Lung Cancer: Types, Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Here today we will be discussing one of the types of cancer that is lung cancer and its types as well. Along with it, we will discuss the causes and symptoms of lung cancer & how one can be prevented from it.

So, before going any further, let us know about

Some Facts about Lung Cancer

It is one of the types of cancer and causes of deaths of both male and females all over the world.

Cigarette smoking is the major causes of lung cancer and is mostly found in its advance level in people about 60’s.

High consumption of tobacco and passive smoking leads to lung cancer.

Lung cancer has two types which spread differently and grow, one is small cell lung cancer (also called as SCLC) and another is non-small cell lung cancers (also called as NSCLC).

Stage to lung cancer is estimated or approved on the basis of this fact that how much cancer has spread in the body.

Lung cancer treatment may involve various combinations of targeted therapy, surgery, immunotherapy, and radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and some latest methods may also be part of this.

Mostly the prognosis of this disease comes out to be poor because almost every time it is caught when in an advanced stage, in starting there are very less chances of recognizing lung cancer.

There are only 5 years with the patient of lung cancer and that too only 55% chances of survival. This is also applicable only on the young generation people, old age people get only about 5% of chances of survival when in an advanced stage.

Precautions from smoking is one of the best ways to make yourself save from this disease.

What is Lung Cancer?

Lung cancer is just relatable to any type of normal cancer only, which is because of abnormality of the cells and this what gives birth to cancer.

Our body balances the amount and growth of cells in the body, where it only makes new cells when they are really needed and eliminates old cells in a way or other.

When this balance is disturbed and a number of new cells are made, even when they are not needed then they form a mass which is termed as tumor. Tumor may be malignant or benign, and this is what referred as Cancer.

Both these tumors have different behaviour with the body, benign tumors can be removed by our body itself and does not need any help while malignant tumor is capable of spreading aggressively in whole body.

It forms new tumor cells and takes its place in various body parts, and can also make its way in bloodstream, this is called as metastasis. When these cells make their way to lungs, they form cancer and this is a life threatening problem which is also counted in one of the most difficult types of cancers to treat.

Not only this, but there are chances of cancer to spread in various other parts of body too. Most common parts are brain, liver and bones can also get affected by the lung metastasis.

How common the Lung Cancer Is?

Lung cancer is one the most common types of cancer and also the type with which many people come in contact if they have cancer. Hence there are some future estimated of this problem from various medical institutions.

Cancer Society in America has estimated that in this year (2018) there may be around 244,000 new cases of lung cancer in the United States, out of which over 154,000 deaths were registered because of lung cancer.

Also, as said before, lung cancer is a disease of elder age and is mostly found in people who are in the late 60’s. Around 70% of the cases of cancer are reported of the people with age more than 60. And less than three percent cases are found in the people under the age of 45 years.

Lung cancer wasn’t a common disease as prior to the 1930s but it increased dramatically when the intake of tobacco and smoking came in the trend. Many countries need awareness about this disease and the side effects of smoking and the danger level of this disease as well.

In many countries like the United States, this is reported as the breast cancer in women and is completely relatable to lung cancer in men.

non small cell lung cancer

What are the causes of lung cancer?

Intake of tobacco and smoking is the most common cause of lung cancer. This is treated after analysing the smoking history of a person and how many cigarettes a person consumes in a day, multiplied to the number of years.

Higher the amount of cigarettes in aday and long the history of consumption, higher will be the chances of lung cancer.

Pipe and cigar smoking is also one of the reasons of lung cancer although it is not strong as cigarette intake. Cigarette intake is 25 times more dangerous than pipe and cigar smoking.

Tobacco smoke has more than 4,000 chemical compounds in itout of which many come out to be cancer-causing compounds. There are two primary cancer causing chemicals found in tobacco smoke, these are called as polycyclic aromatic and nitrosamines hydrocarbons.

Passive Smoking (this is not actually smoking but being present in the place where someone is smoking). This is a dangerous one, you may not smoke directly but if you are regularly visit or live in a place where people around you smoke, you become a passive smoker and develop a chance to have lung cancer.

Some researches show that non-smokers who are in touch with the smokers increase 24% chances of lung cancer. Whereas smokers develop 50-60% risk of cancer.

Exposure of the radon gas is also a cause of lung cancer while 12% people dealing with this problem tend to die with the radon gas intake. Radon gas usually arises from soil and enter in the homes through pipes, other openings and from gaps as well. Concomitant smoking increases the most chances of cancer because of radon intake.

Because of certain lung diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which is associated to increased risk of lung cancer. Excluding the radon intake.

Prior history of lung cancer is also a cause of this problem. People who have healed from the problem tend to develop more chances of having this problem again. Small cell lung cancer treated patients have 5-6% more chances to develop the problem again than that of a normal person, whereas non-small cell lung cancer healed patients have 1-2% high chances.

Air pollution in the megacities is increasing day by day the various harmful gases coming out from the vehicles, power plants and industries have increased the chances of lung cancer as well. Every year 1-2% deaths due to cancer are because of this air pollution, and sadly this value is increasing day by day.

What are the types of lung cancer?

There are two types of lung cancer, based on the side of tumor cells examined under the microscopic levels. One is small cell lung cancer (generally called as SCLC) and other is called as non small cell lung cancer (generally called as NSCLC).

small cell lung cancer (SCLC ) is about 20% of all types of lung cancers and is rapidly increasing type of cancer, the cells are dangerous and easily spread in many other parts of the body& are usually come in recognition only after they have extremely spread in many parts. This type is strongly related to cigarette smoking.

non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) are the most common types of lung cancers and are like 80% of the lung cancers are non small cell lung cancer. These are further divided to some specific types based on the types of tumor cells found:

Adenocarcinomas: Adenocarcinomas are one of the most common type of NSCLC. These comprise up to 50% of NSCLC. These are also being associated with excessive smoking like other lung cancers, it is being observed in non-smokers as well. Mostly the adenocarcinomas arise in the peripheral and outer areas of the lungs.

Bronchioloalveolar carcinoma: This is a subtype of adenocarcinoma lung cancer which quickly spreads in many other parts of the body and is normally found in the outer parts and near walls of the lungs.

Squamous cell carcinomas: These were formerly much usual than the adenocarcinomas but at present, they are about 30% of NSCLC. Squamous cell carcinomas are also called as epidermoid carcinomas.

Large cell carcinomas: this is least common type of the NSCLC, it is sometimes referred to the undifferentiated carcinomas.

Mixture of many different types of NSCLC are also seen.

There are some more types of lung cancer which are very rare than small cell lung cancer SCLC or NSCLC. These types are counted in only 5%-10% of lung cancers.

Bronchial carcinoids is another name of a type of lung cancer that is counted for only 5% of lung cancers.

These tumors are being given certain terms and called as lung neuroendocrine tumors. These are generally 3-4 cm or may be much smaller than this also. These most commonly occur and found in people who are under 40 years of age.

Just like other cancers, these cancers from the primary tumors in body are able to spread in one’s body through various mediums like lymphatic node system, blood stream and may also enter from other organs nearby these cells.

What are the symptoms of lung cancer?

Symptoms of lung cancer depend upon the type of cancer, stage of lung cancer and also on the basis of fact that how much the tumor has spread. Symptoms and signs of lung cancer are not that easy to find and catch, not only for normal people but for the doctors itself.

As this disease does not cause any kind to pain or drastic changes in the body when in initial stage. But still a person may experience the following problems:

No symptoms: In about one froth of the cases, cancer is discovered through the chest x-rays or with the CT scan, there are some round tumors that may look like coins. Some patients often reported as fine and with no cancer after the discovery as well, hence it is mandatory to get checked up by a good physician.

Symptoms related to cancer: Some time the growth of these cells takes place in many sensitive areas of body which further creates a problem in breathing, you may feel chest pain, wheezing, coughing up blood and shoulder pain.

Symptoms related to metastasis: Cancer that spreads to bones can sometime cause abnormal pains in the sensitive areas of your body. Cancer that has made its way to brain can cause problems like headache, blurred vision, loss of sense in body and also unnatural weakness.

Paraneoplastic symptoms: Some cancers produce hormone-like substances in the body by cancer tumor cells. These are mostly seen when someone is suffering from SCLC type cancer.

Non-specific symptoms: Some non-specific symptoms are also seen in many types of cancers including the lung cancer as well. Unnatural Psychological symptoms like depression, including mood swings are seen sometimes.

What specialists treat lung cancer?

Lung cancer treatment is not the work of a single specialist to handle, it requires a team work and mutual effort.

Sometime it is surgery that is able to treat the problem and thoracic surgeons also sometimes required. Sometimes radiation and regular therapies are required to treat lung cancer.

Although this is a long term process but for the initial stages, this is recommended by some professionals. Other professionals like palliative care and pain specialists may also be included in the treatment sometimes.

What are the possible treatments of lung cancer?

This is also purely dependent on the type of cancer you are dealing with and the level of cancer and tumor spread in your body. There are possibilities of surgeries, various kind of therapy treatments, it may also include radiation therapy, and this is done when a patient refuses to go for surgery.

This is all about the lung cancer and facts related to the same. This is important to visit a right doctor and start the treatment of this problem as soon as possible.

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