Lung Cancer

Lung Cancer

Lung Cancer Treatment in India - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Lung cancer is one most of the most common cancers which begin in the lungs. Lungs are the two vital organs which are present in your chest and bring in oxygen during inhaling and release carbon dioxide during exhaling. Lung cancer alarmingly been becoming the increasing cause of death worldwide, in both women and men. Lung cancer is caused due to the abnormal cells present in one or both lungs which multiply over time at a very fast rate, thereby affecting the healthy tissues, the growth most commonly starts off in the cells which line the air passages. When these abnormal cells grow rapidly, thy result in malignant tumours which are dangerous and life-threatening.

Lung cancer is most common in patients over the age of 60 years. However, the symptoms of lung cancer may not be felt immediately and can take proper time until it is diagnosed. People who smoke are not the only ones who carry the greatest risk of lung cancer, as it can also catch people who have never smoked. But the risk of getting lung cancer goes up as you age and also depends on the number of cigarettes you've smoked. That's why quitting smoking is a good preventive measure, as even despite being a smoker for years, your chances of developing lung cancer can significantly drop.

Types of Lung Cancer

The doctors have divided the lung cancer into two broad categories on the basis of how the lung cancer cells appear under the microscope. After diagnosing the type of lung cancer, the doctor makes the decision of how to go about the lung cancer treatment.

The two types of lung cancer are:

1. Small Cell Lung Cancer:

Small cell lung cancer are mostly exclusively diagnosed people who are heavy smokers, and this type of lung cancer is less common than non-small cell lung cancer.

2. Non-small Cell Lung Cancer:

Non-small cell lung cancer includes several types of lung cancers function in a somewhat similar way. Non-small cell lung cancers include squamous cell carcinoma, large cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma.

Lung Cancers of Some Other Types:

  • Tumors other than those seen in the most common kinds of lung cancer may also develop in the lungs.
  • Less than 5% of lung cancers are carcinoid tumors. For the most part, these plants develop at a snail's pace. Lung Carcinoid Tumor has further information about these tumors.
  • Adenocarcinomas, lymphomas, and sarcomas are among the rarer forms of lung cancer. Hamartomas, on the other hand, are common. Unlike the more prevalent lung cancers, they aren't mentioned here since they're given preferential treatment.
  • These tumors, which originate elsewhere like the breast, pancreatic, or kidney, may travel to the lungs, but they are not lung malignancies. Even when it spreads to the lungs, breast cancer persists and is still classified as such. It is important to know where cancer originated to choose the best course of action.

Cigarette smoking and the development of lung cancer

Some smokers don't acquire lung cancer, and some nonsmokers seem to get lung cancer. On the other hand, smoking is undoubtedly the most dangerous risk factor. Nine out of 10lung cancers are caused by it. Smokers aren't the only ones at risk. Your chance of developing lung cancer is also increased by secondhand smoking.

Lung cancer is also associated with other forms of tobacco smoking, such as cigars and pipe tobacco. Your risk of acquiring lung cancer increases when you smoke more and for longer periods. After stopping smoking, ex-smokers have a much-decreased chance of acquiring lung cancer. Lung cancer mortality rates fall by half within ten years after stopping smoking.

What are the symptoms of Lung Cancer?

The symptoms of lung cancer for both types are basically the same. Early symptoms of lung cancer may include:

  • Worsening cough
  • Phlegm or blood in a cough
  • Severe chest pain during breathing deeply, laughing or coughing
  • Hoarseness in voice 
  • Breathlessness
  • Wheezing
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Drastic weight loss

You may also easily catch respiratory infections like pneumonia or bronchitis.

As the abnormal cells continue to grow, cancer spreads across, forming new tumors and additional symptoms may come up, depending on the presence of that new tumor. For example,

  • Lymph nodes: lumps, in the neck or collarbone may be formed
  • Bones: pain in the bones, especially in the back, ribs, or hips
  • Brain or spine: a headache, balancing problems, dizziness, or numbness in the body
  • Liver: yellow colouration in the skin and eyes (jaundice)

Causes of Lung Cancer

All people can be susceptible to lung cancer, however, 90 per cent of lung cancer cases are due to heavy smoking. Another leading cause is the exposure a naturally existing radioactive gas, radon. Radon may enter the houses and the buildings even through minor cracks present in the foundation. People who are heavy smokers and are also exposed to radon carry a high risk of getting lung cancer. Inhaling hazardous chemical substances, especially over a long period of time, can also be the cause of lung cancer. Mesothelioma is a type of lung cancer which occurs due to exposure to asbestos.

Other substances which can be causing lung cancer are:

  • Arsenic
  • Cadmium
  • Chromium
  • Nickel
  • Some petroleum products
  • Uranium

Other risk factors include:

  • The family history of lung cancer – a genetic cause
  • The earlier history of having lung cancer, especially if you’re a smoker
  • Previous exposure to radiation therapy to the chest

Lung cancer stages

- First stage

The cancer is confined to one lung and has not progressed to any lymph nodes or other organs outside of the chest cavity.

- Second Stage

The cancerous growth has a diameter of more than three centimeters (cm). It might have migrated to the lymph nodes within the lung, but it did not extend to any other organs outside the lung.

- Third Stage

The tumor is more than 7 centimeters wide. It may have progressed to lymph nodes in the middle of the chest but not to any organs farther away.

- Fourth Stage

If NSCLC has progressed to the lymph nodes or distant organs, it's a sign that cancer has metastasized.

Diagnosing Lung Cancer

After an initial consultation with the doctor, the doctor may do some physical examination and carry out the following tests for diagnosing the lung cancer. These tests include:

  • Imaging tests: Tests like X-ray. MRI, CT, and PET scan to view the abnormal mass, i.e. the tumor growth. 
  • Sputum cytology: If your cough produces phlegm, then the microscopic examination is carried out to determine the presence of cancer cells.

If tumor cells are cancerous, then a biopsy is carried out. It includes:

  • Bronchoscopy
  • Mediastinoscopy
  • Needle Test

Lung Cancer Treatment Options

Lung cancer surgery: In the lung cancer surgery, the surgeon makes incisions in the chest to remove the lung cancer and a small portion of the healthy tissue. Different procedures carried out to remove lung cancer are:

  • Wedge resection which is done by removing a small portion of the lung where the tumor is present along with a portion of healthy tissue
  • Segmental resection which removes a relatively larger portion of the lung, but not an entire lobe
  • Lobectomy which is done to remove the entire lobe of one lung
  • Pneumonectomy which removes the entire lung

1. Chemotherapy:

Chemotherapy is another common form of lung cancer treatment which is done over several weeks via administration of drugs via several kinds of injections to kill the cancer cells: drugs intravenously (IV), intra-arterially (IA), or via intraperitoneal (IP)

2. Targeted Chemotherapy:

Unlike traditional chemotherapy, these drugs are used to selectively treat the affected area, thereby causing lesser damage to other parts of the system. Advanced medications can now directly target specific functions in cancer cells.

3. Radiation Therapy:

Radiation therapy is a lung cancer treatment that is widely used to treat inoperable tumor cells. Radiation Therapy consists of X-rays or even stronger waves like the Ultra-voilet (UV) rays. In some cases, chemotherapy is coupled with radiation therapy for a more effective ovarian cancer treatment.

Palliative Care

People suffering from lung cancer not only have to experience signs and symptoms of cancer but also the side effects of the lung cancer treatment. Supportive care, which is also called palliative care, the branch of medicine in the which the doctor works with you in order to minimize your signs and symptoms.

Lung cancer surgery consists of a variety of techniques

The tumor's location inside the lung, its thickness, the patient's body frame, weight, and any past chest operations all have a role in determining the sort of surgical technique that will be used as well as the amount of lung tissue that will be removed. The use of minimally invasive techniques is explored when resection is necessary. Thoracic surgeons who have received enough training can regularly undertake video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS), along with VATS lobectomy and robotic surgery. Surgery for lung cancer is often done in the following way:

  • It is termed a segmental resection or wedge resection when just a tiny piece of the lung has to be removed.
  • A predetermined piece of the lung is removed during a lobectomy. There are three lobes on the right side of the lung and two on the left. There are a large number of patients that have this procedure to remove their cancerous lungs.
  • In a pneumonectomy, the whole lung is removed from the body.
  • To recover after thoracic surgery, a patient's age and general fitness are important factors, as well as the degree of the procedure. Within 2 or 3 days, most patients can move back from the hospital. A three-week recovery period is typical for patients who have had successful minimally invasive surgery.

The Effects of the Treatment

The good news is that lung cancer is usually treated, even if it cannot be cured. You will be able to enjoy a sense of well-being than past generations who battled cancer since modern treatment alternatives often have fewer adverse effects than traditional chemotherapy.

It is in your best interest to get as much information as possible about the potential consequences of each treatment choice on your likelihood of remission, survivability, and other important outcomes before making any decisions about the cancer treatment regimen.

Is a lung cancer patient cured?

Detection and treatment at an early stage are critical in lung cancer survival, as they are in many other malignancies. As many as 80% to 90% of people with early-stage lung cancer may be cured if given the proper treatment. Even at the most advanced stages of cancer, the chances of a patient's survival are greatly reduced. It has been shown that screening persons at high risk for lung cancer using a low-dose spiral CT scan may decrease the number of fatalities caused by lung cancer.

Lung Cancer Survival Rate

If cancer has entered the lymph nodes and bloodstream, there are chances for it to spread across different parts of the body. Therefore, the lung cancer treatment is the most effective if it begins before cancer spreads outside the lungs.

Other factors such as age, overall health, your response to the treatment also govern the survival rate.

The following are the estimated five-year survival rates of lung cancer by stage:

  • Stage 1: 45 to 49 per cent
  • Stage 2: 30 to 31 per cent
  • Stage 3A: 14 per cent
  • Stage 3B: 5 per cent
  • Stage 4: 1 per cent

Lung Cancer FAQs

Is lung cancer reversible or reversible?

Lung cancer at stage I, when detected and treated early, has a good chance of being cured. In most cases, your doctor will recommend that you have surgical resection of cancer. If there are still cancerous cells in your body, you may need chemotherapy or radiation treatment.

What are the first indicators of a lung condition?

Blood coming up on the coughing: Chest or upper respiratory infections may cause blood to be coughed up in the lungs or the upper respiratory tract. It doesn't matter where it's coming from. Chronic discomfort in the chest: One of the most common warning signs is an unexplained chest ache that lasts for more than a month.

What is the most common cause of lung cancer?

Most lung cancers begin in the cells that line the bronchi and other areas of the lung, like the bronchioles. The pleura is a thin lining that covers the lungs. The pleura acts as a cushion between your heart and the lungs wall, allowing them to expand and contract when you breathe.

Lung cancer symptoms: how do you feel?

Lung cancer usually has no visible or palpable signs until it has progressed to an advanced stage. Coughing, gasping, and soreness in the chest are common side effects later. If you're looking for a more subtle impact, you may be surprised to find it.

What does it sound like when someone has cancer of the lungs and starts coughing?

Both a dry and a moist cough might be associated with lung cancer. It's not so much about the sort of cough as it is about how long you've had it. There are various reasons a cough may develop, but it is usually self-limiting.

Does lung cancer show up in a blood test?

Blood tests are not used to identify lung cancer. However, they can help determine whether or not a person is in good general health. For instance, one can utilize them to assist in deciding whether or not a person is in good enough health to undergo surgery.

How long does a lung cancer patient live?

Around forty people out of every hundred (40%) survive their cancer for one year or more. 15 out of every 100 patients, approximately 15%, survive their cancer for at least five years after it has been diagnosed. Further, 10% of patients diagnosed with cancer will survive the disease by battling it for at least ten years.

What are the signs of the last days of a lung cancer patient?

Pain, shortness of breath, disorientation, and the production of fluids from the lungs are some of the symptoms that are typical in the later stages of lung cancer. These signs should be anticipated and dealt with as soon as possible with appropriate medications and by providing explanations to the patient and their family.

What is lung cancer herbal treatment?

According to recent findings, the natural ingredient known as berberine, which can be found in plants like barberry and goldenseal, inhibits the growth of lung cancer cells in the laboratory. Inflammation of the airways and injury to good lung cells caused by exposure to cigarette smoke chemicals are reduced.

Does lung water cause cancer?

Cancer of the lung can lead to fluid accumulation in the region surrounding the lung that is afflicted within the chest cavity. As the fluid builds up in the chest, the patient may experience difficulty breathing. Some treatments can remove the fluid from the chest & reduce the likelihood that you will experience pleural effusion again.

Is lung cancer hereditary?

Yes, about 8% of lung cancers are caused by genes or are passed down from parents to children.

Does lung cancer cause back pain?

Lung cancer may show up in a variety of ways, one of which is the ache in the back, along with neck and shoulder pain. Back pain will affect many people coping with lung cancer at some time throughout their illness.