Early Detection Of Lung Cancer Gives The Best Chance Of Survival
Lung cancer is generally divided into two main categories; small cell and non small cell. The small cell lung cancer is further divided into several additional subcategories. The vast majority (approximately 80 percent) of people diagnosed have non small cell lung cancer.
Symptoms of non small cell lung cancer include breathlessness, chest pain, coughing up blood, fatigue, fever and weight loss, and is usually diagnosed by imaging, lung biopsy, and/or blood tests. These symptoms normally do not manifest themselves until the disease has become widespread, making the treatment much more difficult.
Depending on which type of non small cell lung cancer is present, the stage it is in, the exact location of the cancerous mass, the number and type of symptoms present and the overall patient health will determine the outcome of the treatment.
If the disease is caught early, it can be treated by surgery and the odds of defeating it are pretty good. Once it spreads to the surrounding chest tissues and the lymph nodes, chemotherapy and radiotherapy are utilized for treatment. The five year survival rate for non small cell lung cancer, if it is caught in the early stages, is greater than 50 percent. However, if it has reached the advanced stages, the survival rate drops to a depressing two percent.
The good news, non small cell lung cancer is not as aggressive as small cell lung cancer, if a person has been diagnosed with that, they are lucky to survive two to four months.
Approximately 25 percent of the time, there are no symptoms in the patient, and the cancer is detected during a routine screening. However, in 75 percent of the cases, there are symptoms that are present.
So if you, or a loved one, have any of the common symptoms, shortness of breath, coughing up blood, fatigue, chest pain or unexplained weight loss, schedule an appointment with your family physician, he can run the necessary tests to determine what you are suffering from. Remember, the odds of defeating this disease are much better the earlier that you are diagnosed.