Lung cancer begins in the lungs and has the potential to spread to other organs in the body, including the brain. One of the most common causes of lung cancer is smoking, although there are other contributors, smoking ranks number one. Diagnosing lung cancer is done through a number of tests, and treatment will most likely begin with surgery. If one begins to show symptoms, it is visible on an X-ray. A CT scan, exams of mucus or fluid will confirm the diagnosis through a lung biopsy.
The most common types of lung cancer is small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Both of these types of cancers if found in their early stages can be treated with surgery, however with SCLC and NSCLC treatment as with any other type of cancers, and what stage they are in may require a more aggressive therapy. If you are diagnosed with adenocarcinoma, it is a cancer that begins in the glands that line the inside of one of your organs, such as your lungs. Like with other types of lung cancer, the treatment for adenocarcinoma is the same. When looking under a microscope, squamous cell cancer will resemble fish scales. A type of non-small cell lung cancer, squamous cell cancer appears in the central part of the lung. Although most people are not diagnosed until the lung cancer has advanced, there are early warning signs that should be given immediate attention:
1. Coughing that gets worse
A persistent cough that lingers but does not go away after a week or so can be a sign. Also, any change in coughing, coughing that is more frequent, deeper, unusual in comparison to a cough simply associated with a cold.
2. Changes in breathing and voice
Short-winded, wheezing after doing things that you found easy to do at one time, such as stair-climbing, walks and even feeling winded after laughing are signs to pay attention to. A significant change in your voice, deeper raspy, hoarse that consists for more than two weeks are also signs to see your doctor.
3. Chest pain
Pains in your chest as well as other parts of your body may also be an early warning sign. When feeling chest pain no matter the volume of it, should be immediately checked.
4. Weight loss
If you haven’t been trying to lose weight, it may be caused by cancer cells using energy. Significant weight loss, fatigue are early warning signs as well.
5. Coughing up blood or phlegm
Although there are times, we will cough up phlegm, such as when we are suffering from a stomach bug, frequent coughing up phlegm is very unusual. Coughing up blood should always be a trigger to you that you should see a doctor right away as both are an early warning sign to lung cancer.
6. Quit smoking
Smoking is not always the cause of lung cancer, there are other environmental factors that could cause this disease. However, to quit smoking can lower the risk significantly. Smoking is linked to 90 percent of lung cancer deaths, and again, to quit smoking decreases that percentage for a person greatly. There are many programs, tools, and over the counter products that can help a smoker avoid becoming a statistic by quitting.