Lungs are a part of the respiratory system. Respiratory system includes the organs and tissues that help a person take in oxygen and get rid of carbon dioxide.
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.
“Although the statistics are decreasing, (lung cancer) is still the largest cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide,” said Dr. Janani Reisenauer, a thoracic surgeon and an interventional pulmonologist. “Most of the time, people don’t notice any symptoms until it’s much later in their stage and it’s harder to treat.”
Non-small cell lung cancer
Small cell lung cancer
About 80 percent of lung cancer deaths are caused by smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke.
Risk of lung cancer increases with the number of cigarettes smoked per day and the number of years you have smoked.
Exposure to radon and asbestos increases the risk of this deadly disease. Radon exposure is the second-leading cause of this deadly tumor.
“Radon gas is thought to be the second most common cause of lung cancer after smoking," said Dr Deborah Lee from Dr Fox Online Pharmacy.
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.
Black lung cancer patients are more likely to die from their disease than white patients.
Although the average age at NSCLC diagnosis is 70 years old, one 2015 study suggests that some cases appear in people younger than 40 years of age.
High D-dimer levels are tied to a higher risk for lung cancer death, according to a research study published in the Frontiers of Medicine in March 2022.
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.
- Lung cancer affects the elderly only.
- It is impossible to reverse damage to the lungs caused by smoking cigarettes.
- This cancer is always caused by smoking tobacco products.
- Women need not worry about this disease.
- It is always deadly.
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.
In January 2023, research scientists developed an artificial intelligence deep learning tool known as Sybil.
It had an AUC (area under the curve) value of 94 percent, which shows a high degree of ability to correctly classify people with or without lung cancer within a year of screening, and up to 81 percent within six years.
Sybil also reduced the false positivity rate from 14 percent with current methods of analysis to 8 percent for the first scan, opening up the possibility of a single scan 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.
"People diagnosed in A&E are dying as a result of delays in identifying their illness. Late diagnosis makes lung cancer harder to treat and is a major reason why we have such poor survival in the UK,” said Prof Mick Peake, chair of the UK Lung Cancer Coalition's advisory group.
In April 2022, research scientists in the United Kingdom created a snake-like robot that can reach the inner recesses of the lungs with minimal invasion, thereby helping doctors diagnose lung cancer.
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.
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.
Results from several clinical trials combining chemo and immunotherapy changed the standard of care for many lung cancer patients in 2018.
The chemo kills the cancer cells, and the drug prompts the immune system to do its job.
Lung cancer that is fueled by abnormal activity of the epidermal growth factor receptor is often treated with the targeted drug osimertinib (Tagrisso®).
"The treatment of lung cancer is complex often involving multiple treatment modalities, including surgery, radiotherapy, systemic therapies, interventional radiology and palliative care,” Prof Abbasi said at a public awareness seminar at the Neurospinal & Cancer Care Postgraduate Institute, Karachi (NCCI) in the year 2021.
Yoga can be an effective supportive therapy for advanced lung cancer patients.
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. Quitting smoking at any age can significantly reduce the risk of developing lung cancer.
Do yoga daily. Padangusthasana, Marjaryasana, Bhujangasana and Bitilasana strengthen the lungs.
“You are recommended to check the radon levels in your area when buying and selling a property.
A safe radon level is 20 Bq/m3 or less. Below 100 Bq/m3 is said to be low risk. A level of 200 Bq/m3 is high risk.
Levels tend to be higher in basements, and in properties which are poorly ventilated,” said Dr Deborah Lee.
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.
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
TinnoHetrera on January 30, 2021:
Thank you...i need this