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Lung Cancer - Types, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment & Prevention

Cancer is a disease in which cells in the body grow out of control.

Lung Cancer - Types, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment & Prevention

What is lung cancer?

Cancer is a disease in which cells in the body grow out of control. When cancer begins within the lungs, it is known as lung cancer. It starts in the lungs and may spread to lymph nodes or various other organs in the body, for example the brain. In India, lung cancer constitutes 6.9 per cent of all new cancer cases. It is most common in the males. People who smoke have the hazard of lung cancer, even though lung cancer can also occur in humans who have by no means smoked. The danger of lung cancer increases with the duration of smoking. If you quit smoking, you can significantly reduce your chances of lung cancer.

Types of Lung Cancer:

1. Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC)- The main subtypes of NSCLC are adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and large cell carcinoma. These subtypes, which start from different types of lung cells are grouped together as NSCLC because their treatment is often similar.

2.Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC)- About 10% to 15% of all lung cancers are SCLC. This form of lung cancers has a tendency to develop and spread faster than NSCLC. About 70% of people with SCLC will have cancer that has already spread at the time they are diagnosed. This cancer grows quickly, but tends to respond well to chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Who is at risk for lung cancer?

Lung cancer can affect anyone, but there are certain factors that raise your risk of getting it:

  • * Smoking. It is one of the major risk factors. The earlier in life you start smoking, the longer you smoke, and the more cigarettes you smoke per day, the greater is your risk of lung cancer. Tobacco smoking reasons approximately 9 out of 10 instances of lung cancers in men and approximately eight out of 10 cases of lung cancers in women. If you have stop smoking, your risk could decrease than in case you had kept smoking. But you will still have a higher risk than people who never smoke.
  • * Secondhand smoke so called passive smoking, which is the combination of smoke that comes from a cigarette and smoke breathed out by a smoker. When you inhale it, you are come across to the same cancer-causing agents as smokers, although in lesser amount.
  • * Air pollution
  • * Family history of lung cancer
  • * Being exposed to arsenic, chromium, beryllium, nickel, soot, or tar in the workplace
  • * Being exposed to radiation, such as from
    • - Radiation therapy to the breast or chest for other illnesses
    • - Radon in the home or workplace
    • - Certain imaging tests such as CT scans
  • * HIV infection >

Symptoms: -

Sometimes lung cancer does not cause any signs or symptoms. It can be detected while a chest x-ray is done for another condition.

If you do have symptoms, they may include

  • * Chest pain or discomfort
  • * A cough that doesn't go away or gets worse over time
  • * Trouble breathing
  • * Wheezing
  • * Blood in sputum (mucus coughed up from the lungs)
  • * Hoarseness
  • * Loss of appetite
  • * Weight loss for no known reason
  • * Fatigue
  • * Trouble swallowing
  • * Swelling in the face and/or veins in the neck


Parameters to make a diagnosis: /p>

  • * A medical history, which includes asking about your symptoms
  • * A family history
  • * A physical exam
  • * Imaging tests, such as a chest x-ray or chest CT scan
  • * Lab tests, including tests of your blood and sputum
  • * A biopsy of the lung or lymph nodes

If you do have lung cancer, your provider will do other tests to find out how far it has spread through the lungs, lymph nodes, and the rest of the body. This is called staging. Knowing the kind and degree of lung cancer you have got allows your doctor decide what form of treatment you want.


The treatments for lung cancer include:

  • * Surgery
  • * Chemotherapy
  • * Radiation therapy
  • * Immunotherapy
  • * Endoscopic stent placement- An endoscope is a skinny, tube-like instrument used to take a look at tissues inside the frame. It can be used to place a tool referred to as a stent. A stent is often placed to prevent the artery from closing up again.

Treatment for small cell & Non-small cell remains combination of above modalities in different sequence.


Avoiding the risk factors may help to prevent lung cancer:

  • * Quitting smoking-If you don't smoke, don't start.
  • * Lower your exposure to hazardous substances at work<
  • * Lower your exposure to radon- Radon tests can show whether your home has high levels of radon. You can purchase a test kit by yourself or hire some professional to do the test.

Cancer care has experienced a paradigm shift and is all about comprehensive care, which requires dedication, commitment, expertise and highly skilled doctors. The Oncology team at Aakash Healthcare Super Specialty Hospital brings together the brightest minds in surgical & Medical Oncology and provide the best care to the patients. The team specializes in treating various cancers such as brain, breast or lung through the advanced procedures like chemotherapy, surgery.


Dr. Vikas Jain,
Associate Consultant

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