Lungs are vital organs when it comes to breathing. As they are responsible for breathing and gas exchange. Lung cancer is a condition which is caused when the cells in your lungs start dividing uncontrollably. This causes the growth of tumors and reduces the person’s ability to breathe.
Lung Cancer Symptoms:
Identifying Lung cancer at an early stage is difficult, as the symptoms are similar to respiratory infection. However, in case of acute illness, the following are the symptoms:
- Change in the voice tone, such as hoarseness
- Appetite loss
- Shortness of breath
- Unexplained headaches
- Frequent chest infection, such as bronchitis or pneumonia
- Weight loss
- Lingering cough
While the above symptoms may sound normal in normal cough and cold, in lung cancer, this is accompanied by a severe or moderate chest or bone pain or coughing up blood.
Diagnosis of Lung Cancer:
Ideally, a Pulmonologist is the Best to be referred for any Lung-related issues. As a pulmonology expert is specialised in diagnosing the lung and respiratory problems.
If at any point a Doctor identifies the presence of Lung Cancer, an individual has to undergo few diagnostic tests.
- Imaging Studies: Commonly known as CT scan and PET scan of lungs. This is done to reveal the areas of lung tissues with cancer. Bone scans also indicate the presence of cancerous growth
- Tissue Sampling: A sample of cancerous lung tissue is taken for a potentially cancerous cell. One method is bronchoscopy, where the Doctor sees the lesion and then obtain the samples.
- Lab Testing: Sputum testing or blood testing is done to check the presence of lung cancer.
Early diagnosis of Lung cancer can actually be life-saving. Detecting and treating it in the Lungs is easier for the Doctors. More the delay, more it spreads in the other body parts
Stages of Lung Cancer:
The stages of Lung Cancer is determined on the basis of how far it has spread in the body. It also takes into account the number and size of the tumours.
Occult/Hidden: Cancer does not show on the scan but cancerous cells may appear in the phlegm or mucus
Stage 0: The abnormal cells are visible only in the top layer of cells lining the airways
Stage I: A tumour of less than 5cms is developed in the lung but not spread to other parts of the body
Stage II: tumour smaller than 5cms-7cms start spreading to the lymph nodes in the lung area and to the nearby tissues.
Stage III: Cancer spread to the lymph nodes and reach to the surrounding part of the lung area.
Stage IV: Cancer spread to lung and surrounding areas.
Lung Cancer Treatment:
Based on the stage the Lung Cancer is detected, the Doctor decides to treat lung cancer. Although, chemotherapy is something Doctors recommend irrespective of the cancer stage.
Other possible treatment includes:
Lung surgery: To remove cancerous lung tissue and tissue in the area around where chances of spreading cancer are high.
Chemotherapy: Use of Drugs to eradicate or shrink cancer cells. This target the radically dividing cells.
Radiation Therapy: Use of high-energy rays to kill the cancerous cells. It targets the exact location and does not spread.
If you are concerned that you could be at a risk for lung cancer, Consult a Pulmonology Expert in Hyderabad.