The uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells which attacks both lungs, becomes the reason of lung cancer. It starts usually in the cells that line the air passages. Some cells do not die and grow into a new healthy lung tissue; rather they become abnormal and divide rapidly to give birth to tumors. As tumors become large and more in numbers, they decrease the lung’s ability to provide the bloodstream with oxygen.
Tumors that remain in one place without spreading in other parts of the body are known as Benign tumors. Tumors that are dangerous and spread to other parts of the body are known as Malignant tumors.
Primary lung cancer grows and belongs in the lungs while secondary lung cancer starts somewhere else in the body and then reaches its main destination that is lungs. According to the world health organization, 7.6 million deaths globally each year are caused by cancer. Cancer represents 13% of all global deaths. Most of the lung cancers are likely to be seen in patients above 60 years when they are diagnosed.
Symptoms of lung cancer
Cancer symptoms are quiet varied and depends on where the cancer is exactly located, where it has spread, and how big it is. Lung cancer symptoms are slow to occur in and outside body.
- Persistent or intense coughing
- Pain in the chest, shoulders or back due to intense coughing
- Changes in colour of the mucus that is coughed up from the lower airways.
- Difficulty in breathing and swallowing
- Hoarseness in the voice
- Harsh sounds while breathing
- Coughed up blood or blood in the sputum.
If cancer spreads to the brain patients may experience vertigo, headaches or seizures. Liver may become enlarged and causes jaundice and affects bones which becomes brittle and broken.
Lung cancer spreads all over the body which may cause further,
- Pains in joints or bones
- Swelling in the neck or face
- Bleeding or blood clots
What causes lung cancer?
- The common cause is long term exposure to tobacco and heavy smoking. Passive smoking which includes a person living or working with a chain smoker too can be prone to lung cancer.
- Air pollution is another cause which has small effect in increasing the risk of lung cancer. Indoor air pollution too can be the cause which includes habit of coal smoke, burning of wood, charcoal, dung which is likely increasing danger in women.
- Genetics is one of the cause too where relatives of someone have or had this cancer and the risk increases 2.4 times.
Treatment of lung cancer depends on its type, stage, age, health and other personal characteristics. There is no single treatment of cancer, patient often receive many joint therapies. The main lung cancer treatment includes