Lung cancer is another name for lung carcinoma. This is a lung tumor and it features an uncontrolled cell growth in the lung tissues. The growth can even go beyond the lungs and it can reach to the other parts of the body. The growth process is known as metastasis. Because of that process, it can reach to other parts of the body apart from the cell. Those cancers, which have its origin from the lungs are all carcinomas. There are two types of lung cancers and they include the small cell lung carcinoma also known as SCLC, as well as non-small cell lung carcinoma also known as NSCLC. You can tell that condition through the symptoms. The most common symptom includes coughing of blood from the mouth. Furthermore, the other symptoms include shortness of breath, as well as weight loss, and pain in the chests and so on.
There are several factors responsible for this condition. The most common cause according to experts is the tobacco smoking. This is responsible for eighty-five percent of the causes. In ten to fifteen percent of the patients, it is common among first-time smokers.
Furthermore, there are instances where other factors are responsible for that problem. Some of the factors that are often singled out for the cause of that problem include radon gas exposure, genetic factors, as well as second-hand smoke and asbestos. Furthermore, it can be caused by other forms of air pollution.
Before one is said to suffer from lung cancer, tests are often conducted. There are two kinds of tests, which are done to find out whether one is suffering from that condition. The first test is known as the chest radiography, as well as computer tomography CT scans. The best test that often confirmed the existence of that condition is a biopsy. This kind of test is called bronchoscopy.
There are different ways of treating that condition when it emanates. The best thing is to avoid those things that are known to cause that condition. It is recommended that one should abstain from smoking. Furthermore, the other method of prevention is to avoid air pollution around. When it comes to treatment, there are several ways of treating it. The treatment option often depends on the type of cancer.
Furthermore, the stage of disease development is another factor that determines how to treat it. In addition to that, the degree of spread is another factor that determines the treatment option. Most importantly, the kind of treatment to be applied would depend on the overall health condition of the patient. If the thing has gone too far, it may be difficult for the condition to be cured. The most common form of treatment of that condition includes chemotherapy, as well as surgery and even radiotherapy. When it is NSCLC, one can treat it with surgery while it can be treated with chemotherapy when it is SCLC.
The spread in the world is less than 2 million if the figure made available in the year 2012 is anything to go by. The number of deaths is more than the number of survivors.
Lung Cancer Symptoms
One can know that he is suffering from lung cancer through the symptoms. The survival rate is not that high. The number of deaths in most cases is more than the number of survivors. The reason is that the problem is not often discovered during the early stages. In most cases, it can be discovered when it has reached an advanced stage and at that time, it may become very difficult or even more expensive to treat it.
There are different signs to look out for to tell that somebody is suffering from cancer. Here are some of the symptoms to look out for which can show that one is suffering from lung cancer:
When one suffers from persistence cough. This is the type of cough that proves very difficult to go away. If this is the case, then one needs to go for further test to determine whether lung cancer is the case.
Another symptom is the cough of blood. If one is coughing blood, then it is a sign that such a person may be suffering from lung cancer. No matter how small the blood may be, one should not rule out cancer. It is still necessary that such a person is subjected to a further test to determine whether he is suffering from this kind of cancer or not.
Furthermore, when the breath is not as normal as it is supposed to be then cancer could be suspected. When there is shortness of breath, the best thing to do is to opt for a cancer test to know whether it can be diagnosed.
The other sign or symptom that can suggest that one is suffering from the condition is chest pain. There could be other causes of chest pain. A test needs to confirm or deny cancer.
If the patient is losing weight steadily, it could be an indication that such a person could be suffering from this kind of cancer. Because there are other causes of weight loss, a test should confirm it.
Moreover, if you are suffering from consistent bone pain or you are having a constant headache, it could be a sign that lung cancer could be there, you should, therefore, test more to prove it.
When these signs are there, then you should see a doctor who is in a better position to subject you to further test to know what you are actually suffering from. If the signs are there and it is persistent then you should check your doctor. Moreover, if you are a smoker and if you are finding it hard to quit smoking and you begin to experience any or many of the symptoms enumerated above, there is every reason to suspect lung cancer.
The fact is that there are lots of signs and symptoms that can show when someone is suffering from this kind of cancer. The most common sign as said earlier includes the respiratory symptoms which have to do with wheezing, coughing up blood as well as persistent coughing.
Small Cell Lung Cancer
This type of lung cancer is also known as oat cell carcinoma. It is highly malignant and it will always arise in the lungs. Sometimes it can arise from the other parts of the body like prostate, cervix and even gastrointestinal tract. When compared to the other type of cancer especially those that are non-small carcinoma, it features shorter doubling time. In addition to that, you can always recognize it through its higher growth rate, as well as the earlier development metastases.
It is always found in the central airways and it can reach the other parts of the body such as submucosa and so on. In such a case, it can narrow down the bronchial airways. There are certain things that show you are suffering from this condition. The most common signs are cough and dyspnea. Others include debility and weight loss. In most of the cases where patients are suffering from this kind of condition, they are often presented with metastatic diseases. Some of such diseases are often presented with are adrenals, the brain as well as bone diseases and so on.
One of the characteristics of this kind of lung cancer is the issue is its neuroendocrine nature, and because of that, it can bring about other conditions like the ectopic hormones, as well as anti-diuretic hormone. When there is an excess production of ADH, it often results in SIADH, which is the syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone hypersecretion.
There are certain other conditions that can be linked to small cell carcinoma and one of them is the LEMS which is also known as the Lambert Eaton myasthenic syndrome.
This type of lung cancer can often be identified because of the shape. It is flat cell shaped and because of that, some people regard it as oat cell carcinoma. Moreover, it is characterized by scanty cytoplasm. Because of the type of condition, it is recommended that it is treated with the condition. It is recommended that you look for experts to treat that condition. This type of lung cancer is not common. It can occur in rare cases.
The point to note is that there are at least two types of small cell lung cancer. The first type is the small cell carcinoma which is extensively explained above. The second type is the combined small cell carcinoma. There are differences between the two and they are composed of different kinds of cells and these often grown and they can spread in different ways. You can always tell the difference between the small cell lung cancer from the non-small cells from their unique characteristics. It is known that this kind of lung cancer can grow rapidly. Furthermore, it can spread very fast. Most importantly, it can respond effectively to chemotherapy, especially when you use medications to kill those cells responsible for cancer. Furthermore, it can respond to radiation therapy. In addition, it is also associated with paraneoplastic syndrome. The causes of the condition are the same causes of cancer diseases generally. If you want to avoid the condition, then you have to abstain from tobacco smoking and other causes of cancer.
Lung Cancer Stages
Making an effective decision about treating lung cancer should start from the stages. This means that you must first identify the various stages and discover the best way of treating them. The stages have to do with the progression of the disease. The stage would often be identified after carrying out a test and that can also determine the kind of treatment that can be administered to the patient.
The staging process involves small cell lung cancer as well as non-small cell lung cancer. Most of the cases of this kind of lung cancer always begin from the bronchi, and from there it would spread to other parts of the body. When it comes to small cell lung cancer stages, there are two different ways of classifying that. They include the limited stage, as well as the extensive stage. When it is in limited cancer can be found in one of the lungs. In some cases, it can spread to the lymph nodes.
When it has reached the extensive stage, the cancer problem can spread to the two lungs in the body. It can also reach the fluid which is located in the lung. Sometimes it can reach to the other organs in the body.
The non-small cell lung cancer can equally be staged. This uses what is known as the TNM system in the staging process. T stands for tumor. Here, it describes the original tumor size. N stands for node. This will show whether this can spread to the other part of the body especially those close to the lungs such as the lymph nodes.
M stands for metastasis. Here the focus is to determine whether it has reached to the other parts of the body such as the brain, bone, as well as the liver.
In determining the severity of that condition numbers ranging from 0-4 is assigned to the various factors and the aim is determining the level of progression. When the number is high, it simply shows that the condition is severe. There are different stages of no small cell lung cancer.
The first stage is known as the occult stage. During this stage, the cancer cell is available in the part of the body such as sputum. During this stage, it is extremely difficult to discover the condition in the lungs. At this stage, the tumor might be there, but because of the small size, it would not be easy to discover it.
The other stage is O and at this condition, it is too tiny, and it has not reached to deeper parts of the lung.
When it is in stage 1, it means that it could be available in some parts of the lung tissue, especially the underlying parts but it has not spread to the nodes.
In stage 2, the cancer is spreading to other parts of the body, especially the nearby tissues such as the lymph nodes and so on.
When it has reached the third stage, the cancer is now fast spreading to the lymph nodes and other parts of the body. The last stage is stage 4 and at this time it has spread to other parts of the body.
Lung Cancer Treatment
lung cancer can be treated. The treatment plan is often worked out by the doctor. In doing that the doctor takes into consideration different factors to ensure an effective treatment of that condition. Different factors can determine the kind of treatment option to be administered to the patient. Some of the factors to consider by the doctor include the overall health condition of the patient, as well as the type of cancer and the stage of the cancer development. Most importantly, the doctor could consider your preferences when planning the best type of treatment for that condition.
If you visit a specialist clinic it is likely that a team of experts would be responsible for the treatment and it is likely that they can work out a better treatment option. There are different treatment options and some of them are as follows.
Surgery is one of the ways of treating this condition. It is always recommended when other treatment options have failed. Usually, there are more chances of survival when surgical procedures are applied for the condition. Hospitals are always booked up for this treatment and because of the experiences they have over the years, it is likely that they could be survival. In addition to that, it is pretty easier to reduce those post-surgical pains that are associated with this kind of treatment.
During surgical procedure which is often carried out by a surgeon, the aim of your doctor is to do away with the lung cancer as well as the margin of your healthy tissue. There are different procedures which are carried out to remove the tissue and some of them are as follows:
Wedge resection: this is a procedure which does away with a small section of the lung. This is the portion which is affected by the tumor.
The other type is the segmental resection. This is done to remove more parts of the lung. It does not affect the whole lobe.
The third type is lobectomy. This affects the whole lung lobe and because of that, the entire thing will go.
Pneumonectomy is done to do away with the entire lung.
Moreover, there are instances where the surgeon could decide to do away with the lymph nodes from the chest. This could be a way to check the chest for cancer infection.
If the cancer is limited to the lungs, then undergoing the surgical procedure would be the best option. If on the other hand that you are suffering from large lung cancer, then other forms of treatment such as radiation therapy or even chemotherapy could be recommended for you by the doctor. These could be conducted before the surgery because they are capable of shrinking cancer to smaller sizes and this makes removal easy and simple. If there is the danger that cancer may manifest after you have undergone that procedure, then there are chances that you may undergo radiation therapy or chemotherapy after you might have concluded with the surgical procedure. There could be other forms of treatment.
Lung Cancer Survival Rate
The major worry about cancer is the survival rate. The survival rate is affected by different factors such as the stage of the cancer development, as well as the type of cancer one is suffering from. As regards the survival rate, different kinds of data or statistics are available. Survival varies from person to person. Sometimes the numbers available about the survival rate can be misleading. The accuracy of the figures available actually depends on where the data or statistics actually comes from.
The term survival rate often refers to the number of cancer patients that remain alive after diagnosed with cancer after a certain period of time. When experts talk about cancer survival rates they can use the median rate as the survival rate of the disease. This means that the survival rate available at any point in time does not point to the accuracy of data. There must always be a variation and readers must always bear this at the back of their mind when they are considering cancer death or survival rate.
The rate of survival varies as different factors apart from those mentioned earlier can cause significant variation of rates. Some of the factors that can determine the survival rate for patients include the overall health condition of that patient. Other factors include sex as well as treatment option used and race. If patients decide to quit smoking, chances are there that it would enhance such a patient’s survival.
Generally, the number of patients that die because of cancer is usually larger than those that survive it. However, because of the increase in the medical sciences, one can see that the survival rate is also improving as better medications and better treatment options are now available for cancer patients.
There are lots of factors that can affect cancer survival rates. Many patients are not interested in the survival rates, rather they are more interested in how they can be cured and the best medication that can help them to get a cure.
Cancer survival rates are often based on five years’ statistics. Moreover, it is given out in percentages. The overall survival rates in America is put at 78 percent. This means that 78 people out of one hundred cancer patients are likely to survive it while 22 people out of one hundred patients are likely to die. Usually, data brandished are the outcome of research from hundreds of thousands of people.
The research has to include all cancer patients that were diagnosed with that disease within a period of time. Survival rates are not static as they can change. This is because it is already pointed out that certain factors are responsible for the rate. The greatest factor that improved the rate is the improvement in the medical sciences. Moreover, the habit of the affected person can do a lot to improve the survival rate. If one decides to give up the old smoking habit, then the chances of survival are high. However, if one decides to continue with the old habit, then survival could be slim. There are a lot of factors responsible for that and when there is an improvement in those factors, then the survival rate would be higher.