Lung cancer is the cancer that affects the lungs, very important organs that are the part of the respiratory system of a man. They are placed in the chest, and they take in oxygen when breathing in, but release carbon dioxide when breathing out. Lung cancer equally affects women and men, and it is one of the most frequently appeared cancers.
Two types of lung cancer are distinguished according to the look of the cancerous cells under the microscope. Small cell lung cancer is one type of lung cancer that is not as common as non-small cell lung cancer. Small cell lung cancer usually occurs in heavy smokers, while non-small cell lung cancer is one term that includes squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, and large cell carcinoma.
One of the main causes for lung cancer is smoking in those who are smokers, as well as in those who are exposed to secondhand smoke. On the other side, the cause for the lung cancer in those who have never been exposed to the cigarette smoke is not known yet. Cigarette smoke is rich in carcinogens that affect the lining of the lung, which is why gradually a cancer may develop.
Symptoms of lung cancer
In the early phases of lung cancer, there are hardly any symptoms, and they appear when the cancer is progressed. When they appear, the most common are constant and persistent cough and coughing up blood. The coughing up the blood is medically called hemoptysis, and usually this symptom occurs at the beginning of this disease and must be taken seriously, because in that stage, the cancer may still be curable. The person with lung cancer may also experience pain in the chest and the shortness of breath.
Furthermore, bone pain and headache are also some of the warning symptoms of this condition. Lung cancer may also cause wheezing and hoarseness, as well as unexplained loss of weight. When some of the symptoms are detected, the person must visit the doctor, because the lung cancer is a very serious disease. It can be very hard to diagnose it in the early stages when it can be still cured, which is why in most cases, it is detected when it is already late and when it advanced. The chest X-rays, blood test and bronchoscopy are three types of the investigations by which the lung cancer may be detected. Other tests are biopsy and ACT.