Lung Cancer

Overview of Lung Cancer

Lung cancer (پھیپھڑوں کا کینسر/Phepron ka Cancer) is a type of cancer that begins in the lungs. It is the leading cause of death worldwide.

Signs and Symptoms of Lung Cancer

Lung cancer (پھیپھڑوں کا کینسر/Phepron ka Cancer) is a type of cancer that begins in the lungs. Lungs are two spongy organs in the chest that take in oxygen when you inhale and release carbon dioxide when you exhale.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of death worldwide.
People who smoke have the greatest risk of lung cancer, though lung cancer can also occur in people who have never smoked. The risk of lung cancer increases with the length of time and number of cigarettes you've smoked. If you quit smoking, even after smoking for many years, you can significantly reduce your chances of developing lung cancer.

Occurrence of Lung Cancer

Lung cancer mainly occurs in older people. Most people diagnosed with lung cancer are 65 or older; a very small number of people diagnosed are younger than 45. The average age of people when diagnosed is about 70. Lung cancer is by far the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women, making up almost 25% of all cancer deaths.

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Types of Lung Cancer

Signs and symptoms of lung cancer usually appear in the advanced stages of cancer.

Some common signs and symptoms of lung cancer are:

  • Chronic cough
  • Recurring respiratory infections such as bronchitis
  • Shortness of breath that gets worse
  • Persistent chest pain
  • Swelling of the neck and face
  • Hoarseness
  • Pain and weakness in the shoulder, arm, or hand
  • Weight loss
  • Headache
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Fatigue

Causes of Lung Cancer

The classification of lung cancer can be based upon the appearance of the cancer cells. These cells are usually microscopic. Lung cancer has been classified into two categories such as:

  • Small Cell Lung Cancers (SCLC): SCLC is caused by smoking cigarettes. It is the most aggressive form of lung cancer. In this cancer, cells are rapidly growing and spread quickly to other organs of the body. SCLC accounts for about 10%-15% of lung cancers.
  • Non-Small Cell Lung Cancers (NSCLC): It is the most commonly occurring form of lung cancer. It accounts for about 85% of all lung cancers. There are three main types of NSCLC:
  • Adenocarcinomas

Adenocarcinomas originate from the outer sites of the lungs. These cancers can spread to the lymphatic tissues. Bronchioloalveolar carcinoma is the subtype of adenocarcinoma that originates from multiple sites within the lungs. Upon chest X-ray it resembles pneumonia. Its prognosis is better as compared to other types of lung cancers.

  • Squamous Cell Carcinomas:

This type of lung cancer develops in the chest area bronchi. It usually remains within the lungs and spreads to lymph nodes. Squamous cell cancers grow large in size and form a cavity.

  • Large Cell Carcinomas

This type of lung cancer usually spreads to the lymph nodes and other parts of the body. It accounts for about 10%-15% of all lung carcinomas. This is the least common type of lung cancer.

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Prevention

There are some factors that increase the risk of lung cancer, such as:

  • Smoking: Smoking cigarettes increases the risk of lung cancer. The risk depends on the number of cigarettes and total years of smoking. However, quitting can lower the risk.
  • Exposure to Secondhand Smoke: Although you don’t smoke but are exposed to secondhand smoke, your chances of developing lung cancer are increased.
  • Exposure to Radiation: If you have previously received radiation therapy for cancer your chances of developing lung cancer are increased.
  • Exposure to Radon Gas: Radon is a colourless radioactive gas that is released by the breakdown of uranium in the air. Uranium is present in soil, rock and water. When you breathe in the contaminated air radon is entered into your lungs and can cause lung cancer.
  • Exposure to Asbestos and other Carcinogens: Certain chemicals such as arsenic, asbestos and nickel can increase the risk of lung cancer especially in smokers.
  • Family History: Your risk of developing lung cancer is increased if your parents or siblings have a lung cancer history.

Health-Related Complications of Lung Cancer

Lung cancer leads to some serious health-related complications, such as:

  • Shortness of Breath: Patients with lung cancer often experience difficulty in breathing because their airways are blocked. In lungs, cancer fluid is accumulated around the lungs that make it harder for the lungs to expand during inhalation.
  • Coughing Up Blood: Hemoptysis is another complication of lung cancer in which bleeding occurs in the airways. Therefore, patients cough up blood. Bleeding can be controlled by medications.
  • Pain: Patients may experience pain if cancer has invaded the bones. In this case, consultation with the doctor is required.
  • Pleural Effusion: Lungs are covered by a double membrane called pleura and the space between these membranes is termed pleural space. In lung cancer, pleural space is filled with the fluid-a condition called pleural effusion.
  • Metastatic Cancer: Lung cancer is usually spread to other organs such as the brain and bones. Metastatic cancer can cause headaches, nausea and pain.
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Diagnosis

Although lung cancer can’t be prevented its risks can be reduced:

  • Abstain from Smoking: You can keep your lungs healthy and upgraded by avoiding smoking cigarettes. Avoid encounters with secondhand smokers. Follow your doctor’s recommendations if you want to quit smoking.
  • Test Your Home for Radon: Check the level of radon in your home building. Reducing the level of radon can also decrease the chances of lung cancer.
  • Avoid Carcinogens at Work: At the workplace exposure to various toxic carcinogens can increase the risk of lung cancer. Try to avoid these chemicals by wearing masks and taking other precautionary measures.
  • Workout/Moderate Exercise: Daily workout improves your lungs functioning. It also helps to prevent the future onset of lung cancer. Do at least 1 hour of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of active aerobic activity per week.
  • Healthy Diet: Healthy diet is necessary to maintain healthy lungs and reduce risks of lung problems. According to The American Heart Association (AHA), a healthy diet includes:
  • A wide range of fruits and vegetables
  • Low-fat dairy products
  • Whole grains
  • Poultry and fish, without skin
  • Non-tropical vegetable oils, such as olive or sunflower oil
  • Nuts and legumes

Treatment of Lung Cancer | When to Consult a Doctor

Annual screening of lungs is recommended for people who have higher risks of developing lung cancer. CT scans are often performed for screening. People aged 55 or above-having smoking history usually go for this screening

Tests performed for lung cancer usually include:

  • Imaging Tests: Imaging tests are performed to check for any abnormality in the lungs. A CT scan can detect tiny lesions that can’t be observed by X-ray. An abnormal cell mass or nodule can be detected by X-ray.
  • Sputum Cytology: In sputum cytology, sputum of the patient is accumulated and observed under a microscope. The presence of lung cells in the sputum confirms lung cancer.
  • Bronchoscopy: In this procedure, a lighted tube is inserted into the lungs through the throat to observe the affected areas of the lungs.
  • Mediastinoscopy: In this diagnostic approach, surgical instruments are inserted into the lymph nodes for the collection of tissue samples. For this purpose, at the base of the neck, an incision is made.
  • Needle Biopsy: In this biopsy procedure, a thin needle is inserted into the tumour and a small piece of tissue is removed.

Doctors to treat Lung Cancer

Last updated on Thursday 27/10/2022

Doctor

Dr. Amjad S.K Durrani

Oncologist | MBBS, AFSA, Medical Oncology, DMRT

Wazir Habib Cancer CenterRs 3500

2

Today’s Slots

97%

Satisfaction Rate

18

Years

Highly recommended. Very good doctor

Doctor

Dr. Nadeem Zia

Oncologist | MBBS , DMRT , TTPS

Mid City HospitalRs 3000

0

Today’s Slots

98%

Satisfaction Rate

27

Years

Highly Recommended

Doctor

Prof. Dr. Ashraf Jamal

Pulmonologist | MBBS, FCPS, MCPS

Hameed Latif HospitalRs 3000

11

Today’s Slots

99%

Satisfaction Rate

28

Years

Satisfied with Dr. treatment.

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