Lung cancer is a common form of cancer that affects approximately 200,000 individuals every year in the U.S. It’s also known as the number one cause of cancer deaths among men and women. Although the disease is commonly associated with individuals who smoke, it can also affect non-smokers and can be caused by a number of different factors. Those who are diagnosed with lung cancer can take advantage of several treatments that are available for various lung cancer staging.
One of the main causes of lung cancer is due to smoking, exposure to secondhand smoke, and family history. 90 percent of lung cancer diagnoses are due to smoking.
There are two different types of lung cancer, which includes small cell lung cancers and non-small cell lung cancers. Small cell lung cancer is most common among smokers and non-small cell lung cancer consists of several different types of lung cancer, which includes large cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and adenocarcinoma.
Although research is minimal on lung cancer, medical professionals recommend that the best way to reduce your risk of the disease is to avoid smoking or limit your exposure to secondhand smoke.
Other risk factors include exposure to radon gas, exposure to asbestos and other carcinogens, and a family history of lung cancer.
Lung Cancer Symptoms
There are different symptoms that are associated with lung cancer, which includes wheezing, coughing that doesn’t subside, coughing up blood, hoarseness, changes in a chronic cough, unexpected weight loss, headaches, bone pain, shortness of breath, and chest pain.
Medical professionals will recommend that the patient quits smoking immediately once they’re diagnosed with lung cancer and can provide the patient with strategies to discontinue tobacco use. The individual may undergo medications, counseling, and nicotine replacement products that are available.
Lung Cancer Treatment
There are a variety of different lung cancer treatments that are available in hopes of curing the disease with time. Many people may undergo a combination of treatment methods, which includes surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and new experimental methods that are beginning to emerge.
Wedge resection is a common surgery for lung cancer and involves removing a section of the lung that contains a tumor. Segmental resection is an additional surgery that removes a larger portion of the lung, but still leaves a portion of the lobe. Lobectomy is a surgery that removes the entire lobe of one lung and pneumonectomy removes the entire lung.
Palliative care is also available to minimize the symptoms that the patient experiences after they’re diagnosed. This type of supportive care works to improve the comfort of the patient during and after the treatment methods are performed.
Lung Cancer Survival Rates
Unfortunately, few people survive lung cancer because it’s usually not detected by doctors until it’s already advanced. Five-year survival is 40 to 50 percent for those who are diagnosed with early lung cancer and only one to five percent of people survive lung cancer that is inoperable and is in an advanced stage. Lung cancer pictures often show the rapid growth of the disease.