Lung Cancer Symptoms

Lung Cancer Symptoms: What Are The Causes, Types And Treatments

According to National Library of Medicine research, cancer is a serious illness that happens when some cells in your lungs start growing in a way they shouldn’t. These strange cells can team up and create a lump called a tumor. This tumor messes up how your lungs are supposed to work. If we don’t stop it, the tumor can spread to other places in your body, below you can read lung cancer symptoms.

Table of Contents

What Are The Major Lung Cancer Symptoms?

  • Regular cough for a long time
  • You will feel trouble in breathing
  • Long term chest pain
  • You will start to lose weight
  • Body starts to feel extremely tired
  • Your voice also changes

What Are The Causes?

Smoking Cigarettes regularly:

It is one of the biggest reasons for lung cancer because the stuff in the cigarettes can hurt your cells.

The secondhand smoke:

Sometimes you do not smoke but you sit in an environment where people are smoking and  you inhale it through your breath. It can also damage your lungs.

Bad stuff in the air:

Furthermore, sometimes due to bad stuff in the air like asbestos and radon can also cause problems in your lungs.

Family genes:

Sometimes if one of your family members has this lung virus then there are big chances you will get it from your family

Air pollution:

In the big cities due to air pollution, there are chances you might get this lung disease.

Other lung diseases:

Some people have other lung diseases like COPD and these people have a high risk of getting lung cancer in the future.

Radiation Therapy:

Sometimes if you have radiation therapy specially on your chest then there are chances you can get lung disease.

Major Lung Cancer Types

Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC):

NSCLC comes in different types. Adenocarcinoma is more common in people who do not smoke and begins in cells that make mucus on the outer parts of the lungs. Squamous cell carcinoma is connected to smoking and starts in the tubes of the lungs. Large cell carcinoma can grow rapidly and appear anywhere in the lungs.

Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC):

SCLC is the dangerous type that grows strong in the center of the lungs close to bronchi.

Preventing for (NSCLC)&(SCLC):

  • You should stop smoking
  • Try to avoid secondhand smoking
  • Protect Against Environmental Risks
  • Go for regular check-up

Stages of Lung Cancer And Their Symptoms?

Lung cancer has different stages that help doctors decide the best treatment. Here’s a simple breakdown:

Stage 0 (Carcinoma in situ):

Symptoms:

Usually, there aren’t many signs.

What's Happening:

The cancer is only on the surface and hasn’t gone deep.

Stage 1:

Symptoms:

 Maybe just a little cough or slight chest pain.

What's Happening:

The cancer is only in the lung and hasn’t spread to other parts.

Stage 2:

Symptoms:

 A bit more noticeable, like a persistent cough or chest pain.

What's Happening:

The cancer is bigger and might be touching nearby things, like the chest wall or lymph nodes.

Stage 3:

Symptoms:

 Coughing more, chest pain, trouble breathing, and losing weight.

What's Happening:

The cancer has reached lymph nodes or other close places, making it more serious.

 

Stage 4:

Symptoms:

 Harder to breathe, constant chest pain, coughing up blood, and losing a lot of weight.

What's Happening:

The cancer has spread far away, like to the bones or brain. This is the most advanced stage.

 

How is lung cancer diagnosed?

lung cancer diagnosed

When doctors suspect lung cancer, they use different methods to be sure. Here’s how they do it:

Medical History and Physical Examination:

Doctors ask about your health and any habits that might be linked to lung cancer, like smoking. They also check your body for signs of a problem.

Imaging Tests:

Chest X-ray:

A simple picture to see if there’s anything unusual in your lungs.

CT Scan:

A more detailed picture that helps doctors see if there’s a tumor and where it is.

MRI:

Sometimes used for an even closer look, especially around the lungs.

Spit Test:

Doctors might look at mucus you cough up to see if it has any cancer cells.

 

Tissue Sample:

Sometimes, doctors need a small piece of the tumor to check and they can do this with a needle or a tiny camera tube that goes into your lungs.

Full-Body Scan:

If cancer is confirmed, a PET scan might be done to check if it has spread to other parts of your body.

Genetic Test:

In some cases, doctors check the tumor’s genes to help choose the best treatment.

Treatment And Medication?

When it comes to treating lung cancer, doctors have different ways to help. Here’s what they might do:

1.Surgery:

  • What It Is: Taking out the part of your lung with the cancer.
  • When It’s Used: Usually for early-stage cancer when it hasn’t spread a lot.

2.Radiation Therapy:

  • What It Is: Using strong X-rays to kill the cancer cells.
  • When It’s Used: After surgery or sometimes instead of surgery, especially if surgery isn’t an option.

3. Chemotherapy:

  • What It Is: Using special medicines to stop the cancer from growing.
  • When It’s Used: Often used with surgery or radiation. Sometimes, it’s the main treatment for more advanced cancer.

4. Targeted Therapy:

  • What It Is: Using medicines that aim at specific things in the cancer cells.
  • When It’s Used: When doctors find certain things in the cancer cells that these medicines can target.

5. Immunotherapy:

  • What It Is: Helping your body’s defense system fight cancer.
  • When It’s Used: Especially for more advanced cancer or when other treatments aren’t working well.

6. Clinical Trials:

  • What They Are: Tests trying out new treatments.
  • When They’re Used: Some people join these trials to try new things that might help.

Medicines:

1.Chemotherapy Medicines:

  • Examples: Paclitaxel, cisplatin, carboplatin.
  • How They Work: They go after the fast-growing cancer cells. 

2.Targeted Therapy Medicines:

  • Examples: Erlotinib, gefitinib, crizotinib.
  • How They Work: Aim at specific things in the cancer cells to slow them down.

3.Immunotherapy Medicines:

  • Examples: Pembrolizumab, nivolumab, atezolizumab.
  • How They Work: Help your body’s defense system fight cancer.

4.Radiation Therapy Medicines:

  • Examples: Cisplatin, etoposide.
  • How They Work: Make radiation therapy more effective.

5.Supportive Medicines::

  • Examples: Medicines to help with things like feeling sick, pain, or tiredness.
  • How They Work: Make you feel better during treatment.

Does Use of Vape Cause Lung Cancer?

While we don’t fully know the long-term effects of cigarettes, current research strongly suggests that vaping is not a safe or healthy substitute for smoking. Moreover, it appears that vaping may heighten the risk of developing lung cancer symptoms.

Can You Get Lung Cancer Without Smoking?

Yes, because you can get lung cancer even if you don’t smoke. Smoking is the main reason for lung cancer, but there are other things that can cause it. Breathing in smoke from other people (secondhand smoke), being around certain substances like asbestos, having family members who had lung cancer, or certain genes can also increase the chance of getting lung cancer. Sometimes, doctors don’t know why someone gets lung cancer symptoms.

Can Lung Cancer Spread Fast

Lung cancer can spread at different speeds from person to person. So it depends on the type of lung cancer and how early it’s found. Some kinds can spread quickly, while others may spread more slowly.

How Long Will A Lung Cancer Patient Live?

It’s hard to say exactly how long someone with lung cancer will live because it depends on many things. This includes the type of lung cancer, how early it’s found, and how well the person responds to treatment. Some people live for many years with treatment, while others may face more challenges.

At What Stage Lung Cancer Can Kill You?

If you find out you have stage 4 lung cancer, how much time you have left can be different for everyone. It might be months or years, or it could be just a few weeks. Your doctor will talk to you about what might happen based on the tests they do. At some point, your doctor might say you’re in the later stages of lung cancer.

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