Lung Cancer : Causes-Symptoms-Diagnosis-Treatment


 What is Lung Cancer?

Lung cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the lungs. When you breathe, your lungs are two spongy organs in your chest that take in oxygen and release carbon dioxide.

What is Lung Cancer?
Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death worldwide.

Smokers have a greater chance of developing lung cancer, though lung cancer can occur in nonsmokers as well. The greater the number of cigarettes smoked and the longer the smoking habit is sustained, the greater the risk of developing lung cancer. If you stop smoking even after smoking for many years, your risk of developing lung cancer will be significantly reduced. Quit smoking to reduce your chances of developing lung cancer.

  1. Respiratory system
  1. Lungs

Medical terms

  • Lung cancer is cancer that forms in tissues of the respiratory organ, sometimes within the cells that line the air passages. It's the leading cause of cancer deaths in men and women.

  • There are 2 main sorts: tiny cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. These two types grow otherwise and are treated differently. Non-small cell lung cancer is an additional common type.

  • Cancer may be a malady within which cells in the body grow out of control. Once cancer starts in the lungs, it is known as lung cancer.

  • carcinoma begins in the lungs and should unfold to bodily fluid nodes or different organs within the body, akin to the brain. Cancer from other organs conjointly may spread to the lungs. Once cancer cells spread from one organ to another, they're known as metastases.

  • respiratory organ cancers sometimes are classified into 2 main sorts called tiny cell and non-small cell (including glandular cancer and epithelial cell carcinoma). These sorts of carcinoma grow otherwise and are treated differently. Non-small cell lung cancer is more common than small cell lung cancer. For more information, visit the National Cancer Institute’s respiratory organ Cancer.external icon.

  • Carcinoma is the third most typicalTrusted supply canker sore and therefore the main causeTrusted supply of cancer-related deaths within the United States. per the yankee Cancer Society (ACS), it's most common in males, and in the U.S., Black males are around 12% more likely to develop it than white males.

  • Smoking may be a major risk factor, though not everybody who develops respiratory organ cancer contains a history of smoking.

  • Carcinoma is fatal, however effective diagnoses and coverings are up the outlook.

  • Lung cancer is most commonly associated with cigarette smoking However other factors have been implicated in the development of lung cancer including exposure to asbestos and radon gas as well as working in certain professions like mining or being a hairdresser or barkeeper Screening for lung cancer can include undergoing an annual low-dose CT scan for people at high risk for the disease having a chest X-ray every year and talking to your doctor about quitting smoking.

Symptoms Lung cancer

Lung cancer usually does not cause signs or symptoms in its earliest stages. When lung cancer is in its early stages, Signs and symptoms may only occur later on.

Some signs and symptoms of lung cancer may include:

  • A new cough that doesn't go away

  • Coughing up blood, even a small amount

  • Shortness of breath

  • Chest pain

  • Hoarseness

  • Losing weight without trying

  • Bone pain

  • Headache

When to see a doctor

If you have any persistent signs or symptoms that concern you, make an appointment with your doctor.

If you smoke and have been unable to quit, see your doctor. Your doctor may be able to recommend strategies for quitting smoking such as counseling, medications, and nicotine replacement products.

Causes Lung cancer

Anyone can get lung cancer, but 90 percent of lung cancer cases are linked to smoking.

Smoke damages  lung tissue from the  second you inhale it. Once lung cells are damaged, they begin to behave abnormally. This increases your risk of lung cancer.

Small cell lung cancer is almost always associated with heavy smoking.Quitting smoking allows your lungs  to heal, lowering your risk of lung cancer.

You can also increase your risk of lung cancer by breathing in hazardous substances such as:

  • radon

  • asbestos

  • arsenic

  • cadmium

  • chromium

  • nickel

  • some petroleum products

  • uranium

Exposure to radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, according to the American Lung Association.

Research shows that inheritable genetic mutations might cause you to develop respiratory organ cancer, particularly if you smoke or are exposed to different carcinogens. Sometimes, there’s no obvious cause for lung cancer.

Smoking is the main cause of lung cancer- both for smokers and for those who are exposed to secondhand smoke. But lung cancer can also occur in people who have never smoked or who have never been exposed to secondhand smoke for a long time. In these cases, there may be no clear cause of the disease.

Smoking cigarettes can cause lung cancer.

Doctors believe that smoking can cause lung cancer by damaging the cells that line the lungs. When you smoke cigarettes, which are loaded with carcinogens, changes begin in your lung tissue almost immediately.

Your body may be able to repair the damage initially. However, with each repeated exposure to smoke, normal cells that line your lungs are increasingly damaged. This damage causes cells to act abnormally and eventually cancer may develop.

Types of lung cancer

Doctors divide lung cancer into two categories based on the appearance of lung cancer cells under a microscope. This information is used to decide which kind of treatment your doctor will recommend.

Lung cancer can be classified into two general categories: primary and secondary.

  • Small cell lung cancer.Lung cancer that is known as small cell lung cancer occurs almost exclusively in smokers who are heavily addicted to cigarettes, and it is less common than non-small cell lung cancer.

  • Non-small cell lung cancer.There are several types of lung cancer under the category of non-small cell lung cancer. These include squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, and large cell carcinoma.

Risk factors Lung cancer

Some factors that may increase your risk of lung cancer include smoking, genetic factors, and environmental factors that you cannot control.

Risk factors for lung cancer include:

  • Smoking.Smoking increases your risk of lung cancer, and quitting at any age can reduce that risk significantly.

  • Exposure to secondhand smoke.If you do not smoke, you have a slightly higher risk of lung cancer if you are exposed to secondhand smoke.

  • Previous radiation therapy.If you've had radiation therapy to the chest for another type of cancer, you may have an increased risk of developing lung cancer.

  • Exposure to radon gas.Radon is produced when uranium breaks down in soil and water. Unsafe levels of radon can accumulate in any building, including homes.

  • Being exposed to asbestos and other carcinogens increases your risk of developing cancer.If you work in an environment that contains asbestos and other substances that are known to cause cancer, your risk of developing lung cancer is increased. This is especially true if you are a smoker.

  • Family history of lung cancer.People who have a parent or sibling with lung cancer have an increased risk of developing the disease themselves.

Complications Lung Cancer

Lung cancer can cause complications, such as:

  • Shortness of breath.If you have lung cancer, it may be hard for you to breathe if the cancer grows and blocks the major airways. Cancer can also cause fluid to accumulate around the lungs, making it harder for your lungs to expand fully when you breathe in.

  • Coughing up blood.Bleeding in the airway can cause you to cough up blood (hemoptysis). Sometimes bleeding can become severe, and treatments are available to control it.

  • Pain.If you have advanced lung cancer that has spread to the lining of a lung or another area of the body, you may experience pain. Tell your doctor if you experience pain while undergoing treatments - many options are available to control it.

  • Fluid in the chest (pleural effusion).Lung cancer can cause fluid to build up in the space around the affected lung in the chest cavity (the pleural space).
    If fluid accumulates in the chest, this can cause shortness of breath. There are treatments available to remove the fluid and reduce the chance that a pleural effusion will occur again.

  • Cancer can spread to other parts of the body (metastasis).Lung cancer often spreads (metastasizes) to other parts of the body, such as the brain and bones.
    Cancer that has spread can cause pain, nausea, headaches, and other signs and symptoms depending on which organ is affected. Once lung cancer has spread beyond the lungs, it is generally not curable. Treatments are available to lessen signs and symptoms and to help you live longer.

Prevention Lung Cancer

There is no sure way to prevent lung cancer, but you can reduce your risk by doing things like:

  • Don't smoke.If you've never smoked, don't start. Talk to your children about not smoking so they can understand the risks and how to avoid them. Start conversations about not smoking with your children early so they know what to do if they're pressured by their peers.

  • Stop smoking.If you want to reduce your risk of lung cancer, quit smoking now. Quitting even if you have smoked for years can help you. Talk to your doctor about strategies that can help you quit. There are many ways to quit, including using nicotine replacement products, medications, and support groups.

  • Avoid secondhand smoke.If you live or work with a smoker, urge him or her to stop. At the very least, ask him or her to smoke outside. Avoid areas where people smoke, such as bars and restaurants, and seek out smoke-free options.

  • Test your home for radon. If you live in an area where radon is a problem, have your home's radon levels checked. If the levels are high, you can reduce them by doing things like sealing cracks and expanding or reinforcing foundations. For information on radon testing, contact your local public health department or the American Lung Association. Connection.

  • Avoid carcinogens at work. Follow the precautions your employer has set in place. For example, if you're given a face mask to wear, always put it on. Ask your doctor what else you can do to protect yourself at work. By taking precautions, you'll lower your risk of lung damage from workplace exposure. Smoking increases the chance of developing cancer.

  • Eat a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables.A healthy diet includes a variety of fruits and vegetables. These foods provide vitamins and nutrients in pill form, but be careful not to take too many pills at once as they may be harmful. For example, research has shown that beta carotene can help reduce the risk of lung cancer in heavy smokers.The supplements increased the risk of cancer in smokers.

  • Exercise most days of the week.If you don't exercise regularly, start out slowly. Exercise most days of the week if you want to improve your health.

Where does lung cancer usually start?

Cancer starts in the cells When you breathe the lining of your nose and the back of your throat may become irritated and inflamed This can cause chronic inflammation that leads to developing cancerous tumors in your lungs Smoking is one of the main causes of lung cancer which affects both men and women as they get older Other risk factors include prolonged exposure to secondhand smoke radiation therapy asbestos or radon gas inhalation If you have asthma or COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) you are also at increased risk for developing it.

What happens when you have lung cancer?

Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers with roughly 200,000 new cases of lung cancer diagnosed each year in the United States Most lung cancers are non small cell carcinomas which account for about 80 percent of all lung cancers This type of tumor generally grows slowly and is easy to treat when it's localized However spread to other parts of the body can make treatment far more difficult to achieve successful results.

What part of the body does lung cancer affect?

Lung cancer occurs in the cells of the lungs The different types of lung cancer have different characteristics but all are malignant and require treatment with surgery radiation chemotherapy or a combination of these methods Most people diagnosed with lung cancer do not survive for five years after their initial diagnosis Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death among men and women in both nonsmokers and smokers.

Diagnosis Lung cancer

Testing healthy people for lung cancer

People who are at an increased risk for lung cancer may choose to have annual low-dose CT scans. Lung cancer screening is generally offered to adults who have smoked heavily for many years or who have quit smoking in the past 15 years.

Talk to your doctor about your risk of lung cancer. Together, you can decide if screening is right for you.

Tests to diagnose lung cancer

If your doctor thinks you may have lung cancer, he or she can order a number of tests to look for signs of cancerous cells and to rule out other possible causes.

Tests may include:

  1. Blood analysis

  2. Blood count

  3. Blood typing

  1. Lung ventilation-perfusion scan

  • Imaging tests.An X-ray image of your lungs may show an abnormal mass or nodule. A CT scan can show small lesions in your lungs that might not be visible on an X-ray.

  • Sputum cytology.If you have a cough and are producing mucus-like material, looking at the mucus under a microscope can sometimes reveal the presence of lung cancer cells.

  • Tissue sample (biopsy).A biopsy is a procedure that removes a sample of abnormal cells from a person.
    Your doctor can perform a biopsy in a number of ways, including bronchoscopy, in which your doctor examines abnormal areas of your lungs using a lighted tube that's passed down your throat and into your lungs.
    Misdiagnosis of cancer can occur if tissue samples are not taken from lymph nodes. A mediastinoscopy (incision in the base of your neck) is an option to obtain these samples. Surgical tools may also be inserted behind your breastbone to take tissue samples from lymph nodes.
    If you have a suspicion that you have lung cancer, your doctor may choose to do a needle biopsy. This involves X-ray or CT images that will help guide the needle into your chest wall and into the lung tissue to collect suspicious cells.
    A biopsy sample may be taken from lymph nodes or other areas where cancer has spread.

If you have cancer, your doctor will examine your cells in a lab. The results of this analysis can tell your doctor about the type of cancer you have and how likely it is to respond to treatment.

Tests are being conducted to determine the extent of the cancer.

Your doctor will determine the stage of your lung cancer once you have been diagnosed. This information is important in helping to decide on the best treatment for you.

Your doctor may perform imaging tests to determine if cancer has spread beyond your lungs. These tests include computed tomography (CT) MRI positron emission tomography (PET) and bone scans. Not every test is appropriate for every person, so talk with your doctor about which ones are best for you. The procedures described in this passage are appropriate for you.

The stages of lung cancer are numbered from 0 to IV with the lowest stage representing cancer that has only spread to the lungs. By stage IV, the cancer is considered advanced and has spread to other parts of the body.

More Information

Treatment Lung cancer

You and your doctor choose a cancer treatment plan based on your overall health, the type and stage of your cancer, and your preferences.

Sometimes you may choose not to have treatment. For example, you may believe that the side effects of treatment would be greater than the benefits. In that case, your doctor might suggest treating only the symptoms caused by the cancer, such as pain or shortness of breath. breathe.


During surgery, your surgeon will work to remove lung cancer and a margin of healthy tissue. Procedures used to remove lung cancer may include:

  • A doctor will remove a small section of lung that contains the tumor, as well as a margin of healthy tissue around it.

  • Segmental resectionTo remove a larger portion of lung, but not an entire lobe.

  • Lobectomy to remove the entire lobe of one lung

  • Pneumonectomy to remove an entire lung

If you have surgery, your surgeon may also remove lymph nodes from your chest to check for signs of cancer.

If your cancer is confined to one lung, surgery may be an option. Doctors may recommend chemotherapy or radiation therapy before surgery in order to make the cancer smaller. If there's a chance that cancer cells were left behind after surgery, or if the cancer might come back after surgery, doctors may also recommend a follow-up procedure. Your doctor may recommend chemotherapy or radiation therapy after surgery in case the cancer recurs.

  1. lung transplant

Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy is a treatment using high-powered energy beams from sources such as X-rays and protons to kill cancer cells. During radiation therapy, you are placed on a table and the machine moves around you as radiation is directed to specific points on your body.

Radiation therapy may be used before or after surgery in people with locally advanced lung cancer. It is often combined with chemotherapy treatments. If surgery is not an option, chemotherapy and radiation therapy may be your primary treatment.

Radiation therapy may help relieve symptoms in advanced lung cancers and those that have spread to other areas of the body.


Chemotherapy is a treatment that uses drugs to kill cancer cells. Sometimes one or more chemotherapy drugs is given through a vein in your arm (intravenously) or taken orally. A combination of drugs is usually given in a series of treatments over a period of weeks or months, with breaks in between so that you may recover.

After surgery, chemotherapy may be used to kill any cancer cells that may remain. It can be used alone or in combination with radiation therapy. Chemotherapy may also be used before surgery to reduce the size of the cancer and make it easier to remove.

Chemotherapy can be used to relieve pain and other symptoms in people who have advanced lung cancer.

Stereotactic body radiotherapy

Radiosurgery is an intense type of radiation treatment that uses many beams of radiation from many directions at the cancer. This treatment typically is completed in a few treatments.

Stereotactic body radiotherapy may be an option for people with small lung cancers who cannot undergo surgery. It may also be used to treat lung cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, including the brain.

Targeted drug therapy

Treatment of cancer focuses on specific abnormalities within the cancer cells. By blocking these abnormalities, targeted drug treatments can cause cancer cells to die.

Many targeted therapy drugs are used to treat lung cancer, though they are most effective when used on people with advanced or recurrent cancer.

Some targeted therapies only work in people whose cancer cells have certain genetic abnormalities. Your cancer cells may be tested in a laboratory to see if these drugs might help you.


Immunotherapy uses your immune system to fight cancer. This allows your body's disease-fighting immune system to attack the cancer cells, since cancer cells produce proteins that help them hide from the immune system. Immunotherapy works by preventing the cancer cells from producing these helpful proteins.

Treatments using immunotherapy are generally reserved for people with advanced lung cancers that have spread to other parts of the body.

Palliative care

People with lung cancer often experience signs and symptoms of the disease as well as side effects of treatment. This type of care, known as palliative care, is a specialty area of medicine that focuses on working to minimize your signs and symptoms.

Your doctor may recommend that you work with a palliative care team soon after your diagnosis to make sure you're comfortable during and after your cancer treatment.

Some people with advanced non-small cell lung cancer who receive supportive care live longer than those who continue receiving treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation. The people who received supportive care reported improved mood and quality of life. The leaves treated with decoupage survived on average almost three months longer than those who received standard care.

More Information

  • Is photodynamic therapy an effective treatment for lung cancer?

  • Ablation therapy

  • Brachytherapy

  • Chemotherapy

  • Proton therapy

  • Radiation therapy

  • Stop-smoking services

Lifestyle and home remedies

Coping with shortness of breath

People with lung cancer may experience shortness of breath at some point in the course of the disease. Various treatments, such as supplemental oxygen and medications, are available to help make you more comfortable, but they may not always be enough.

If shortness of breath is a problem, try these tips:

  • Try to relax.When you start to feel short of breath, try to control the fear by choosing an activity that will help you relax.You can listen to music, imagine your favorite vacation spot, meditate, or say a prayer to help you relax.

  • Find a comfortable position.When you feel short of breath, it may help to lean forward.

  • Focus on your breath.When you feel short of breath, focus your mind on your breathing. Instead of trying to inhale deeply and fill your lungs with air, concentrate on the muscles that control your diaphragm. Try to breathe through pursed lips and take slow, deep breaths in sync with the activity you are performing.

  • You should save your energy for things that are important.If you are short of breath, you may become tired easily. Remove nonessential tasks from your day so that you can conserve your energy for more important tasks.

If you experience shortness of breath or if your symptoms get worse, tell your doctor. There are many other treatments available to relieve shortness of breath.

Alternative medicine

Alternative lung cancer treatments can't cure your cancer. But they can often help relieve symptoms by working together with your doctor's care.

People with lung cancer may find comfort in: Some people with lung cancer find comfort in things like talking about their feelings, spending time with loved ones, and doing things that make them happy.

  • Acupuncture.During an acupuncture session, a trained practitioner inserts small needles into specific points on your body. Acupuncture may relieve pain and side effects related to cancer treatment, such as nausea and vomiting. There is no evidence that acupuncture has any effect on the course of cancer.

  • Hypnosis.Hypnosis is typically used by a therapist to help you relax and think happy thoughts. This can reduce anxiety, nausea, and pain in people who have cancer.

  • Massage.Massage is used to relieve pain and anxiety in people with cancer. Some massage therapists have additional training to work with people who have cancer.

  • Meditation.Meditation is a time when you focus your attention on something, like an idea, image or sound. By doing this, meditation may reduce stress and improve your quality of life in people with cancer.

  • Yoga.Yoga combines gentle stretching movements with deep breathing and thought. Yoga may help people with cancer sleep better.

Coping and support

When you are diagnosed with cancer, it can be very upsetting. You may find that it is helpful to:

  • Be familiar with lung cancer so that you can make informed decisions about your care.Talk to your doctor about your lung cancer. He or she can tell you about the various treatment options and how you might feel about them.

  • Keep friends and family close.Having strong relationships will help you deal with your lung cancer. Friends and family can provide practical support such as taking care of your home if you are in the hospital. They can also be a source of emotional support when you feel overwhelmed by cancer.

  • Find someone to talk with.Find someone who is willing to listen to you and understand your concerns. This could be a friend or family member, a counselor, medical social worker, clergy member, or cancer support group.
    Check with your doctor or local cancer organizations to find out if there are any support groups in your area.

Preparing for your appointment

If you have symptoms that worry you, see your family doctor. If your doctor thinks you may have lung cancer, you may be referred to a specialist who specializes in treating people with lung cancer. Some specialists who treat lung cancer include:

  • Doctors who specialize in treating cancer (oncologists) are available to help.

  • Doctors who diagnose and treat lung diseases are called pulmonologists.

  • Doctors who use radiation to treat cancer (oncologists) are doctors.

  • Surgeons who operate on the chest (the area between the neck and the stomach) are called thoracic surgeons.

  • Doctors who treat cancer and cancer treatment (palliative care specialists) work to identify signs and symptoms of the disease and provide treatment.

What you can do

An appointment is usually brief, so it's a good idea to be prepared. To help you be ready, try to:

  • Be aware of any restrictions that may apply before your appointment.Make sure to ask if there are any requirements in advance, such as eating a restricted diet.

  • Please document any symptoms you're experiencing.Make sure to bring any symptoms you may have that are unrelated to your appointment. Also note when your symptoms began.

  • Write down key personal information,The decoupage process should be done shortly after any major stresses or recent life changes have occurred.

  • Make a list of all medications,What vitamins or supplements am I taking?

  • Gather your medical records.If you've had a chest X-ray or scan done by someone other than your doctor, try to get the file and bring it to your appointment.

  • It is a good idea to have someone along who knows how to do this project.Sometimes it is hard to remember all the information during an appointment. Someone who accompanies you may remember something that you forgot.

  • Write down questions to ask your doctor.

If you have been diagnosed with lung cancer, here are some questions you may want to ask your doctor:

You will have a limited time with your doctor, so it is helpful to prepare a list of questions beforehand. Question number one on the list is usually the most important, and you can go from there. Some basic questions to ask about lung cancer may include:

  • What type of lung cancer do I have?

  • Can I see the X-ray or CT scan that shows my cancer?

  • What is causing my symptoms?

  • What is the stage of my lung cancer?

  • Will I need more tests?

  • Should my lung cancer cells be tested for mutations that may determine my treatment options?

  • Can I get cancer elsewhere in my body?

  • What are my treatment options?

  • Do any of these treatments help cure my cancer?

  • What are the possible side effects of each treatment?

  • Which treatment do you think is best for me?

  • Can quitting smoking now have any benefits?

  • What would you tell a friend or family member who is in my situation?

  • What if I don't want treatment?

  • Can I find ways to relieve the symptoms I'm experiencing?

  • Can I sign up for a clinical trial?

  • Should I see a doctor? What will that cost and will my insurance cover it?

  • Can I take any brochures or other material with me? Do you have any websites that I can visit?

Don't hesitate to ask your doctor any questions that you have prepared in advance. You may also want to ask other questions during your appointment.

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor may ask you a number of questions. Being prepared to answer them may allow more time to cover other points you want to address. Your doctor may ask:

  • When did you start having symptoms?

  • Has your illness been present continuously or only occasionally?

  • How severe are your symptoms?

  • Do you wheeze when breathing?

  • Does your cough feel like you're trying to clear your throat?

  • Do you have asthma or COPD?

  • Do you have breathing problems that are caused by medications?

  • What are some potential treatments that may improve your symptoms?

  • What if anything seems to make your symptoms worse?

General summary

  1. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death worldwide and accounts for 1 out of 5 deaths from all cancers Lung cancer causes more deaths than breast prostate colorectal and pancreatic cancers combined Unlike many other diseases that afflict people in the later years of life lung cancer can be a disease of young people.

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