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Key Information About Lung Cancer

Updated on June 16, 2019
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Srikanth is passionate about helping people improve their quality of life.

Overview

Also known as lung carcinoma, lung cancer is a condition that causes cells to divide in the lungs uncontrollably. This results in growth of tumors that decrease the patient's ability to breathe.

Lung cancer is the most commonly occurring cancer in men and the third most commonly occurring cancer in women.

Lung cancer results in 1.7 million deaths globally every year–more than breast, prostate and colorectal cancer combined.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons | Source

Types

 
Non-small cell lung cancer
Small cell lung cancer
Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the most common lung cancer, accounting for about 85 percent of all cases.

Causes

About 80 percent of lung cancer deaths are caused by smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke.

Exposure to radon and asbestos increases the risk of this deadly disease. Radon exposure is the second-leading cause of this deadly tumor.

Working with materials such as uranium, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, nickel and some petroleum products is especially dangerous.

Individuals with a family history of lung cancer are more likely to develop the disease themselves.

Source

Symptoms

The early symptoms of lung cancer may be a slight cough or shortness of breath, depending on which part of the lung is affected. As the cancer develops, these symptoms may become more severe or intense.

Chest pain, hoarseness, weight loss, headache and bone pain are other known symptoms of this killer disease.

Diagnosis

Chest X-ray is the most common first diagnostic step when any new symptoms of lung cancer are present.

Your doctor may ask you to breathe into a device known as spirometer, which measures how much air you breathe in and out. Almost half of early-stage lung cancers can be identified using a blood test.

To get a good look inside the windpipe and the bronchi (the two tubes that carry air from the windpipe to the lungs), your doctor may use a bronchoscope.

"In smokers, a low-radiation CT scan of the chest has shown significant benefit in reducing the chance of dying of lung cancer" said Dr. John Maurice, a thoracic surgeon and lung cancer specialist at St. Joseph Hospital in California.

Artificial intelligence may help doctors make more accurate readings of CT scans used to screen for lung cancer.

A Trabzon-based software company has developed a system that will help doctors diagnose this disease.

Named the AKGÜN X-eye TORAKS, the system is an x-ray device developed solely for the diagnosis of lung cancer. The device has had an 85 percent success rate so far.

At Sky Ridge Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente surgeons use a safe, effective and less invasive way to catch and treat lung cancer faster. It uses high tech mapping of the lungs and a robot.


AI in 3D can be much more sensitive in its ability to detect early lung cancer than the human eye looking at 2D images. This is technically '4D' because it is not only looking at one CT scan, but two over time.

— Mozziyar Etemadi, research assistant professor, Northwestern University in the US.

Treatment

Lung cancer treatment depends on the type of lung cancer, where it is, it's size, whether it has spread, and the patient's general health.

Treatments typically include one or more types of therapy, such as surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy, angiogenesis inhibitors or immunotherapy.

Yoga can be an effective supportive therapy for advanced lung cancer patients.

Source

Prevention

Water is essential for healthy lungs. Dry lungs are prone to irritation. Each day you should try to drink between six and eight glasses.

Eat a low-fat, high-fibre diet, that includes at least five potions of fruit and vegetables every day.

Avoid tobacco smoke. Do yoga daily. Padangusthasana, Marjaryasana, Bhujangasana and Bitilasana strengthen the lungs.

Lung Cancer Survival Rate

The five-year survival rate for lung cancer is 56 percent for cases detected when the disease is still localized (within the lungs).

However, only 16 percent of lung cancer cases are diagnosed at an early stage. For distant tumors (spread to other organs) the five-year survival rate is only 5 percent.

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2019 Srikanth R

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