Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States, so you should-learn-everything-you-can-about-it, including-its-causes, symptoms, and screening-tests. If you go into battle with the facts in hand, your chances of survival will improve significantly.
The Factors That Contribute to Lung Cancer
Despite the fact that lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death, it is also one of the most preventable types of cancer. The most common cause of lung cancer is smoking. This is caused by either smoking directly yourself or being exposed to second-hand smoke for an extended period of time. However, it is possible (though extremely rare) for people to develop lung cancer despite never having smoked or being exposed to second-hand tobacco smoke. There is no known cause of lung cancer in these extremely rare cases of individuals developing the disease.
Cigarette smoke contains a high concentration of carcinogens (cancer causing agents). Inhaling the smoke into the lungs can cause the lungs to become lined with these potentially deadly cancer-causing agents. Cells are harmed as a result of this. Despite the fact that they have the ability to regenerate, repeated exposure over time causes the cells to behave abnormally, which eventually results in a person developing cancer.
If you are a smoker or have been exposed to a significant amount of cigarette smoke throughout your life, there are certain signs and symptoms that you should be aware of and avoid. Because lung cancer usually does not manifest itself until it has progressed to a more advanced stage, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible.
Lung Cancer Signs and Symptoms
When it comes to lung cancer, the following are the signs and symptoms to look for:
- Chest pain
- Sudden weight loss without attempting to lose weight
- Bone pain
- Coughing up blood (no matter how little)
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
If you notice any of the signs or symptoms listed above that have become concerning, or if you notice anything else that causes you concern, contact your doctor immediately. It is probably in your best interests to quit smoking before any of these symptoms manifest themselves. If you require assistance, seek it from a professional and consult with your doctor. It may not prevent you from developing lung cancer, but the sooner you quit smoking, the greater your chances of surviving the disease.
If you are at risk for lung cancer or if you have any of the signs or symptoms listed-above, your-doctor-may-recommend-that-you-undergo-some-tests.
Detection of Lung Cancer Through Screening Tests
Lung cancer screening is more difficult than screening for other cancers. While we know that heavy smoking is a contributing factor, it is difficult to determine whether someone has lung cancer until masses appear on their lungs and they begin to exhibit symptoms. This is most likely the reason why it is the most lethal type of cancer. A low-dose spiral CT scan is your best bet for catching cancer early and surviving it. In heavy smokers, this test has been shown to reduce the likelihood of dying from lung cancer by as much as 50%. Sputum tests and x-rays are ineffective in comparison to this method.
Today’s technology for lung cancer screening often misidentifies benign non-cancerous cells, leading to more invasive testing and ultimately more deaths. In addition, because there is no increased chance of survival in the majority of cases, invasive procedures are not always recommended in these situations.
If you are experiencing symptoms, your doctor will most likely perform a sputum test or an x-ray on your chest. If they discover any masses, they will refer you to a specialist for further evaluation. There is simply no other reliable method for detecting lung cancer in its early stages.
If you are concerned about lung cancer, the most important thing you can do is quit smoking and consult with your doctor about your concerns. Men and women alike die from smoking-related lung cancer, which is greatly influenced by lifestyle choices.