What is Lung Cancer?

Lung Cancer

lung cancer tumor image xray

Photo by Pulmonary Pathology -flickr

When you have an unusually large amount of abnormal cells that begin in your lungs you may have the beginnings of lung cancer. This may occur in the area of the air passages. The problem develops when the abnormal cells do not turn into healthy tissue in the lungs. These abnormal cells will divide quickly and become tumors. When the tumors get bigger and increase in number the lungs are unable to deliver oxygen into the bloodstream. The main cause of lung cancer is from smoking.

Signs of Lung Cancer

  • A strong cough that won’t go away
  • Finding blood when you cough
  • Problems when you breathe and swallow
  • Mucus that has changed color when you cough up from the airways
  • Pain in your back or shoulder area of your chest when coughing
  • A hoarse voice that doesn’t go away
  • Recurring bouts of pneumonia or bronchitis

If you have any of the above symptoms plus the following, it could mean the cancer is advancing.

  • Unexplained fatigue
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Swollen face or neck
  • Joint or bone pains
  • Memory or brain problems
  • Weakness

Treatment Options

Treatment for lung cancer is determined with a lot of factors involved. The method of treatment is based on the where the tumor is located, if it is in one lung or both, and what stage the cancer is at.

  • Stage I is where only one lung is involved and it there are no tumors in the lymph nodes.
  • Stage II is the point where the cancer is in the lymph nodes.
  • Stage IIIa is  when the cancer has invaded the trachea area, the diaphragm, and chest wall.
  • Stage IIIb is the spread of cancer to the lymph nodes on the unaffected lung or to the neck.
  • Stage IV is when the cancer has spread to other areas of the lungs and through the body.

Available Ways to Treat Lung Cancer

  • Surgery to remove the tumor is the most common treatment for Stages I and II. Chances for a successful outcome are possible as long as the cancer has not spread.
  • Chemotherapy is used to break up the cells from multiplying further by using chemicals to stop them.
  • Radiation will kill the tumors or at least shrink them by using radiotherapy or high level rays. One of the main problems with radiation is that it cannot decipher between healthy cells and bad cells when it is destroying them. Other Natural treatments Might also be helpful.