LUNG CANCER AWARENESS MONTH
Cancer is a disease in which cells in the body grow out of control. When cancer starts in the lungs, it is called lung cancer.1 lung cancer develops when normal processes of cell division and growth are disrupted, giving way to abnormal, uncontrollable growth.
The cells grow into a mass or tumor. Any abnormal growth in the body that directly invades surrounding tissues and organs spreads to other parts of the body, or has the potential to grow back after being removed is called “malignant,” or cancerous. Lung cancer can take several years to develop.2
There are main types of Liver cancer:3
- Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC): About 80% to 85% of lung cancers are NSCLC.
- bronchioloalveolar carcinoma
- Squamous cell carcinoma
- Large cell (undifferentiated) carcinoma
- Small cell lung cancer (SCLC): This type of lung cancer tends to grow and spread faster than NSCLC. About 70% of people with SCLC will have cancer that has already spread at the time they are diagnosed.
According to a 2019 study, Lung cancer is the 2nd most common malignancy worldwide, but it is the deadliest as it causes the highest number of deaths of all cancers.3
Lung cancer symptoms and signs: 2
Signs and symptoms of lung cancer are not always seen. However, some people do have symptoms early. The sign and symptoms of Lung cancer are as follows:
- Coughing that does not improve
- Blood in sputum that is expelled by coughing
- Infections that return or will not clear
- Chest pain with cough or laugh
Risk Factors for Lung cancer: 4
- Excessive alcohol consumption: Consuming more than a restrained amount of alcohol daily can lead to irreversible liver damage and increase your risk of liver cancer.
- Exposure to high levels of radiation: Radiation therapy treatments to the head and neck increase the risk of Lung cancer.
- Diabetes: People with this blood sugar disorder have a greater risk of liver cancer than those who don’t have diabetes.
- Chronic infection with HBV or HCV: Chronic infection with the hepatitis B virus or hepatitis C virus increases the risk of liver cancer.
- Cirrhosis: This progressive and irreversible condition of cirrhosis causes scar tissue to form in the liver and increases the chances of developing cancer.
- Certain inherited liver diseases: Liver diseases including hemochromatosis and Wilson’s disease increases the chance of getting liver cancer.
- Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: An accumulation of fat in the liver increases the risk of liver cancer.
As lung cancer progresses, it can cause complications. Complications may result from cancer spreading to other areas of your body or as a side effect of the treatment plan. Some complications of lung cancer are as follows:
Facial swelling: Tumors around the upper area of the right lung can put pressure on the superior vena cava (SVC), it can restrict blood flow, and cause swelling in the face, neck, and arms.
Lung function: Lung cancer causes blockages in the major airways. It can also cause the build-up of fluid around the lungs, which may result in pain and shortness of breath.
Higher risk of infection: Persistent lung infections, like bronchitis and pneumonia, are common symptoms of lung cancer.
Blood clots: People with lung cancer are at especially high risk of deep vein thrombosis. This occurs when a blood clot develops in a deep vein, especially in the lower leg or thigh.
Hypercalcemia: Lung cancer leads to Increase levels of calcium in the blood, known as hypercalcemia.
Pain with lung cancer: Pain is a common symptom of lung cancer and it occurs in the ribs or chest muscles, or other parts of the body that lung cancer has spread to or affected.
Quit smoke-tobacco: Smoking and chewing tobacco have been linked to blood cancer.
Exercise most days of the week: Maintain a weekly exercise regimen and a healthy diet.
Test home for radon: Have the radon levels in your home checked, especially if live in an area where radon is known to be a problem.
Avoid carcinogens at work: Take precautions to protect yourself from exposure to toxic chemicals at work.
Eat a healthy diet: Choose a healthy diet with a variety of fruits and vegetables. Food sources of vitamins and nutrients are best. Avoid taking large doses of vitamins in pill form,
Get regular medical care: Regular medical check-ups and screenings for cancer may increase the chances of discovering cancer early when treatment is most likely to be successful.
Treatment for Lung cancer: 7
Cancer treatment depends on the type of cancer, age, how fast the cancer is progressing, where the cancer has spread, and other factors. Treatment for lung cancer includes one or more of the following approaches:
- Surgery: It is a part of the treatment for early-stage lung cancers. The type of surgery depends on the size and location of the tumor in the lung, the general health of the patient, and other factors.
Types of surgery:
- Segmental or wedge resection: Removal of one small part of the lung
- Lobectomy: Removal of an entire lobe of the lung
- Pneumonectomy: Removal of an entire lung
- Sleeve resection: Removal of a piece of bronchus, after which the lung is reattached to the remaining part of the bronchus
- Radiation Therapy: It is the use of high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink cancers.
- External radiation (external beam therapy): A treatment that precisely sends high levels of radiation directly to the cancer cells.
- Chemotherapy: In uses anticancer drugs to interfere with and stop the growth of cancer cells in the body.
- Targeted Therapy: It is like chemotherapy in that it goes throughout the body in search of tumor cells. These are drugs that target specific parts of cancer cells or nearby cells that help them grow.
- Immunotherapy: It is a new cancer treatment approach that uses drugs, vaccines, and other therapies to activate the immune system’s natural defenses so it can fight cancer.
Lung Cancer Awareness Month is observed every November and highlights the need for more research to be conducted while cultivating a better understanding of the disease. Tragically, lung cancer is the most common cancer and is also known as the leading cause of cancer deaths in men and women worldwide. 8
The month intends to encourage people to seek medical advice sooner, to encourage early diagnosis to ensure the best possible chance of treating the disease effectively, and to highpoint other important factors that influence patient outcomes. Educating about the complexity of lung cancer, the variety of people affected, and the damaging effects of lung cancer stigma can help to promote earlier diagnosis and faster better patient care.
- What Is Lung Cancer? Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/lung/basic_info/what-is-lung-cancer.htm. Assessed on 15th October 2022.
- Lung Cancer. Available at: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/4375-lung-cancer. Assessed on 15th October 2022.
- What Is Lung Cancer? Available at: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/lung-cancer/about/what-is.html. Assessed on 15th October 2022.
- Liver cancer. Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/liver-cancer/symptoms-causes/syc-20353659. Assessed on 15th October 2022.
- Lung Cancer Complications. Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/lung-cancer-complications#prevention. Assessed on 15th October 2022.
- Lung Cancer. Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/lung-cancer/symptoms-causes/syc-20374620. Assessed on 15th October 2022.
- Lung Cancer Treatment. Available at: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/lung-cancer/lung-cancer-treatment. Assessed on 15th October 2022.
- Lung Cancer Awareness Month – November 2022. Available at: https://nationaltoday.com/lung-cancer-awareness-month/. Assessed on 15th October 2022.
- Lung cancer awareness month: An evolution. Available at: https://www.roche.com/stories/lung-cancer-awareness-month-an-evolution.Assessed on 15th October 2022.