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Last Updated: September 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 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.

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.

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...
2 people found this helpful

Sir mere father ko liver cancer hua hain or wo lungs ir gall balldar me poch gya h kya app meri help mrenge mujhe kya krna hain.

Sorry to know about your father. My guess from your information might be GallBladder Cancer spreading to Liver and Lungs than the other way. Kindly discuss the case with a Radiation or Medical Oncologist for further guidance.
1 person found this helpful

I have a lung cancer stage 3. Nowadays I take chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Can I eat fish, mutton or chicken during treatment.

You can take those things but avoid hot, spicy,stale and hard food stuff. Better avoid fruits with thin outer peel. Contact your treating Oncologist for guidance from time to time.
2 people found this helpful

My father has 4th stage lung cancer. Recently he had 1st cycle of chemo. But after chemo he is vomiting. I want to know is it normal and how long will it last. Please help.

Sorry to know about about your father. Usually most Chemotherapy causes vomiting and it lasts for some days which varies among people but that can be helped with medicines. Please consult the treating Oncologist for guidance.
1 person found this helpful

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Written By
MD - Radiothrapy,MBBS
Oncology
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