Important Facts About Lung Cancer You Should Know
Lung cancer has been divided based upon the morphology of the cells look under a microscope. The building blocks of the body are cells. With the need of the body to keep it healthy cells grow, divide, and proliferate. Sometimes the cells will divide among themselves, even though there is no need to multiply, and the mass of extra cells forms a tumor or cancer. An uncontrolled and rapid growth of lung cells is called lung cancer. The two forms are small cell and non-small cell lung cancer.
Treatment differs with each type of the cancer in lungs since it spreads in different ways. Non-small cell lung cancer, which spreads and grows slowly, is the most common of the two. Large cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma are the three major types of this cancer. Small cell lung cancer, also known as oat cell cancer, is not so common. This type of cancer spreads rapidly and may reach different organs of the body.
Currently, this cancer has been accredited as the deadliest form of cancer in many developed nations including USA where 170,000 people die from the disease each year. Lung cancer takes years together to develop even though lung changes begin almost immediately upon exposure to carcinogens.
The main etiology is the inhalation of carcinogens through cigarette smoke by both smokers and non-smokers. Smoking along with an environmental exposure to randon compounds the risk of this cancer. Apart from this, it is considered to be an occupational hazard among the people who are working in asbestos industry, which is termed as mesothelioma cancer in lungs.
Lung cancer mostly affects people over fifty and those also having the habit of smoking for quite a long period. Depending upon the location of the tumor in the lungs the symptoms vary. Chronic cough, chest pain, wheezing, and recurring lung infections are some common symptoms.
Diagnosis of this cancer is based on your symptoms, smoking history, medical history, earlier family history and exposure to occupational and environmental substances. The confirmative diagnosis can be performed with a chest x-ray. To determine the stage of the cancer different tests are available to diagnose small cell or non-small lung cancer. Medical professionals tend to diagnose whether the cancer is localized in the lung or has spread to other parts of your body.
Quitting smoking is the best way to prevent the occurrence of cancer in lungs. You may gradually decrease your risk of the cancer in lungs over 10 to 15 years as your lungs recover, if you quit smoking at an early age.
Treatment of cancer in lungs may be achieved by chemotherapy (cancer cells can be eliminated by medications), radiation therapy (eliminating the cancer cells by high-dose x-rays or other high-energy rays), or surgery (cancer removal). Treatment of the advanced stage is found to be difficult with moderate success rate in early stage treatment of cancer in lungs.