Deadly Lung Cancer
A common type of cancer is lung cancer, which starts by the mutation of DNA and uncontrolled growth of mutated cells in at least one lung. These mutations are caused by factors including breathing in cigarette smoke and being exposed to radon gas. As its name implies, lung cancer affects the lungs. It can potentially spread from one part of a lung to covering all of both lungs if malignant tumors are present. Lung cancer is most prominent in people over the age of sixty, but sometimes it can start years prior. There are four stages of lung cancer. In stage I, the cancer is only present in the lungs. In stage II, the cancer spreads into the lymph nodes. In stage III, the cancer spreads into the lymph nodes of the middle of the chest. In stage IV, the cancer spreads fully to both lungs or to another organ.
There are several symptoms associated with lung cancer in the patient’s chest. The most common symptom is intense coughing, usually occurring persistently or in a series. A similar symptom that may be present is coughing up blood. Other symptoms include a change in the color of the patient’s mucus, shortness of breath, difficulty with breathing and swallowing, and pain in the chest, shoulder, and/or back. There are also several symptoms that spread to the rest of the body. These include weight loss, fatigue, memory loss, bleeding, pain in the bones, fever, and general weakness.
Fortunately, there are many methods of treatment of lung cancer. These methods include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery. In chemotherapy, chemicals are injected into the body to kill actively dividing cells in all parts of the body. In radiation therapy, radiation is used to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors in one part of the body by preventing the cells to divide. Surgery is often used in the first two stages of lung cancer to remove the lobe of the lung that contains the tumor.
Although lung cancer is the leading cause of deaths from cancer in the United States, there remains a chance of survival for patients of it. The survival rate of patients with lung cancer localized in the lungs is 52.6%. Unfortunately, the survival rate of patients with lung cancer that has spread to other organs is only 3.5%. Because of these statistics, it is important for patients recently diagnosed with lung cancer to seek immediate treatment.
In order to prevent getting lung cancer in the first place, you must avoid smoking and breathing in secondhand smoke at all costs. Smoking and inhaling smoke are the top causes of lung cancer. You must also handle industrial substances like uranium, coal, and gasoline with caution by wearing face protection to avoid inhaling their fumes. Unfortunately, these industrial substances are also found in air pollution, which is hard to avoid. If you have tuberculosis, it can cause the lung tissue to scar. Another unavoidable cause of lung cancer is in genetic mutations that can be inherited from family. In general, you must heed all the potential causes of lung cancer in order to keep from getting it in the first place.