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Lung Cancer

When there is a growth of abnormal cells in one or both the lungs, and they multiply rapidly and turn into tumours which can interfere with the function of the lungs and, eventually, spread to other parts of the body.

Lung cancer is most common, and this accounts for nearly a third of all cancer deaths. People who suffer form cancer were people, who smoke cigarettes,even non-smokers, also exposure to radon, asbestos, and second-hand smoke are also the risk factors. There is no known cause.

Signs and Symptoms

The common signs and symptoms of lung cancer are:

  • Constant chest pain
  • Coughing up blood
  • Shortness of breath, wheezing or hoarseness
  • Persistent cough
  • Fatigue
  • Pneumonia or bronchitis (repeatedly)
  • Swelling of the neck and face
  • Loss of appetite or weight loss

Diagnosis

To find out the root cause of the symptoms,the doctor will evaluate the medical history,history of smoking, exposure to environmental or occupation substances, and also family history of cancer. The doctor will perform a physical exam and would recommend a chest X-ray, computed tomography (CT) scan and other tests.

Lung cancer can be suspected, by sputum cytology-or the microscopic examination of cells which is obtained from a deep cough sample of mucus in the lungs- it is a simple test which can be useful in detecting lung cancer. To confirm the presence of lung cancer, the doctor must examine the tissue, where a biopsy is done, the removal of a small sample of tissue for examination under a microscope by a pathologist- which can determine if you have cancer. A number of procedures can be done to obtain the tissue.

Treatment

Treatments depends upon a number of factors, which include the type of lung cancer(non-small or small cell lung cancer); which means the size, location and the extent of the tumour, and the general health of patient. There are many difference treatments and combinations, which may be used to control lung cancer and improve the quality of life by reducing the symptoms.

Surgery

An operation to remove cancer. The type of surgery which is performed depends on the location of the tumour in the lung, and the amount of surgery a patient can tolerate. An operation is done to remove one part of the lung which is called a segmental or wedge resection. The surgeon removes an entire lobe of the lung, which is known as a lobectomy. When the surgeon removes the entire lung, then it is known as a pneumonectomy. Decortication and pleurectomy is done to remove the lining of the lung.

The removal of fluid from the chest is known as Talc pleurodesis, To seal the area between the lung and the chest wall, so that the fluid does not accumulate again is known as placement of "talc". Some tumours are inoperable, which means they cannot be removed by surgery, due to their size or location, and some patient;s can't have surgery for other medical reasons.

Some types of incisions and procedures involved in lung surgery are:

  • Thoracotomy - Is an incision in the chest wall to remove all of the lung portion.
  • Video-assisted Thoracoscopy (VATS) - Is viewing the space around the lung through a scope and removing the fluid or a portion of the lung,this procedure is used on patient with poor lung function.
  • Sternotomy - It is an incision made where the sternum or breastbone is divided down the middle, from the top to the bottom.

Chemotherapy

This is a cancer procedure, which is used as an anticancer drug to kill cancer cells throughout the body, even after the cancer is removed from the lung. It is most likely that the cancer cells are still be present in the nearby tissue or elsewhere in the body. Chemotherapy is used to control the growth of cancer and also to relive the symptoms.

These anticancer drugs,are given intravenously,which is injected directly into the vein, or by a catheter, or a thin tube placed into the large vein which remains as ling as needed. Some anticancer drugs are given in the form of a pill.

Radiation Therapy

This is a treatment is also known radiotherapy, which involves the use of high-energy rays to kill cancer cells. Radiation therapy is directed to a limited area and the affects the cancer cells only in that area.

It is also used before the surgery to shrink a tumour or a after surgery to destroy the remaining cancer cells,in the treated area. The doctors also use radiation therapy, often combined with chemotherapy, as primary treatment instead of surgery. Radiation therapy also may be used to relive symptoms such as shortness of breath.

Radiation is usually done with a help of a machine for lung cancer, or external radiation. Radiation also may come from an implant, a small container of radioactive material placed directly into or near the tumour called internal radiation.