Lung Cancer Symptoms – Disease and Treatment Options
The picture of lung disease is that of no hope. Lung cancer affects millions of Americans and others around the world. Understanding the symptoms, treatments, causes such as smoking, and signs will help to increase awareness of this debilitating lung disease. This section of the website is devoted to helping to promote awareness of this disease.
Just what is Lung cancer? It’s a condition in which cancerous cells grow uncontrollably and reproduce cause devastating effects on the lungs. Healthy cells are replaced by abnormal cells that turn into tumors that destroy the lungs.
There are tow main types of lung disease. They are non-small cell which current accounts for 80% of diagnosed cases, and small cell making up the remaining 20%. Lung cancer usually always starts in just one lung. If left untreated, it can spread to other vital organs of the body as well such as the lymph nodes, the brain, bones, and liver just to name a few.
Although over eighty percent of patients develop lung disease due to smoking, this is not the all-inclusive cause. Studies have shown that many environmental factors influence the probability of contracting lung cancer. Such factors include environmental pollution, toxic gas emissions, and exposure to carcinogens such as in asbestos and other toxic inhalants.
Small cell is most often caused by smoking tobacco. The early symptoms and signs of this form of lung disease may show up as persistent coughing that gradually increases over time, sputum changes in color and quantity, excessive wheezing, loss of appetite and chronic fatigue. Other related symptoms could include rapid weight loss, unexplained back pain, and swelling in the face and neck.
Like all cancers, early detection is the key to increasing the survival rate. Doctors may use a variety of tests to diagnose cancer cells in the lungs. These include a physical examination accompanied with advanced image scanning of the chest and lungs.
The following tests may be used to diagnose lung cancer: CT scans (takes 2 dimensional x-ray pictures of the lungs), chest x-rays of the lung cavity, MRI or magnetic Resonance Imaging, PET scan or Positron Emission Tomography which uses cellular reactivity to sugar, and a biopsy which is removing part of the tissue for further microscopic examination.
Other no so intrusive tests may incorporate the use of a bronchoscop where the physician is able see the lungs and surrounding areas through a small hollow tube that magnifies the images, and sputum cytology – where a sample phlegm is taken and analyzed with a high powered microscope for abnormal cell growth and tissue.
Doctors have a variety of methods in lung caner treatment. They include the use of various conventional medical practices such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiological therapy. Once a diagnosis of confirmed, only then will your doctor design a treatment plan that will be most effective. This all depends on your current health, how advanced the cancer is, and on whether the cancer has mastasized.
The way to protect yourself is to increase your awareness by visiting information sites that contain pictures, photos, and new articles about this disease. Prevention is the key, and if you are beyond that, then early detection holds the greatest chance of your survival rate. Your may want to look into alternative treatments as well which will be available from this site with promising results.