Lung cancer is one of the most deadly and aggressive types of cancer. It is also one of the most common. It’s estimated that there are over eight million people worldwide whose lives are affected by lung cancer, including about 6,000 people who die from it each year. Lung cancer accounts for more than 22% of all cancer cases in India.
Though it is a deadly affliction with a high mortality rate, there is a possibility of combating it with the help of the best cancer specialists in Mumbai and the rest of the country. However, it is crucial to identify the symptoms and seek medical help without delay. There are many possible symptoms, some of which may be non-specific, and recognizing them early is crucial to develop a treatment plan that can give you a good chance of fighting lung cancer. So, what are the signs and symptoms?
Lung cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancerous) cells form in the tissues of the lung. Lung cancer is one of the most common and deadliest forms of cancer and is responsible for nearly 1 in 5 deaths from cancer worldwide. It has been estimated that the number of new cases is likely to increase by 140% by 2030.
Lung cancer occurs when cells in the airways or tissues of the lung begin to grow out of control. Cancer cells may invade nearby tissues and spread to other organs. Lung cancer can occur at any age but is more common in middle-aged adults. Lung cancer usually proliferates over a short period, so it may not be detected in the initial stages.
Symptoms of lung cancer can vary, depending on where it is located and how advanced it is. Symptoms can include:
- Coughing up blood or blood clots and a persistent cough that doesn’t improve with medication
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Wheezing or whistling in the chest (cases of pneumonia)
- Wheezing, rattling, or gasping sounds with each breath (productive wheezes)
- An unexplained mass in the chest or abdomen (abdominal wall)
- Passing small amounts of bloody sputum
- Pallor (paleness) and weight loss
If you have symptoms that last for more than three months and indicate serious conditions like pneumonia or pleurisy, it is essential to get medical help right away. This condition can be complex because it is difficult to notice the early signs of lung cancer unless it’s the advanced stage when it’s too late to treat it effectively with surgery or chemotherapy.
Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers affecting men and women and is also the leading cause of cancer death across the world. The disease is diagnosed when abnormal cells are found in a person’s lung, usually from smoking or exposure to other carcinogens, such as asbestos.
Treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapies such as immunotherapy and biological response modifiers (BRMs), hormone therapy, and palliative care.
- Surgery: Surgery is the most common treatment for lung cancer. Surgery aims to remove as much of the tumour as possible while preserving typical structures. Lung cancer surgery may be performed as a single procedure or in stages over several days or weeks. Depending on where a tumour has spread and how advanced it is, some surgeries can be performed laparoscopically (using small incisions). After surgery, your doctor will monitor you closely for at least six months.
- Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays to kill cancer cells while leaving healthy cells unharmed. This treatment is used when the malignant growth in the lungs cannot be removed surgically. Radiation therapy is administered through a catheter inserted into a vein in the neck (invasive radiation therapy).
- Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy may be used following surgery for late-stage lung cancer (when cancer has spread beyond where it was first diagnosed). Chemotherapy can be given directly into a vein or orally. Chemotherapy has lesser side effects than radiation therapy. But it may cause temporary hair loss and infertility.
- Brachytherapy: Brachytherapy refers to inserting radioactive seeds into tumours during surgery to destroy the affected tissues.
- Targeted therapies: Targeted therapies refer to drugs that specifically target certain kinds of cells in a tumour without damaging normal cells.
Lung cancer is a severe illness that can be difficult to diagnose and treat. However, with proper medical care and the right treatment plan, it is possible to manage the symptoms and improve the quality of life of those affected. It is essential to recognize the early signs of lung cancer and seek medical advice as soon as possible. With the right approach, lung cancer can be managed and treated effectively.