How to Detect Lung Cancer
If you are worried that you may have lung cancer, I would like you to first relax. Understand that detecting lung cancer is a long process, and along the way there are many other reasons for everything that seems abnormal. If you fear that you have detected lung cancer in you or a close loved one, please do not panic, let the doctor make the call.
The first thing I would like to cover is your emotions. I have had many family members who have been tested for lung cancer recently, and even though they are at high risk and they had all the symptoms, they did not have lung cancer. So please, please do not worry until the doctor has diagnosed you with lung cancer. It is not official until then.
If you are experiencing the following symptoms then you will want to tell your doctor right away and get in for a CT scan. The symptoms are: a new, consistent cough, “smoker’s cough” changes, coughing up blood, shortness of breath, chest pain, wheezing, and hoarseness. You also will want to talk to your doctor about any risk factors that you may have.
The CT scan will be able to tell if anything is abnormal around or on your lungs. You may have a nodule or you may have nothing. Many patients will be scared to no end when they have a nodule on their lung, but relax and know that there are many possibilities besides a tumor. For example, my mother’s ended up being fatty tissue, while my grandmother’s was calcium build up.
If you have been told you have a nodule on your lung, you doctor can run various tests to see if it is other possibilities. If it does come back as a tumor after this test, then it is still not time to worry. The next step is a biopsy exam. A biopsy will be able to tell if it is cancerous cells or just a tumor. You are not officially diagnosed with lung cancer until the biopsy results come back as cancerous, and that is very rare compared to the number of people who are tested.
If your results came back as cancerous, then the best of luck to you. Join support groups, and evaluate your life so you are able to share your experience with others and your children. How would you want them to prevent lung cancer? Talk to your doctor about the variety of treatment methods and about how severe your cancer is. The early your stage, the greater chance you have of removing all of the cancer cells.
If your test results came back good, then congratulations, but do not forget this experience and still try to limit your risk factors and prevent yourself from developing lung cancer along with other cancers. Keep yourself healthy and your family healthy. Exercise regularly together. If any of you are at high risk, then work extra hard and bring about a greater awareness in your children about how smoking and drinking can harm them.