Lung cancer is the most common fatal cancer worldwide affecting both sexes and the primary cause is smoking – fact. It’s also a medically proven fact that inhaling other people’s second-hand smoke can also cause lung cancer. Children’s lungs are particularly delicate and susceptible to damage from cigarette smoke and the tar and chemicals it contains.
Lung cancer takes two forms; SCLC (small cell lung cancers), and NSCLC (non-small cell lung cancers). Treatment can entail chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgical intervention or a combination of all these therapies. Unfortunately, prognosis is poor; 80% of sufferers will not survive beyond five years from diagnosis.
The most effective way of preventing lung cancer is to stop smoking.
What exactly is lung cancer?
All cancers result from cell abnormality. Uncontrolled division and proliferation of cells eventually forms a tumour which can be either benign and harmless or malignant. Malignant tumours spread and grow aggressively, eventually invading other tissues all around the body. Tumour cells find their way into the bloodstream or lymphatic system from where they migrate readily to other sites.
Lung cancer spreads very soon after it forms and consequently is very difficult to treat. Although lung cancer is capable of affecting any organ in the body, the areas most commonly affected are; the liver, brain, bones and adrenal glands. The majority of lung cancers arise from the cells lining the bronchi and bronchioles (airways). Unfortunately, the lungs are a common site for the spread of tumours from other areas in the body too.
Symptoms of lung cancer
During the initial stages of its development, there are no symptoms. As the tumour grows, sufferers may develop a cough that lingers and gradually worsens without any apparent cause. Chest pain and coughing up blood are other signs of cancer as are wheezing, shortness of breath and hoarseness. You may experience repeated bouts of bronchitis or even pneumonia, loss of appetite and consequent weight loss. Your neck and face may swell and you will begin to feel very tired for no apparent reason.
Lung cancer is not necessarily diagnosed straight away as these symptoms can be due to other conditions and the early stages of cancer do not generally cause pain.
Of all the smoking-related diseases lung cancer is the most serious. It will kill you – period. Please; trade in your cigarettes for patches, gum or e-cigs; before it’s too late for you and those who love you.