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Lung Cancer: Types, Symptoms, Treatment | World Lung Cancer Day 2022



Every year, almost 2 Million people get diagnosed with lung cancer. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide. Smoking causes the highest risk of lung cancer. Although some lung cancers occur in people who have never smoked as well. In fact, the risk of lung cancer is said to increase with the length of time and the number of cigarettes you have smoked.



What are the common symptoms of lung cancer?


Lung cancer may be present, even without any symptoms in the very early stages. Some of the signs and symptoms of lung cancer include:

  • A new persistent cough
  • Blood in sputum coughed up
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain in the chest
  • Headache
  • Bone pain
  • Hoarseness of voice
  • Unexplained loss of weight



What are the types of lung cancer?


Lung cancer is divided into two types based on how the cells in the tumor appear under the microscope. This includes Small cell lung cancer and Non-small cell lung cancer. Small cell lung cancers are less common and occur almost exclusively in heavy smokers. Most of the other types of lung cancer are grouped under non-small cell lung cancers. These include variants like squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, and large cell carcinoma. 



How does smoking cause lung cancer?


Smoking damages the cells that line the inner side of the lungs. Cigarette smoke is full of cancer-causing agents and can alter the structure of these cells. At first, your body is able to repair the damage, but as the exposure progresses, the cells that line the lung become affected beyond repair. Over time, this leads to the formation of lung cancer.


Exposure to secondhand smoke can also do similar damage to your lungs. Previous radiation therapy, exposure to radon gas or asbestos, etc. are also considered to increase the risk of developing lung cancer.



What steps can you take to prevent lung cancer?



  • Don't start smoking if you haven’t before
  • Quit smoking as soon as possible, if you do smoke
  • Avoid passive inhalation of smoke
  • Avoid carcinogens at work
  • Have a healthy diet containing lots of fruits and vegetables
  • Maintain an exercise regimen



Some points to remember:



  • Many people are living with lung cancer due to the unavailability of biomarker testing
  • Lung cancer is not exclusive to smokers, but smoking greatly increases the chances of developing lung cancer
  • There are multiple modes of treatment available. Always consult a good hospital with options for procedures
  • Lung cancer is treatable with a higher rate of survival if detected very early




Dr. Tanay Joshi
Respiratory & Sleep Medicine
Meet The Doctor
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