone should not be screened. These tests involve a lot of risks, which are indeed severe. The first risk is the false-positive test result wherein the test confirms that the patient is suffering from the disease, but he is not. The second risk is over-diagnosis where the cancer is at a benign stage, but there are unnecessary treatments considering it to be dangerous. Lastly, there is the risk of exposure to radiation. So, who is the right candidate? Now the question arises, who should be asked to screen themselves for lung cancer? Or, when is the ideal time to for screening? Because of the risks associated with CT scanning and the chances of doing more harm than good to people who are not prone to having lung cancer, the doctors recommend screening to only those people who are at high risk. Unfortunately, the symptoms of this disease are almost nil in number. To be an ideal candidate for screening, the patient should be in good health and should have a smoking habit as mentioned above.
13 people found this helpful

Lung Cancer - Ways You Can Prevent It!

Dr. Piyush Goel 92% (18 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Pulmonary Medicine, FNB-Critical Care and Medicine
Pulmonologist, Gurgaon
Lung Cancer - Ways You Can Prevent It!
Lung cancer is caused by disorderly growth of uncommon cells which line the air passage, usually starting off in a single or both lungs. The irregular cells do not mature into healthy lung tissue but instead divide speedily and result in tumor formation. Causes behind lung cancer: Smoking: This is considered as the most significant source of lung cancer. As reported by multiple researches and studies, cigarettes contain over 4,000 chemicals, most of which are cancer causing agents. Active smoking is one of the major causes of lung cancer but what may come to you as a surprise is that extended periods of passive smoking is also a major factor. Pollution and Exposure: There is high risk of lung cancer development when there is occupational exposure to pollution by chemicals released from industrial factories. Chemical exposure of this kind refers to prolonged exposure over quite few months or years. Some examples of these chemicals are asbestos, diesel exhaust among many others. Radioactive Gas: Radioactive gases naturally occur in small masses present in all soils and rocks. However, if you breathe in radioactive gases your lungs will damage and may cause the development of abnormal tissue which can cause lung cancer. Family history: A family history of cancer, especially lung cancer will also put you at high risk of developing lung cancer. Treatment methods of lung cancer: Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is a method in which drugs are injected through veins in your arm (intravenously) or orally or in a combination of both. These drugs kill cancer cells and help to stop it from spreading any further as well. Clinical Trials: These trials are experimental lung cancer treatment studies. You may have to try out this clinical therapy if other treatment methods aren t working and only if you are accepted into it. Surgery: A surgeon will help remove affected areas of the lung including cancerous tumors via surgery. The surgeon may need to remove parts of the lung along with the cancerous growth. In certain cases, one side of the lung may also be completely removed to stop the spread of the malignant tissue. Radiation Therapy: This is a therapy where high energy electromagnetic waves are passed through your body to destroy cancer cells with the help of high-powered energy beams. Can you prevent lung cancer? Nutrition -- A healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables may also help reduce your risk of lung cancer. Some evidence suggests that a diet high in fruits and vegetables may help protect against lung cancer in both smokers and non-smokers. But any positive effect of fruits and vegetables on lung cancer risk would be much less than the increased risk from smoking. Exercise -- Even moderate amounts of exercise can aid in lung cancer prevention. Studies suggest that even something as simple as gardening twice a week is associated with a lower risk of developing lung cancer. Smoking Habits -- If you stop smoking before a cancer develops, your damaged lung tissue gradually starts to repair itself. No matter what your age or how long you ve smoked, quitting may lower your risk of lung cancer and help you live longer. Avoidance of Air Pollution -- Long-term exposure to ambient air pollution and, in particular, particulate matter with absorbed polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and other genotoxic chemicals has been suspected to increase the risk for lung cancer. So, avoid air pollution as much as possible.
2825 people found this helpful

Five Signs That You Might Be Suffering From Early Stage Lung Cancer!

Dr. Piyush Goel 92% (18 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Pulmonary Medicine, FNB-Critical Care and Medicine
Pulmonologist, Gurgaon
Five Signs That You Might Be Suffering From Early Stage Lung Cancer!
The sound of the word cancer can be really traumatic and the fact the one may most of the time be unaware of this condition can be hard to handle. The same is the situation in the case of lung cancer as it does not produce any remarkable signs and symptoms in its early stages. However, there are ways in which you can be aware of this life-threatening ailment. Here are some tell-tale signs of an early stage of lung cancer: A stubborn cough: Beware when a cough is lingering on for long with no sign of relief. When a cough is related to cold and respiratory infection, it will subside within a week or so. But in case the cough is persistent, it can be a symptom of lung cancer. You should never dismiss a stubborn cough regardless of whether it is dry or producing mucus. You should talk to a doctor right away as he can check the lungs and may order for other tests to determine whether you have cancer. Breathing problems: Becoming easily winded or shortness of breath is considered the most prominent symptoms of lung cancers. This may occur when cancer blocks or inhibit the airway or when the fluid from the tumor starts building up in the chest. If you find that it is becoming difficult for you to breathe in doing tasks that you found easy before, you should not ignore it. Wheezing: When the airways become inflamed, blocked or constricted, then the lungs would produce a wheezing and whistling sound while breathing. It can be associated with a host of other causes that are easily treatable but could also be due to lung cancer. Headache: Even though headaches are considered one of the most common health problems, if there is a persistent headache, then it could be a sign that lung cancer has spread to the brain. It is important to understand that all headaches are not associated with the brain metastases. There are times when the lung cancer creates pressure on the superior vena cava which is in charge of supplying blood to the upper part of the brain. This pressure can also lead to headaches. Pain in the bone: If the lung cancer has spread to the other parts of the body, then it may produce mild pain in the back and other parts of the body. It tends to become worse during the night when you are resting on your back. But it can be difficult for a commoner to differentiate between muscle and bone pain. In case you are suffering from bone pain, you will see that it is becoming worse with movement. Moreover, lung cancer is also associated with pain in the shoulder, neck, and arm even though it is very rare. You should be very attentive to the pain and aches in the body and consult with an expert at the earliest. You can easily combat lung cancer if diagnosed and treatment is started in its early stages.
2894 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

I am smoking from 3 years daily 3 to 4 cigrate. Is there any chances of getting oral or lung cancer?

Dr. Dinesh Singh 90% (55 ratings)
MBBS, MD-Radio Therapy
Oncologist, Ghaziabad
Dear lybrate-user smoking is associated with approximately 50% of total cancers not only oral or lung cancers don't take chances leave it immediately.
1 person found this helpful

In the CT chest scan they found ground glass opacities in lower libs of the both lungs. And the possibility are INFECTIVE ETIOLOGY/PNEUMONIA/pulmonary HEMORRHAGE. Is it leads to lung cancer?

M.D - Radiotherapy
Oncologist, Mohali
Infection can't leads to cancer it can be cured. You ll go for biopsy to check whether that lesion is cancer or not.

My dad is suffering from lungs cancer. Due to which the fluid is filled in the lung and the gland in the other lung. The cytology report suggest there is no malignant gland. But the gland size is increased to 5 cm. And we came to know abt it just a 15 days before. Doctors r suggesting for chemotherapy and once fluid Is dried then for operation please suggest us regarding this.

MBBS, MD, CCEPC, FISSP, OBS, NFPM
Oncologist, Delhi
What is the stage of cancer? Stage decides the treatment. Pain is the most common problem in stage 3 or 4. please remember Pain definitely can be controlled / treated at any stage of cancer. Pain relief needs dedicated pain management treatment usually offered by Pain specialist doctors. ACCN is proud to have one of the best pain specialist doctors of India. Pain management and cancer treatment goes side by side. Demand a pain free cancer treatment. You can further discuss it in detail with me on private chat. Stage 3 or 4 is difficult to treat completely.

I had a cold 4 plus weeks ago, I feel a little better but I still have a productive cough and some nasal congestion. I wake up with a sore throat in the morning and green nasal mucus. I am 27 and I smoke I had a clear chest x ray I am very concerned that I have lung cancer .

Dr. Shashidhar 91% (4385 ratings)
BHMS
Homeopath, Secunderabad
Please take charge of your self ( especially when such situations happen - which can impress your mind to take bold steps and adapt a healthy lifestyle ). Do not worry, but be courageous to reform the habits. Take the help of the doctor to examine you and speak about your concerns. Your doctor can also help you to deal with this smoking habit. You can set your priorities and start working towards those goals. Let exercise be the stress buster for you. Do all the healthy things ( follow healthy habits with consistency ) and feel better and confident soon. Revert with any queries or doubts.
1 person found this helpful

Hello actually my brother in law is suffering from lung cancer treatment is going on in TATA Medical Center kolkata under Dr. on last visit he suggested that (brother in law) for surgery so you know what we lay man are always stay away from any surgery so that's why we want a second opinion.

Dr. Kumar Sambhav 87% (1012 ratings)
MBBS
General Physician, Delhi
Lung cancer is very fast spreading cancer, if cancer is limited only to lungs ; then its better to go for surgery as once it involve other body parts it may get very lethal .it is best advisable to go for surgery, maintain a healthy protein diet.
2 people found this helpful

Health Quizzes

Lung Cancer - Things That Put You At Risk!

Dr. Rajesh Swarnakar 85% (10 ratings)
Diploma in Tuberculosis and Chest Diseases (DTCD), Board Certified in Pulmonary Medicine, FCCP - Pulmonary Medicine
Pulmonologist, Nagpur
Passive smoking causes lung cancer. True or False? Take this quiz to know now!
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