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Lung Cancer

Table of Contents

Introduction

The lung is a breathing organ inside the chest. This organ brings oxygen into the body while breathing in and expels carbon dioxide out of the body while breathing out. There are two lungs in humans namely the right and the left lung. The left lung is bigger compared to the right lung.

Lung cancer is a malignant tumour developed in the lung which is caused due to uncontrollable growth of cells within the lung tissues. There are two stages of lung tumour.

  1. Non-small cell lung cancer
  2. Small cell lung cancer

Symptoms of Lung Cancer

Some of the symptoms are stated below:

  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Chest pain for an extended period
  • Swelling in face and neck
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Repeated respiratory infections such as pneumonia
  • Weakness in shoulders and arms
  • Coughing up blood
  • Weight loss
  • Hoarseness
  • A severe headache
  • Joints pain

Causes of Lung Cancer

Many factors are responsible for lung cancer and they include:

Smoking:  It can be considered one of the primary patrons of lung cancer. A person who inhales smoke while another person’s smoking may also be prone to this type of cancer.

Air Pollution: Pollution due to traffic fumes, factories, etc. Its contribution is less to rising lung diseases in recent times.

Asbestos fibres: They can endure in lung tissue for an extended period if it is exposed to asbestos fibres are nothing but silicate fibres. A common source can be considered as working place.

Radon Gas: It is a decay product of uranium that is produced by the breakdown of radioactive radium. Radon gas is usually colourless. The decayed products ionize the genetic material leading to some mutations which in turn may cause cancer.

Other Causes: Due to the production of rubber, toxic gases, incomplete combustion of coal and due to different kinds of metals.

Stages of Lung Cancer

Stages refer to determining the severity of cancer which extent it might have spread, the size of a tumour and whether it has been further spread to secondary cells.

Non-small cell lung cancer stages:

It comprises Stage 1 to Stage 4 in order of severity.

Stage 1: At this stage, cancer is constrained to the lung.

Stage 2 and 3: Cancer is restricted to the lymph nodes.

Stage 4: Cancer has been spread outside the lung.

Small Cell Lung Cancer Stages:

Limited Stage: At this stage, cancer is constrained to the area of origin (i.e. lungs and lymph nodes).

Extensive Stage: At this stage, cancer has been spread to other parts of the body.

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