Lung Cancer

Overview of Lung Cancer

Lung Cancer Meaning in Urdu

کینسر کی دوسری اقسام کی طرح پھیپھڑوں کا کینسر بھی ایک خطرناک اور جان لیوا بیماری ہے۔ لیکن  کینسر کی دوسری اقسام کے برعکس پھیپھڑوں کے کینسر کی وجہ سے سب سے زیادہ اموات واقع ہوتی ہیں۔ جب آپ سانس لیتے ہیں تو پھیپھڑے آکسیجن حاصل کرتے ہیں اور جب سانس خارج کرتے ہیں تو پھپھڑوں سے کاربن ڈائی آکسائڈ کا اخراج ہوتا ہے۔ جو لوگ سگریٹ نوشی کے عادی ہوتے ہیں ان میں پھیپھڑوں کے کینسر کے خطرات بہت بڑھ جاتے ہیں۔ پھیپھڑوں کے کینسر کی بنیادی علامات میں دائمی کھانسی، کھانستے وقت خون کا اخراج، سانس لینے میں مشکلات، وزن میں کمی، سر درد، اور ہڈیوں کا درد شامل ہے۔

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.

Doctors Treating Lung Cancer

124 Doctors Available

Signs and Symptoms 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 

Types of Lung Cancer

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

  • Small Cell Lung Cancer (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:

  1. Adenocarcinomas

Adenocarcinomas originate from the outer sites of the lungs. These cancers can spread to the lymphatic tissues. Bronchioloalveolar carcinoma is a 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. 

  1. 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. 

  1. 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. 

Causes of Lung Cancer

There are several known causes of lung cancer, including:

  • Smoking: This is the leading cause of lung cancer. Tobacco smoke contains carcinogens that damage the DNA in lung cells, leading to the development of cancer.
  • Secondhand smoke: Exposure to secondhand smoke can also increase the risk of developing lung cancer.
  • Radon exposure: Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can be found in soil and rocks. Long-term exposure to high levels of radon can increase the risk of lung cancer.
  • Air pollution: Exposure to air pollution, particularly from diesel exhaust, has been linked to an increased risk of lung cancer.
  • Occupational exposure: Some occupations, such as mining, construction, and manufacturing, expose workers to carcinogens like asbestos and diesel exhaust, which can increase the risk of lung cancer.
  • Genetics: In some cases, a family history of lung cancer or certain genetic mutations can increase the risk of developing lung cancer.

Risk Factors of Lung Cancer

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 colorless 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 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 the 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. 



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 the 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


Annual screening of the 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 tumor and a small piece of tissue is removed.

Treatment of Lung Cancer | When to Consult a Doctor

Treatment of lung cancer depends on:

  • The location of the cancer
  • Size of the cancer
  • The aggressiveness of the cells
  • Spread of the tumour (localized or metastatic)
  1. Surgery

In surgical treatment, the entire cancer is removed. Lung cancer can be removed by following two procedures, such as:

  • Wedge Resection: In this procedure, only a small portion of the affected lung is removed along with healthy cells.  
  • Segmental Resection: In this approach, a large portion of the affected lung is surgically removed.  
  • Lobectomy: Entire lobe of the affected lung is surgically removed. 
  • Pneumonectomy: Pneumonectomy is a procedure in which the whole lung is removed.  
  1. Radiation Therapy

In radiation therapy, high-energy waves such as X-rays and protons are used to kill cancer cells. In this procedure, a machine moves around the patient and beams to the cancer site known as external radiation. In internal radiation, the radiation device is placed inside the body to kill cancer cells.

In whole-lung radiation, a radiation beam is applied to the entire lung. This approach is used if cancer has spread from other organs to the lungs.

Radiation therapy is often recommended after surgery to kill remaining cancer cells. This can also be the best treatment option if surgery is not possible due to the presence of cancer in a sensitive area. 

However, there are some side effects of radiation therapy such as:

  • Fatigue
  • Memory loss
  • Headaches
  • Scalp irritation
  1. Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is considered the most painful method of treatment. In this method, drugs are either administered orally or injected through the vein. Although it is an effective treatment it also has many side effects such as loss of appetite, vomiting, and chills. It also makes the body prone to infections. 

This treatment can be used before or after the surgery. It specifically targets and kills cancer cells.

  1. Targeted Drug Therapy

As the name shows, targeted therapy is particularly aimed at cancer cells and destroyed them with medications. These drugs slow down the growth of the tumor and stop the supply of blood to tumor cells.

  1. Immunotherapy

In Immunotherapy, cancer cells are destroyed by using the immune system. Normally, immune cells may not attack cancer cells because these cells release specific proteins that evade them from the immune system. Immunotherapy interferes with this process to treat cancer.  

Immunotherapy treatments are usually recommended if the cancer is locally advanced and spread to the other organs of the body. 

If you experience any signs and symptoms of lung cancer that are persistent and worrisome seek medical care from an Oncologist as soon as possible.