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Lung cancer

Diseases and Conditions Lung cancer

Diseases and Conditions Lung cancer

Lung cancer and smoking often, but not always, go hand in hand. As lung cancer stages advance, lung cancer symptoms include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and bloody mucus. Treatment includes surgery, chemotherapy, and/or radiation.

Diseases and Conditions Lung cancer
Diseases and Conditions Lung cancer

What is Lung cancer

Lung cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the lungs. Your lungs are two spongy organs in your chest that take in oxygen when you inhale and release carbon dioxide when you exhale. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, among both men and women. Lung cancer claims more lives each year than do colon, prostate, ovarian and breast cancers combined. People who smoke have the greatest risk of lung cancer. The risk of lung cancer increases with the length of time and number of cigarettes you’ve smoked. If you quit smoking, even after smoking for many years, you can significantly reduce your chances of developing lung cancer.

Causes of Lung Cancer

The incidence of lung cancer is strongly correlated with cigarette smoking, with about 90% of lung cancers arising as a result of tobacco use. The risk of lung cancer increases with the number of cigarettes smoked over time; doctors refer to this risk in terms of pack-years of smoking history (the number of packs of cigarettes smoked per day multiplied by the number of years smoked).

What are the symptoms of lung cancer?

Symptoms of non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer are basically the same.

  1. Lingering or worsening cough

  2. Coughing up phlegm or blood

  3. Chest pain that worsens when you breathe deeply, laugh, or cough

  4. Hoarseness

  5. Shortness of breath

  6. Wheezing

  7. Weakness and fatigue

  8. Loss of appetite and weight loss

Risk factors for lung cancer

The biggest risk factor for lung cancer is smoking. That includes cigarettes, cigars, and pipes. Tobacco products contain thousands of toxic substances. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cigarette smokers are 15 to 30 times more likely to get lung cancer than nonsmokers. The longer you smoke, the greater the risk. Quitting smoking can lower that risk. Breathing in secondhand smoke is also a major risk factor. Every year in the United States, about 7,300 people who have never smoked die from lung cancer caused by secondhand smoke.

Exposure to radon, a naturally occurring gas, increases your risk of lung cancer. Radon rises from the ground, entering buildings through small cracks. It’s the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers. A simple home test can tell you if the level of radon in your home is hazardous.

Treatment for lung cancer

  1. Lung Cancer Surgery – Surgery is the preferred treatment for many people with lung cancer. Learn about the different types of surgery.

  2. Lung Cancer Chemotherapy – A variety of chemotherapy medications are used to treat lung cancer.

  3. Lung Cancer Radiation – Radiation therapy is commonly used to treat lung cancer.

  4. Cancer Pain Medication – Several different types of medications are used to treat cancer pain. See which medication might be right for your pain.

  5. Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer Treatment Overview – Learn all about treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer — from surgery and chemotherapy to photodynamic therapy.

  6. Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer: Treatment by Stage – Treatment varies for the different stages of non-small-cell lung cancer.

  7. Small-Cell Lung Cancer Treatment Overview – Learn all about treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer, including surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.

  8. Small-Cell Lung Cancer: Treatment by Stage – Limited and extensive stages of small-cell lung cancer are treated differently.

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