Lung Cancer and Symptoms

Lung Cancer and SymptomsLung cancer is well known to be the number one cause of death to women and men worldwide.

Lung cancer like all cancer is a result of abnormality in our cells. Imbalance cell growth and uncontrolled division and proliferation that forms a mass is called tumor.

There are two main type of Lung Cancer; Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer and Small Lung Cancer. It is important to know what type of lung cancer you have because it will also determine the right treatment and prognosis for you.

Prognosis of lung cancer is anticipating and predicting the likelihood of the person’s survival. This depends on where the cancer is located, the cancer size, and type of lung cancer and the overall health status of the patient.

1.Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) – This is the common type of lung cancer. NCSLC have subtypes and they are Squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, and large cell carcinoma.  These are considered to be the subtypes of lung cancer because the approach to treatment and outlook (prognosis) are often the same.

  • Adenocarcinoma – this begin on the air sacs that makes mucus and other substance. It usually starts on the early stage of the cell.

Adenocarcinoma transpires mainly to former or currently smokers. However it is also most common to the non-smokers. This type of lung cancer is most common to women than in men and for people younger than 45.

  • Squamous Cell (epidermoid) carcinoma – this begins in cells that line in the airways of the lungs. This subtype has the rate of 25% to 35% of lung cancer incidence. They are often associated with a person who has history of smoking.

  • Large cell (undifferentiated) carcinoma – About 10% of lung cancer are Large Cell Carcinoma. This subtype can appear to any part of the lungs. This cell spread and grows quickly.

Like other cancer, lung cancer’s symptoms and signs are not visible until it’s in an advanced stage. When an early stage is detected it is often mistaken as other disease or illnesses such as pneumonia or infection. For early diagnosis, check the following signs and symptoms:

Symptoms of Non- Small cell Cancer

  • Coughing gets worse

  • Coughing blood

  • Chest pain that often painful when you cough

  • Hoarseness or voice changes

  • Raspy sound when you breathe

  • Wheezing

  • Shortness of breathe

  • Easily get tired or weak

  • Infections or pneumonia that keeps on coming back

The cancer cells spread to other parts of the body. These symptoms in more advanced stage

  • Bone pain

  • Headache

  • Dizziness

  • Numbness

  • Yellow skin or eyes (jaundice)

2.Small Cell Lung Cancer or small-cell carcinoma – This cancer is also known as oat cell cancer. About 10% to 15% of lung cancers are SCLC. This cancer grows and spread rapidly. Small – cell lung cancer is frequently linked with paraneoplastic syndromes (a collection of symptoms that result from substances produced by the tumor). Smoking is the primary cause of small-cell lung cancer.

Second hand smokers are at increased risk at 30%.

A person who mines uranium has a high risk in all types of lung cancer. But most common is small – cell lung cancer.

Symptoms of Small cell Lung Cancer

  • Coughing up blood

  • Cough

  • Chest pain worsened by deep breathing

  • Shortness of breath

The cancer cells spread to nearby areas:

  • Hoarse voice, resulting from compression that supplies the vocal cords.

  • Experiencing difficulty in swallowing, result of the compression of the esophagus

  • Face and hands are swelling because of compression of the superior vena cava.

The cancer cells spread on other parts of the body:

  • Headache, blurring of vision, nausea, vomiting, weakness of limb, mental changes and seizures –The cancer cells had reached the brain.

  • Back pain – The cancer cells has reached the vertebral column.

  • Paralysis and loss of bowel/bladder function – The cancer has had reached the spinal cord

  • Pain on the upper right part of the abdomen – The cancer has had reached the liver

3.Other type of Lung Cancer – Lung Carcinoid Tumor – also known as lung carcinoids. This type of lung cancer is rare and the growth is slower than other types of lung cancer. They are consisting of special kinds of cells called neuroendocrine cells.

Causes of Lung Cancer

Cigarette smoking is the number one cause of lung cancer. Studies have found other causes of lung cancer. You might want to include this on the list to avoid:

  • Exposure to Radon gas

  • Work exposure to diesel exhaust

  • Air pollution

  • Work exposure to asbestos fiber

  • Other chemicals

  • Passive smoker

  • Gene changes that may lead to lung cancer – changes in DNA of lungs

  • Inherited genes – basically, shared environmental factors like a smoking household

  • Lung Disease for example chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and Pulmonary fibrosis