Lung Cancer Banner

What is Lung Cancer?

Lung cancer is the fourth most common form of cancer found in Indians as per a recent study. And as far as lung cancer mortality goes, it contributes a hefty 8.9% to the deaths caused by cancer. It is a form of cancer that begins in one’s lungs. Smoking and inhaling harmful chemicals can cause one’s lung tissues to become cancerous.

Our lungs are an extremely important part of our respiratory system. The cells in the lungs tend to change and can sometimes start to grow or stop behaving normally. These cells can grow into benign, non-cancerous tumors or malignant tumors and they can destroy the nearby tissues and in advanced stages of the cancer, these cells can spread to other locations of our body spreading the cancer throughout.

Lung cancer treatment at Medica Superspecialty Hospital isn’t just about cure. It is also about providing you with a postoperative holistic care that stays with you for life.

We are empanelled with the best minds who have a cumulative experience of over 30 years. With decades of experience and expertise in cutting-edge oncology, Medica’s Oncology Team brings together the brightest minds in surgical, medical & radiation oncology, along with a complete range of high-end ancillary experts.

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Types

Depending on which type of lung cells the cancer is starting from, cancer can be grouped into a few types namely:

Small Cell Lung Cancer

It is a kind of lung cancer that grows quickly and is usually caused by smoking. Bloody phlegm, cough, chest pain, and shortness of breath are all symptoms. Surgery (for tiny tumors) and chemotherapy, sometimes in combination with radiation therapy, are used to treat cancer.

Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

This is one of two forms of lung cancer that can afflict both smokers and non-smokers. Coughing that won’t go away, shortness of breath, weight loss, or coughing up blood are all symptoms.
Surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation are all options for treatment.

Adenocarcinoma

It starts in the glands that line your organs and grows from there. Breast, stomach, prostate, lung, pancreatic, and colorectal cancers are all common types of adenocarcinoma.

Bronchialveolar Carcinoma

Bronchioloalveolar carcinoma (BAC) is a kind of adenocarcinoma that is rather infrequent (lung cancer). BAC is responsible for about 2.6–4.3 percent of all lung malignancies. BAC is a non-small cell lung cancer subtype that develops in the alveoli (small air sacs) in the lungs’ outer regions.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Non-small cell lung (SCC) cancer is known as squamous cell lung carcinoma. It’s a form of non-small cell lung cancer that grows slowly. Coughing up blood, shortness of breath, and a prolonged cough are all symptoms. Surgery is a typical treatment option. Chemotherapy or radiation may be suggested if the cancer is extensive or aggressive.

Large Cell Carcinoma

Non-small cell lung cancer comes in a variety of types, including large cell lung carcinoma. LCLC is a type of lung cancer that starts in the outer areas of the lungs and grows and spreads more quickly than other types of lung cancer. Shortness of breath and exhaustion are the most common early signs of LCLC.

Other Types of Lung Cancer

a) Pancoast tumors
b) Mesothelioma

Symptoms

Lung cancer can be detected through a collective of recurrent and persistent symptoms that more or less are showcased by most people who are diagnosed. The most common early signs and symptoms of lung cancer are:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Persistent Cough
  • Abrupt Weight Loss
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Recurrent Chest Infections
  • Fluid Build-Up Around Chest
  • Chest pain
  • Blood in Sputum
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Causes

Lung cancer has ranked no. 1 as the deadliest form of cancer in the world. In India is definitely a major concern as well where each year the number of cases are rising at an alarming rate. For one to be able to know how to prevent being brought down with lung cancer, one must know what causes this dangerous mutation in the first place.

lung cancer Smoking

Smoking

lung cancer Air Pollution

Air Pollution

lung cancer Family History

Family History

lung cancer radiation

Exposure to Radiation

lung cancer Occupational exposure

Occupational Exposure

lung cancer Personal History

Personal History

People who have had lung cancer before are at higher risk of developing it again in comparison to the general population who have not had a history of lung cancer before. People who have had non-small cell lung cancer have an added risk of 1 to 2% per year, and people who have had small cell lung cancer have an added risk of 6% per year.

Stages

The chances of successful treatment is much higher when the cancer gets diagnosed and treated in its early stages. The reason lung cancers are so difficult to diagnose is because the patient rarely shows any symptoms in the earlier stages.

Non-small cell lung cancer has four stages:

Stage 1: Cancer cells are found only in the lung and have not spread outside the organ.

Stage 2: Cancer cells have spread in the lung and nearby lymph nodes.

Stage 3: In this stage, cancer is in the lung and lymph nodes in the middle of the chest. Later, it spreads on the side where it first originated and finally progresses to spread to the opposite side of the chest or to the lymph nodes above the collarbone.

Stage 4: Cancer cells have spread to both lungs, into the area around the lungs, and/or has metastasized to distant organs.

Small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) has two main stages.

In one stage, cancer is found in only one lung or nearby lymph nodes on the same side of the chest.

The extensive stage means cancer has spread:

  • Throughout an entire lung
  • To the other lung
  • To the lymph nodes on the opposite side
  • To all the lung fluid
  • To one’s bone marrow
  • To distant organs and organ systems
Diagnosis

There are numerous other factors that doctors look into while diagnosing a patient with cancer. Apart from showing symptoms, there are several other parameters such as the patient’s medical history, symptoms, and findings from previously conducted physical examinations, all these are considered while accurately diagnosing someone.

In terms of preliminary diagnosis, your doctor or pulmonologist might ask you to blow into the ‘spirometer’. This device measures how much air you are breathing in and out. But to make a complete assessment, you may be asked to get the following tests done:

Imaging tests:

  • Chest X-ray
  • CT scan
  • PET-CT Scan

Other methods used in the diagnosis of lung cancer:

  • Sputum cytology
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Biopsy
  • Mediastinoscopy
  • Fine needle biopsy (FNAC)
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Treatments

The treatment of lung cancer varies as per the type of lung cancer one has been diagnosed with. Non-small cell lung cancer has a variety of treatment options that include:

  • Surgery: Surgical options can be considered in the early stages of the cancer where only the removal of the cancerous tissue enables a relief to the patient’s condition.
  • Chemotherapy: When chemotherapy is given after the surgical removal of the tumor, the cancer has very little chances of coming back. But in advanced stages, chemo is normally coupled with radiation therapy or targeted therapy to get the desired outcome.
  • Neoadjuvant Treatment: This treatment is known to help with shrinking the tumor into a smaller size. This makes the cancerous growth easier to remove through surgery.
  • Targeted Therapy: Targeted treatment or therapy is designed specifically to attack only the cancer cells by attaching or blocking specific proteins that appear on the surface of the cancer cells, inhibiting their division and growth.
  • Immunotherapy: In this type of cancer treatment, the body’s own immune cells are activated to attack the tumor cells in one’s body. This treatment is known to have 1/10th of the side-effects of chemotherapy and is widely opted for.

Small cell lung cancer has three main treatment options which are:

  • Surgery: Only a small percentage of people with limited stage small cell lung cancer benefit from surgery. It also works only if there are no lymph node tumors.
  • Chemotherapy and Radiation: Regardless of what stage the cancer is at, chemotherapy is an important aspect of one’s treatment. Radiation is given in combination with chemotherapy to people in advanced stages.
  • Preventive Radiation Therapy: Preventive radiation therapy is mainly used in patients whose lung cancer has responded well to chemotherapy and preventive radiation therapy is prescribed to stop cancer from spreading to the brain, because with small cell lung cancer, there is a tendency for the cancer to spread to the brain.

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