Lung Cancer Treatment in India:
Cancer is a disease in which cells in the body grow out of control. Lung cancer is cancer that starts in the lungs.
Lung cancer begins in the lungs and may spread to lymph nodes or other organs in the body, such as the brain. Cancer from other organs also may spread to the lungs. When cancer cells spread from one organ to another, they are called metastases.
What are Lung cancer symptoms?
Different people have different symptoms for lung cancer. Some people have symptoms related to the lungs. Some people whose lung cancer has spread to other parts of the body (metastasized) have symptoms specific to that part of the body
Lung cancer symptoms may include—
- Coughing that gets worse or doesn’t go away.
- Chest pain.
- Shortness of breath.
- Coughing up blood.
- Feeling very tired all the time.
- Weight loss with no known cause.
What are the causes and risk factors for lung cancer?
Cigarette smoking is the number one risk factor for lung cancer. In the United States, cigarette smoking is linked to about 80% to 90% of lung cancer deaths. Using other tobacco products such as cigars or pipes also increases the risk for lung cancer. Tobacco smoke is a toxic mix of more than 7,000 chemicals. Many are poisons. At least 70 are known to cause cancer in people or animals. People who smoke cigarettes are 15 to 30 times more likely to get lung cancer or die from lung cancer than people who do not smoke. Even smoking a few cigarettes a day or smoking occasionally increases the risk of lung cancer. The more years a person smokes and the more cigarettes smoked each day, the more risk goes up.
Passive smoking or the inhalation of tobacco smoke by non-smokers who share living or working quarters with smokers, also is an established risk factor for the development of lung cancer. Research has shown that nonsmokers who reside with a smoker have a 24% increase in risk for developing lung cancer when compared with nonsmokers who do not reside with a smoker.
What causes lung cancer?
Anyone can get lung cancer, but 90 percent of lung cancer cases are the result of smoking.
From the moment you inhale smoke into your lungs, it starts damaging your lung tissue. The lungs can repair the damage, but continued exposure to smoke makes it increasingly difficult for the lungs to keep up the repair.
Once cells are damaged, they begin to behave abnormally, increasing the likelihood of developing lung cancer. Small-cell lung cancer is almost always associated with heavy smoking. When you stop smoking, you lower your risk of lung cancer over time.
Breathing in other hazardous substances, especially over a long period of time, can also cause lung cancer. A type of lung cancer called mesothelioma is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos.
Other substances that can cause lung cancer are:
- Some petroleum products
Inherited genetic mutations may make you more likely to develop lung cancer, especially if you smoke or are exposed to other carcinogens.
Types of lung cancer
There are two major types of Lung Cancer based on the appearance of lung cancer cells under the microscope. The two general types of lung cancer include:
Small cell lung cancer: Small cell lung cancer occurs almost exclusively in heavy smokers and is less common than non-small cell lung cancer.
Non-small cell lung cancer: Non-small cell lung cancer is an umbrella term for several types of lung cancers that behave in a similar way. Non-small cell lung cancers include squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma and large cell carcinoma.
What are the stages of Lung Cancer?
Cancer stages tell how far the cancer has spread and help guide treatment.
The chance of successful or curative treatment is much higher when lung cancer is diagnosed and treated in the early stages, before it spreads. Because lung cancer doesn’t cause obvious symptoms in the earlier stages, diagnosis often comes after it has spread.
Non-small cell lung cancer has four main stages:
- Stage 1: Cancer is found in the lung, but it has not spread outside the lung.
- Stage 2: Cancer is found in the lung and nearby lymph nodes.
- Stage 3: Cancer is in the lung and lymph nodes in the middle of the chest.
- Stage 3A: Cancer is found in lymph nodes, but only on the same side of the chest where cancer first started growing.
- Stage 3B: Cancer has spread to lymph nodes on the opposite side of the chest or to lymph nodes above the collarbone.
- Stage 4: Cancer has spread to both lungs, into the area around the lungs, or to distant organs.
Small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) has two main stages. In the limited stage, cancer is found in only one lung or nearby lymph nodes on the same side of the chest.
The extensive stage means cancer has spread:
- throughout one lung
- to the opposite lung
- to lymph nodes on the opposite side
- to fluid around the lung
- to bone marrow
- to distant organs
How is Lung cancer diagnosed?
Doctors use a wide range of diagnostic procedures and tests to diagnose lung cancer. These include the following:
Imaging tests: An abnormal mass can be seen on X-ray, MRI, CT, and PET scans. These scans produce more detail and find smaller lesions.
- Sputum cytology: If you produce phlegm when you cough, microscopic examination can determine if cancer cells are present.
A biopsy can determine if tumor cells are cancerous. A tissue sample can be obtained by:
- Bronchoscopy: While under sedation, a lighted tube is passed down your throat and into your lungs, allowing closer examination.
- Mediastinoscopy: The doctor makes an incision at the base of the neck. A lighted instrument is inserted and surgical tools are used to take samples from lymph nodes. It’s usually performed in a hospital under general anesthesia.
- Needle: Using imaging tests as a guide, a needle is inserted through the chest wall and into the suspicious lung tissue. Needle biopsy can also be used to test lymph nodes.
If lung cancer is diagnosed, other tests are done to find out how far it has spread through the lungs, lymph nodes, and the rest of the body. This process is called staging. The type and stage of lung cancer tells doctors what kind of treatment you need. Lung cancer is treated in several ways, depending on the type of lung cancer and how far it has spread. People with non-small cell lung cancer can be treated with surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy, or a combination of these treatments. People with small cell lung cancer are usually treated with radiation therapy and chemotherapy.