Lung Cancer – Disease and Treatment

Lungs

Lung Cancer arises when a series of mutations in normal lung cells cause them to become abnormal and grow out of control. These changes can take place anywhere from the bronchus (the windpipe), down to the small air sacs in the periphery of the lungs where oxygenation takes place. Lung cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the lung. Bronchus cancer is cancer in the tissue making up the respiratory system.

Types of Lung Cancer

There are two main types of lung cancer

  1. Non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC). Non-small cell lung cancer is the most common accounting for almost 80% of cancers.
  2. Small cell lung carcinoma. Small cell cancer, at 20% is a rapidly growing, rapidly spreading tumor caused primarily by smoking.

Stages of Lung Cancer

Stages range from zero (carcinoma in situ) to four (cancer has spread to another organ). Stages one through three indicates the extent of the disease, how big the tumor is, and/or how cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes.

 Lung Cancer Symptoms

Stages of Lung Cancer

In early stages lung cancer is usually symptom-less; Lung cancer symptoms resemble those of many other conditions, making it hard to differentiate the cause. The Symptoms may include:-

  1. Persistent, prolonged cough
  2. Coughing up blood
  3. Wheezing and shortness of breath
  4. Chest pain
  5. Appetite loss
  6. Hoarseness
  7. Unexplained weight loss
  8. Fatigue or weakness
  9. Difficulty swallowing

 

Diagnosis and Tests for Lung Cancer

  1. Imaging Tests such x-rays, positron emission tomography (PET) scans, CT scans or MRI scans of the chest.
  2. Sputum Test, which examines coughing-induced phlegm for abnormal cells.
  3. Biopsy, which examines cells from one or more procedures that retrieve a tissue sample.
  4. Bronchoscopy: The bronchi, or tubes leading into the lungs, can be viewed through an instrument called a bronchoscope, allowing doctors to see abnormal areas. Suspicious cells can be taken for biopsy.
  5. Mediastinoscopy: A lighted tube is inserted above the breast bone through a small incision to see the center of the chest cavity.

Lung Cancer Treatment

Lung cancer treatments include any one or combination of options listed below:-

  1. Surgery
  2. Radiation therapy
  3. Chemotherapy
  4. Alternative lung cancer treatments.

Lung & Bronchus Cancer Survival Rate

Estimated New Cases in 2014 224210
% of All New Cancer Cases 13.5%
Estimated Deaths in 2014 159260
% of All Cancer Deaths 27.2%
Percent Surviving 5 Years (2004-2010) 16.8%
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