12 Symptoms of lung cancer that everyone should know

Have you ever thought about the relation between air quality and lung cancer? If not, read on as this article reveals quite a valuable info on the topic.

Lung cancer mortality is the leading cause of death among both genders, with its numbers surpassing the death of those with other cancers like prostate, breast, and colon cancer.

Early Warning Signs + Symptoms

Unfortunately, most of the symptoms don’t appear until the disease has reached an advanced stage. What`s more, when the symptoms of lung cancer do appear, they are often mistaken for other health problems caused by smoking.

  • Shortness of breath or wheezing
  • Weight loss and loss of appetite
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Infections such as bronchitis or pneumonia that return or do not go away
  • Chest pain that worsens with deep breaths, coughing or laughter
  • Coughing of blood or rust-colored phlegm or sputum
  • Prolonged cough that worsens or does not go away
  • Hoarseness of voice

When lung cancer spreads to other organs, it is manifested by the following symptoms:

  • Bone pain (typically in the back or hips)
  • When it spreads to the brain or spinal cord, symptoms like headaches, weakness, numbness, dizziness, balance problems, and seizures may occur
  • Jaundice, yellowing of the skin and eyes can occur when cancer spreads to the liver
  • Lumps near the surface of the body occur when cancer spreads to the skin or lymph node

Early Detection

Given that the symptoms of this disease rarely appear until the disease has reached an advanced stage, it is not often diagnosed early. Most cases are found early by an accident, thanks to a series of tests for other medical conditions. For instance, it may be found in tests done for pneumonia or heart disease.

Treatments

The treatment resembles those of other cancers where the chance of recovery heavily depends on the patient`s gender, age, and the stage of cancer.

Surgery and adjuvant therapy like radiation, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy are quite common for lung cancer patients.

Surgery options include lobectomy (removal of the entire lobe of the lung), wedge resection (removal of the tumor), segmentectomy (removal of parts of the lung when cancer develop), and pneumonectomy (removal of the entire lung).

Prevention

In addition to eating a nutrient-dense diet and regular exercise, lung cancer can be prevented with improving air quality and preventing the inhalation to the toxins below:

Cigarette Smoke:

Both first and second-hand smoke is the leading risk factor of lung cancer due to the more than 7,000 chemicals which tobacco smoke contains.  At least 70 of these chemicals are proven to cause cancer in animals and humans.

Radon Gas:

Radon is a tasteless and odorless gas obtained from natural break down of soil, dirt and rocks. It is associated with more than 20,000 lung cancer cases annually, which makes it the leading cause of this disease after cigarette smoke.

Asbestos:

Asbestos is a natural mineral found in water and soil. It has been long used in construction materials due to its malleability and fibrous nature. Even though it is safe if undisturbed, there isn’t any safe level of asbestos exposure. Once ingested or inhaled, it becomes airborne and increases the risk of developing the disease up to 10 years later.

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