What symptoms do you experience with lung cancer?
Lung cancer begins in the lungs and generally metastasises (spreads) to the body’s other organs. The two most common types of lung cancer are non-small cell cancer and small cell lung cancer.
The symptoms of non-small cell lung cancer as well as small cell lung cancer are essentially the same.
Early symptoms include the following:
- weakness and fatigue
- persisting or worsening cough
- phlegm or bloody cough
- chest pain, which worsens with deep breathing, laugh, or cough
- shortness of breath(dyspnea)
- reduced appetite and weight loss
You may also experience frequent breathing infections like pneumonia or bronchitis.
Because cancer metastasises, additional symptoms depend on where new tumours develop. For example, if in the:
- lymph nodes: lumps, mainly in the neck or clavicle (clavicle)
- bones: bone pain, including back, ribs or hips
- brain or spine: headache, dizziness, problems with balance, or numbness of arms or legs
- liver: yellowing of the skin and eyelids (jaundice)
Tumours in the upper part of the lungs may affect the nerves in the face, causing the fall of an eyelid, small pupil or lack of perspiration on one side of the face. Together, This is called Horner’s syndrome. You may also experience shoulder pain.
Tumours can put pressure on the great vein that carries blood between the head, arms, and heart. This can result in swelling of your face, neck, upper chest and arms.
Lung cancer can produce the same thing as hormones, leading to a wide range of symptoms known as paraneoplastic syndrome, including:
- fluid retention
- high blood pressure
- rise in blood sugar levels
- muscle weakness
Lung cancer and back pain
Back problems are relatively common among the general population. You may have lung cancer and independent back problems. Most people suffering from back pain have no lung cancer.
Not all people with lung cancer have backaches, but many have them. For some people, backache is one of the most common symptoms of lung cancer.
Back pain can be caused by the pressure of major tumors developing in the lungs. This can also indicate that the cancer has spread to the spine or ribs. As it grows, a cancerous tumour can cause spinal cord compaction.
This can cause neurological worsening resulting in:
- weakness in both arms and legs.
- numbness or lack of feeling in the legs and feet
- bladder and bowel incontinence
- intervention with the spinal blood supply
If not treated, back pain caused by cancer will continue to worsen. Back pain can get better if treatment such as surgery, radiotherapy, or chemotherapy may eliminate or acquire the tumour.
Additionally, your doctor may use corticosteroids or recommend painkillers such as acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). In more serious pain, opioids such as morphine or oxymorphone may be needed.
Causes for lung cancer?
Anybody can get lung cancer, but 90% of lung cancer cases are caused by smoking.
Ever since you inhaled smoke in your lungs, it starts to damage your lung tissue. The lungs are able to repair the damage, but Long-term exposure to smoke makes it very challenging for the lungs to maintain repair.
After the cells are damaged, they start acting abnormally, increase the potential for lung cancer. Small cell lung cancer is almost always linked to overuse of tobacco. When you quit smoking, you reduce your chance of developing lung cancer over time.
Radon gets into buildings through small cracks in the foundations. People who smoke and are also exposed to radon are at a very high risk for lung cancer.
The second main cause of exposure to radon, a naturally occurring radioactive gas, as per the American Lung Association.
Breathing other harmful substances, especially over a long period of time, may also lead to lung cancer. One type of lung cancer called mesothelioma is almost always brought on by exposure to asbestos.
Other substances that may be responsible for lung cancer are:
- some petroleum products
Genetic mutations that are inherited increase the risk of lung cancer, primarily if you are a smoker or exposed to other cancer-causing agents.
At times, there is no exact reason for developing lung cancer.
Are there different types of lung cancer?
The most commonly known type of lung cancer is non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). About 80-85% of all cases are NSCLC. 30% of those cases start in cells which make the lining of the cavities and surfaces of the body.
This type frequently forms outside the lungs (adenocarcinoma). Another 30 percent of cases occur in cells lining the airway (squamous cell carcinoma).
A rare variant of adenocarcinomas starts in small air bags in the lungs (alveoli). This is known as adenocarcinoma in situ (AIS).
This type is non-aggressive and cannot invade surrounding tissue or require emergency treatment. The types of NSCLC with more rapid development include large cell carcinoma and large cell neuroendocrine tumours.
Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) makes up approximately 15-20% of lung cancers. SCLC grows and spreads more quickly than NSCLC. It also increases his ability to respond to chemotherapy. While there is also less chance of being cured through treatment.
In a small number of cases, lung cancer tumours contain both NSCLC and SCLC cells.
Other types of lung cancer include mesothelioma. This is usually linked to exposure to asbestos. Carcinoid tumors start in hormone-producing cells (neuroendocrins).
Tumours in the lungs may grow before they develop symptoms. Early symptoms appear to be similar to colds or other common conditions, so most people don’t get treated immediately. This is one of the reasons lung cancer is not usually diagnosed at the beginning.
Risk factors for lung cancer
Tobacco use is the number one risk factor for lung cancer. This includes tobacco, cigars and pipes. There are different kinds of toxic substances in tobacco products.
As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Tobacco smokers are 15 to 30 times more likely to develop lung cancer than non-smokers. The longer a person smokes, the greater the likelihood of developing lung cancer. Quitting tobacco use may reduce this risk.
Second-hand smoke inhalation is an important risk factor as well. Approximately 7,300 people in the U.S. die every year from lung cancer caused by second-hand smoke and have never tried to smoke.
Radon exposure, which is a natural gas, increases the chance of developing lung cancer. Radon originates from the soil and enters buildings through small cracks. That is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. A simple home test may tell you if the level of radon in your home is harmful.
Your risk of developing lung cancer is higher if you are exposed to toxic substances such as asbestos or diesel exhaust at work.
Additional risk factors are:
- family history of lung cancer
- personal history of lung cancer, especially when you are a smoker
- anterior radiation treatment of the chest.
Lung cancer and cigarettes
Not everyone who smokes has lung cancer, and not all people with lung cancer are smokers. However, there is no question that smoking is the biggest risk factor, leading to 9 out of 10 lung cancers.
Apart from cigarettes, cigars and pipes are also linked to lung cancer. The more tobacco you smoke, the more you smoke, the more likely it is that you will develop lung cancer.
It is not required to be a smoker to be affected by this illness.
Inhaling smoke from others increases your risk of developing lung cancer. As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC), In the U.S., passive smoking causes approximately 7,300 lung cancer deaths annually.
There are over 7,000 chemicals in tobacco products, and at least 70 of them have been identified as carcinogenic.
While you’re inhaling tobacco smoke, this mixture of chemical substances gets into your lungs, where it instantly begins to damage the lung.
The lungs can frequently repair the damage in the beginning, However, the persistent effect on lung tissue is difficult to control. At this point, the damaged cells may mutate and become uncontrollable.
The chemicals you breathe also go into your blood and are carried everywhere in your body, increase the risk of other kinds of cancer.
Ex-smokers are always at risk for lung cancer, However, stopping can reduce this risk in a remarkable way. Less than 10 years after quitting, the risk of death from lung cancer has decreased by half.
Diagnosing lung cancer
After the physical exam, Your physician will help you prepare for specific tests, including:
- Imaging tests: An abnormal mass may be observed over X-ray, MRI ,CT, and PET scans. These reviews provide more detail and allow for smaller lesions to be found.
- Sputum cytology: If you produce mucus while coughing, microscopic examination may determine the presence of cancerous cells.
Biopsy may help to determine whether tumour cells are cancerous. A tissue sample can be collected through:
- Bronchoscopy: During sedation, a light tube is transmitted through your throat and lungs, facilitating further examination.
- Mediastinoscopy: The doctor cuts into the base of the neck. A lighted instrument is inserted if the incision and surgical tools are used to collect lymph node samples. It is often carried out in a hospital using a general anesthetic.
- Needle: Using imagery tests as a guide, a needle is inserted across the chest wall and into the doubtful lung tissue. Needle biopsy may be used to test the lymph nodes as well.
Tissue samples are sent to a pathologist for his assessment. If the outcome is positive for cancer, other tests, such as a bone scan, may be useful to determine if the cancer has spread and to aid in staging.
For this test, a radioactive substance will be injected into your body. Abnormal portions of the bone will then be highlighted on the pictures. MRI, CT and PET are also useful when staging.
Stages of lung cancer
The stages of cancer indicate how widespread the cancer has become and help with the treatment.
There is a much greater chance of success or curative treatment where lung cancer is diagnosed and treated in its early stages, before invading any more areas. As lung cancer does not cause obvious symptoms at an early stage, the diagnosis usually takes place after spread.
Non-small cell lung cancer is divided into 4 major steps:
- Stage 1: Although cancer is present in the lung, it has not spread beyond the lung.
- Stage 2: Cancer occurs in the lung and surrounding lymph nodes.
- Stage 3: Cancer occurs in the pulmonary and lymph nodes in the mid-chest.
- Stage 3A: Cancer occurs within the lymph nodes, but only on the same side of the chest where the cancer began to develop.
- Stage 3B: The cancer propagated to the lymph nodes on the other side of the thorax or to the lymph nodes above the clavicle.
- Stage 4: It spread to both lungs, in the area surrounding the lungs, or at far away organs.
Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) consists of two major phases. In the limited stage, Cancer is only present in a single lung or in the surrounding lymph nodes Same side of her chest.
Extended stage indicates that the cancer has spread:
- to fluid around the lung
- to bone marrow
- all-over in the one lung
- to the another lung
- to lymph nodes in the opposite direction.
- to distant organs
During the diagnosis, 2 out of 3 people with SCLC have already reached an advanced stage.
Treatment for lung cancer
Finding a second opinion before starting treatment is often a good idea. Your doctor could help you achieve this. If you receive a diagnosis of lung cancer, your care will likely be managed by a team of physicians which may include:
- a A surgeon who specializes in chest and lung surgery (thoracic surgeon)
- a lung specialist (pulmonologist)
- a medical oncologist
- a radiation oncologist
Talk about all your therapeutic options before making a decision. Your physicians will co-ordinate care and keep one another informed.
Treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) may be different in all people. It depends a lot on the specifics of your health.
Stage 1 NSCLC: Surgical removal of part of the lung may be sufficient. Chemotherapy may also be recommended, especially if you are at high risk for recurrence.
Stage 2 NSCLC : You may have to undergo a surgical procedure to remove some or all of your lung. Chemotherapy is frequently recommended.
Stage 3 NSCLC : You could require a combination of chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation therapy.
Stage 4 NSCLC : especially hard to heal. Treatment options include surgery, radiotherapy, chemo, targeted therapy and immunotherapy.
Options for minor lung cell cancer (NSCLC) also include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. In most cases, the cancer will be too late for a surgical procedure.
Clinical trials are opening up promising new therapies. Contact your doctor if you are eligible for a clinical trial.
Some individuals with advanced lung cancer choose not to take other treatments. You can always decide on palliative care treatments, These focus on the treatment of cancer symptoms rather than the cancer itself.
Homemade cures for symptoms of lung cancer.
Homemade and homeopathic medicines will not cure cancer. However, some home remedies can help alleviate some of the symptoms associated with lung cancer and the side effects of treatment.
Speak to your doctor if you need to take food supplements and, if necessary, which ones. Some herbs, plant extracts and other homemade remedies may impade the treatment and may be harmful to your health. Be sure to discuss all complementary treatments with your doctor to ensure they are safe.
Options may consist of:
- Massage: With a trained therapist, massage may help relieve pain and anxiety. Certain massotherapists are trained to work with people who have cancer.
- Acupuncture: When performed by a qualified professional, acupuncture may be helpful in relieving pain, nausea and vomiting. But it’s not sure whether you have reduced blood counts or take anticoagulants.
- Meditation: Relaxation and thinking can limit stress and increase the overall quality of life of cancer patients.
- Hypnosis: Helps you relax and can provide relief from nausea, pain and anxiety.
- Yoga: Combine breath techniques, meditation, and stretching, Yoga may help to relax your mood, enhance sleep and overall health.
Some cancer sufferers use cannabis oil. It can be infused in cooking oil to squirt into your mouth or combine with food. Or the vapors may be inhaled. It may relieve nausea and vomiting and increase appetite. Human studies are inadequate and laws on the use of cannabis oil are different from state to state.
Lung cancer and life expectancy
After the cancer enters the lymph nodes and blood circulation, It can spread to any part of the body. This is best interpreted when treatment begins before the cancer spreads out of the lungs.
Other factors include age, general health, and the level of response to treatment. As early symptoms can be easily overlooked, lung cancer is often diagnosed at an advanced stage.
Survival rates and other statistics provide a general sense of what can be expected. At the same time, there are remarkable individual differences. Your doctor can best discuss your point of view.
The present survival statistics do not explain the entire scene. Over the past several years, new treatments have been approved for stage 4 non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Some individuals survive far longer than previous treatments.
The estimated 5-year survival rates for NSCLC per SEER stage are as follows:
- Localized: 60 percent
- Regional: 33 percent
- Distant: 6 percent
- All SEER stages: 23 percent
Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is extremely hostile. In the case of limited-stage SCLC, the five-year survival rate is 14%. Average survival is 16-24 months. The median survival for broad-stage SCLC is between six and 12 months.
Long-term disease-free survival is very low. If left untreated, the median survival after SCLC is only two to four months.
The five-year relative survival rate for mesothelioma, which is a type of cancer caused by asbestos exposure, is between 5 and 10 percent.
Facts & statistics on lung cancer.
Lung cancer is the most commonly occurring cancer in the world. As per the American Lung Association, about 2.1 million new cases in 2018 and 1.8 million deaths due to lung cancer.
The most commonly occurring type is non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), Considering between 80% and 85% of the cases, based on the Lung Cancer Alliance.
Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) makes up between 15 and 20 percent of lung cancers. By the time of diagnosis, two out of three people with SCLC have reached advanced or advanced stages.
Any one of us can have lung cancer, but smoking or being exposed to second-hand smoke is nearly related to 90 percent of lung cancer cases. As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cigarette smokers are 15 to 30 times more likely to develop lung cancer than nonsmokers.
In the U.S., each year, approximately 7,300 people who have never smoked die of lung cancer caused by second-hand smoke.
Ex-smokers are always at risk of developing lung cancer, However, stopping may significantly reduce this risk. Less than 10 years after quitting smoking, the risk of death from lung cancer falls in half.
Over 7,000 chemicals are found in tobacco products. At least 70 have been identified as known carcinogens (carcinogens).
As per the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) radon represents approximately 21,000 lung cancer deaths annually in the United States. Approximately 2900 of these deaths are among those who have never smoked.
Black people’s are more likely to develop and die from lung cancer than other racialized and ethnic groups.