To this day, doctors, scientists and researchers are determined to find a cure for all types of cancer. Of these types, lung cancer remains, by far, one of the deadliest cancers to affect both, male and female. Here are 10 lung cancer facts that you need to know about.
Second Most Common Cancer
Lung cancer is the second most common form of cancer in both, men and women. The leading types include breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men. Skin cancer is another one that makes it to the top of the list. However, the aforementioned are the deadlier ones, whereby people are losing lives on a daily basis.
Numerous People Affected
Out of all the humans that are still living, more than 400,000 have been diagnosed with lung cancer at some point in life. That is one of the reasons why it is such a common disease.
Smoking- the Leading Cause
Smoking is the main major cause that contributes to almost 90% of all lung cancer cases. As it is, lung cancer with or without being a smoker has dangerously low survival rates. Therefore, making you a smoker decreases those rates even further, to around 3%, if you have lung cancer. However, tobacco isn’t the cancer causing ingredient. Rather, it is the carcinogens that go into the production of tobacco products that cause cancer.
Coughing- the Main Symptom
Intense or persistent coughing is one of the main symptoms associated with lung cancer. One may cough up blood in addition to phlegm or mucus, which is a sure shot sign that there is a problem. Furthermore, shortness of breath, heavy or harsh breathing, as well as a hoarse sounding voice may also be symptoms. Bronchitis or pneumonia may also occur, which are major issues when it comes to the lungs.
Spreads Before Being Detected
When lung cells become cancerous tumors, the growth of new blood cells can be triggered to feed the tumor. Once it grows, symptoms of lung cancer may occur. These cancer cells are then released from the tumor and quickly spread to other regions of the body. Lung cancer cells can spread, or metastasize before symptoms are even caused. For this reason, lung cancer is a deadly disease where half of the damage is already done before any signs of cancer can be identified.
Can Metastasize in Various Regions of the Body
Lung cancer cells can metastasize to other parts of the body besides the lungs. These include the brain, bones, liver and adrenal glands. This occurs once the original cancer spreads, and the victim experiences certain symptoms elsewhere in the body. Frail bones, resulting in fractures and excessive weight gain or weight loss are common indicators. Moreover, bleeding, blood clotting and face or neck swelling may also start to occur. In terms of the brain, one may even experience excessive memory loss.
Shows no Symptoms Upon Starting
Initially, the structure of the lungs begin to undergo precancerous changes. These structures include the alveoli, bronchioles and bronchi. After this, cells spread and grow rapidly due to genetic changes. Cancer cells are unable to be identified at this time since no symptoms occur.
Two Main Types
There are two main types of lung cancer. Non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC) are those that develop from the cells lining the lungs. Small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) develop from nerve or gland cells. Hereby, a tumor starts to fill up lung spaces once it starts growing. This leads to coughing or shortness of breath. Further spreading can destroy lung tissue and affect the lymph nodes as well. Eventually, it may spread to the ribs or to the other lung.
Low Rate of Curability
Although lung cancer can be treated in some cases, the success rates overall are extremely low. Almost 90% of the times, the results are fatal. However, non-small cell lung cancer can be treated using surgery and stereo tactic body radiation therapy.
Surgery the Main Form of Treatment
Surgery is still considered to be one of the oldest and most effective forms of treatment for lung cancer. Hereby, the tumor and surrounding tissue is surgically removed. However, surgery may carry certain complications of its own. It is an invasive process whereby the rest of the body parts are susceptible to harm. Moreover, it may inflict great pain and result in infections. What’s worse than surgery of this kind is the fact that the success rate is not a hundred percent. Therefore, it may have a huge negative impact on one psychologically if they were not to be cured even after such an intense surgery.
In conclusion, the only way one can take care of their body is to get an annual checkup, keep tabs on diet and general health, and get enough exercise. Apart from that, one can only pray for the best, and hope to maintain a healthy body and mind.