Lung cancer is nothing but a malicious lung tumour which is caused due to the uncontrolled growth of cells in the tissues of the lung. This abnormal growth of cells usually starts in the cells that line the bronchi (tubes in the lungs which help in moving air in and out of the lungs). Lung cancer is mostly caused due to long-term revelation to smoking. In very few cases, lung cancer occurs due to combination of some genetic factors and exposure to dangerous gases such as asbestos, radon gas and other smokes caused by air pollution. If lung cancer is left untreated then this might spread to other tissues and other parts of the body. This form of cancer is also the most common reason of cancer related deaths.
The symptoms of lung cancer do not appear till it has reached a stage where it is difficult to treat the cancer. That is one of the main reasons why the survival rates of lung cancer are very less. Most of the time people mistake the symptoms of lung cancer for other issues. Detecting and treating lung cancer increases the chances of the patient to fight the disease. Sometimes the symptoms of lung cancer differ from person to person.
Here are some of the symptoms and signs of lung cancer –
- Having difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath.
- If cough does not go away or if it worsens day by day.
- Hoarseness, i.e., abnormal changes in the voice of a person. In such a situation the voice may sound raspy, breathy, strained or even there might be changes in the pitch or the volume.
- Persistent chest pain or having some kind of aching
- Appearance of blood in your cough
- Having repeated lung infections like pneumonia, bronchitis etc.
If you are facing any of the above mentioned symptoms, then visit a doctor immediately without any delay. Sometimes there might be some symptoms which may not be related to breathing but are of lung cancer. Such symptoms which are not related to breathing are loss of appetite, weight loss, headaches, blood clots, fracture or bone pain.
Diagnosis of lung cancer is usually done by these following tests:
- Imaging test: In this test, an x-ray is taken of the chest along with MRI scan, CT scan or even PET scan. These images show the abnormal spots or masses on the lungs, which indicates the abnormal growth of the cells.
- Sputum cytology: If you have continuous cough or if your cough is increasing day by day, then the doctor will ask you to undergo this test. In this test, a sample of the sputum is taken and the growth of cells is seen under the microscope.
- Lung biopsy: If, in the imaging test, lung abnormality is seen, then the doctor might ask you to undergo this particular test. In this test, a small sample of the tissue or the fluid is taken from the lungs and is studied under a microscope for the growth of the cells.
Lung cancer remains one of those responsible for a huge number of deaths each year. Detecting the disease early, which is difficult, is the best way to counter it, just like it is with all forms of cancer. It is good to make sure that one undergoes regular tests for their best interest.