[toc]Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer deaths throughout the world. It occurs primarily in the lungs which may subsequently spread to other organs of the body like liver, bones, brain and the adrenal glands in the form of metastasis or secondary cancer. Lung cancer is more life threatening as compared to other types of cancer as it spreads very fast and rapidly as metastasis.
The growth of abnormal cells can occur in either one or both the lungs. According to the American Society of Clinical Oncologists, those who are smokers or past smokers should undergo an annual screening with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) to detect the possible development of lung cancer.
The Most Common Causes Of Lung Cancer
Most of the times, lungs cancer occurs due to smoking cigarettes or consuming tobacco. However, instead of direct smoking, inhalation of tobacco smoke by a non-smoker, when someone else is smoking (passive smoking), can also cause cancer. Earlier, it was common among men only, but now, since more and more women have started smoking, they are also prone to lung cancer. Moreover, passive smoking can also cause cancer in children and non-smoking men and women.
Air pollution is another major factor which can cause lung cancer. Prolonged exposure to highly polluted air emitted from vehicles, especially diesel fumes, industries, power plants, etc. can be hazardous to life in the form of diseases like lung cancer. Risk of lung cancer is also high in areas with high levels of nitrogen oxides. Use of coal for cooking and heating the home in cold places can also increase the risk of lung cancer.
Some lung diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease also increases the risk of lung cancer. Moreover, those who survive a lung cancer like those who were previously treated for non-small cell lung cancer (SCLCs) bear the risk of second lung cancer.
Lung cancer deaths due to radon gas accounts for approximately 12% of such deaths. It is a natural gas which is formed from natural decay of uranium. It is hazardous because a kind of ionizing radiation is formed from its decaying.
It is very difficult to take precaution from cancer caused from radon gas because the gas can travel up very easily to our homes through soil with the help of pipes, drains, through our shoes, etc. Moreover, it is invisible and does not have any special smell or odour to identify it. However, it can be easily detected with test kits available in the market.
Symptoms Of Lung Cancer
The signs and symptoms of lung cancer varies from person to person. The symptoms also depends on the staging or level of cancer formation and on how far the disease has spread. Initially, no symptom may appear and chest x-ray or CT scan may only reveal if there is any tumor or lesion in the form of a mass.
As time goes on, some symptoms may start showing up and become more prominent. The growth of cancer tissues may start interfering with the normal breathing process and cause shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing, chest pain, passing of blood with cough, wheezing, etc.
Types Of Lung Cancer
The Non-Small Cell Lung Cancers (NSCLC)
It comprises of about 85 percent of lung cancer. The various types of non-small cell lung cancers are adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and large cell carcinomas. There can be four different stages of non-small cell lung cancers based on whether it has stayed confines to the lungs only or has spread to the lymph nodes or to other organs of the body.
The Small Cell Lung Cancers (SCLC)
Small Cell Lung Cancer comprises of the rest of 15 percent of lung cancer. Its two stages are limited stage and extensive stage. It occurs mostly in people who smoke much more as compared to others. It spreads more rapidly. However, the good thing is that it responds very well to chemotherapy.