Lung cell cancer is the leading cause of death resulting from malignancy. It is a disease whereby cells mutate into abnormal cells that proliferate abnormally. Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer and its risk increases with the length of smoking exposure. Nonsmokers can also have lung cancer through air pollution including secondhand smoke. Contributing factors also include exposure to occupational substances such as asbestos and radon. Some individuals have a genetic predisposition to lung cell cancer.
When an individual is suspected to have symptoms of lung cell cancer, tests are done to confirm the disease condition. There are certain diagnostic and laboratory tests done on the individual in order to determine whether a lung cell cancer is present. Some of the diagnostic tests to be done are chest radiograph, sputum examination, bronchoscopy and fine needle biopsy.
One way not to get the disease is by prevention. The most effective way of fighting lung cell cancer is through smoking cessation. Exposure to smoke is the leading cause of cancer that is why eliminating it is the primary goal. Some countries already made their move by having smoking banned and not promoting cigarette products. Maintenance of adequate nutrition is highly encouraged in order to lower the risk of developing cancer. Eating the proper kinds of foods such as high intake of fruits and vegetables and less on fatty and cholesterol-rich foods may help reduce the risk.
There are two types of lung cell cancer: non-small-cell lung cancer and small-cell lung cancer. Non-small-cell carcinoma is subdivided into categories: squamous cell lung cancer often grows slowly than other types and it usually begins at the bronchus; and adenocarcinoma which usually begins in the peripheral lung tissue and it is the most common form of lung cancer accounting for 40%. The other type of lung cell cancer is the small-cell carcinoma. It is less common and it originates in the larger airways and then develops quickly. These two types of lung cancer are treated differently.
There is no definitive symptom for lung cancer. Most individuals experience one or more symtoms. Symptoms that may suggest lung cell cancer include:
• Persistent cough with or without hemoptysis. A persistent cough persists for duration of 8 weeks or longer.
• Localized chest pain that may be dull, sharp or stabbing
• Dyspnea or shortness of breath. It usually results from airway blockage or spread of tumor throught the entire lungs.
• Hemoptysis or coughing up of blood or blood-streaked mucus
• Unilateral wheeze upon auscultation which may signal airway blockage or inflammation.
• Dysphagia or difficulty in swallowing
• Weight loss
• Enlarged neck lymph nodes
• Hoarseness of the voice which may signal inflammation of the lungs or blockage of the airway.
• Swelling in the neck and face
• If the tumor is located in the top portion of the lungs, the individual can experience arm, shoulder and neck pain.
Tips and comments
Smokers are not the only individuals who can develop lung cell cancer. Non-smokers are affected and their percentage of developing lung cancer is the same with the smokers. Individuals should pay attention with their health and in order to avoid life-threatening conditions, behavior as well as lifestyle should be modified and activities that are detrimental to the health should always be avoided.