Lung cancer causes about 27 percent of all the cancer-related deaths, according to International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC). A significant increase in lung cancer cases was seen in the last four years.

Lung cancer

This type of cancer is the most common type of cancer and has been in the media a lot more than other types of cancers, seeing as smoking has been implicated in quite a lot of the cases. This cancer is indeed caused by smoking, not just smoking yourself, but also inhaling tobacco smoke constantly, also known as passive smoking can be dangerous. Our genetic makeup can increases our predisposition to cancers, not to mention that most of the Indian population are farmers or farmers with exposure to pesticides, insecticides, asbestos, dust, fumes etc.

Basically, the symptoms include coughing up phlegm with blood, wheezing, chest pain, shortness of breath, weight loss, fatigue and a loss of appetite. There can also be shoulder pain, swelling in the neck and trouble swallowing.

Quiz

This (November) being Lung Cancer Awareness Month, here is a little quiz to see your awareness about lung cancer?

  1. How do we diagnose lung cancer?
  2. Typically, when do the symptoms being apparent as those of lung cancer?
  3. Does lung cancer only affect the lungs?
  4. How to treat lung cancer?

Answers

  1. Chest X-ray and sputum cytology, where the sputum undergoes analysis for cancer cells. Helical CT scan is a better option to diagnose lung cancer.
  2. The symptoms aren’t apparent early on. They are similar to other lung diseases. Therefore, any lung symptoms must be checked up immediately.
  3. No, it can spread to lymph nodes and through the chest in stages 3 and above. In stage 4, it can even spread to other organs like heart and liver.
  4. It depends on the type of cancer. Generally, surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy can be used alone or in different combinations.

Lung cancer can accelerate quickly and is difficult to diagnose. Be certain to visit a doctor as soon as any symptoms are evident. An earlier diagnosis and treatment leads to a better chance of cancer removal.

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