What Makes Lung Cancer Such a Serious Diseaser?
Lung cancer begins in our lungs. When we breathe, air goes in through our nose, down the wind pipe and, then, into the lungs. From there it spreads through tubes called bronchi. Most of the time, lung cancer develops in the cells that line these tubes.
Lung cancer is divided into two categories, which are Non-small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) and Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC). NSCLC dominates the lung cancer cases, while SCLC makes about 20 per cent of all lung cancer cases.
Causes of Lung Cancer
Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer; it has always been. The more one smokes cigarettes and the earlier one starts, the greater are chances of falling for lung cancer.
Itís more common in older adults, and may also spread in those who never smoked in their lifetime. Passive smoking (involuntary inhaling of smoke from other people's cigarettes, cigars, or pipes) may also lead to this disease.
Besides cigarette smoking, there are several other factors which may lead to lung cancer:
Asbestos Exposure to cancer-causing chemicals such as uranium, beryllium, vinyl chloride, nickel chromates, coal products, mustard gas, chloromethyl ethers, gasoline, and diesel exhaust.
Family history of lung cancer, High levels of air pollution, High levels of arsenic in drinking water, Radiation therapy to the lungs and Radon gas
As far as symptoms are concerned, early lung cancer may not cause any symptoms.
Symptoms also depend on the type of cancer you have, but may include:
Coughing up blood
Cough that doesnít go away
Losing weight without trying
Loss of appetite
Shortness of breath
Here is a list of tests that may be performed to diagnose lung cancer or see if it has spread include:
Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan
Fine Needle Aspiration
Positron Emission Tomography (PET)
MRI Brain Mediastinoscopy