Lung cancer, like all other cancers, is the result of an abnormal growth of cells in the body. Under normal conditions, the body has a regular system of checks and balances that ensures that cell growth only happens when it is needed. However, when this system is out of control, the body’s cells can continue to grow unchecked creating tumors. When this happens in the lungs, you have lung cancer. There are several different types of tumors that could be related to lung cancer so it’s important for everyone to know a little about lung cancer treatment, signs, and symptoms.
Warning Signs And Symptoms of Lung Cancer:
According to Cancer.org, the symptoms of lung cancer can vary depending on several factors: the location of the tumor in the lung, how much it has spread, and how long it has been growing before diagnosis. Most lung cancers do not cause any symptoms until they have spread, but some people with early lung cancer do have symptoms. If you go to your doctor when you first notice symptoms, your cancer might be diagnosed at an earlier stage, when treatment is more likely to be effective. The most common symptoms of lung cancer are: (1)
- A cough that does not go away or gets worse
- Coughing up blood or rust-colored sputum (spit or phlegm)
- Chest pain that is often worse with deep breathing, coughing, or laughing
- Weight loss and loss of appetite
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling tired or weak
- Infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia that don’t go away or keep coming back
- New onset of wheezing (1)
How To Treat Lung Cancer:
According to Radiologyinfo.org, before treatment, a biopsy is usually performed to determine whether a patient has cancer, and if so, what type. Tests are recommended to determine the stage of the tumor. These tests usually include blood tests and imaging. The imaging usually includes computed tomography (CT) scanning of the chest, and may include a bone scan or a PET/CT scan. The treatment options and expected results of treatment depend on the stage of the tumor. About one-third of lung cancer patients are diagnosed with localized disease that may be treated by either surgical resection or, if the patient is not a candidate for full surgical resection, with definitive radiotherapy. Another third of patients have disease that has already spread to the lymph nodes. In these cases, radiation therapy along with chemotherapy and occasionally surgery is used. The last third of patients may have tumors that have already spread to other parts of the body via the blood stream and are typically treated with chemotherapy and sometimes with radiation therapy for the relief of symptoms. (2)
The more you know about lung cancer treatment, signs, and symptoms the easier it will be to understand what’s involved in managing your health and slowing down the advancement of the disease and possibly stop its spread throughout the body.