Lung Cancer is the most common and the least talked about cancer in the world. Therefore, Lung Cancer Awareness Month is observed to shed the light and to educate people about the risk factors and causes of this disease.
Here, we are going to tell what you should know about lung cancer and how it can be treated. So, let’s begin
What Should You Know About Lung Cancer?
The Deadliest Cancer
Do you know that almost 1.8 million deaths in the world are due to lung cancer and it is the type of cancer that is responsible for 2 out of 10 cancer deaths? This implies that lung cancer is the deadliest cancer in the world.
No Specific Symptoms
There are no particular symptoms that indicate that a patient has lung cancer. It is mostly present in the body with persisting chest pain, breathlessness, fever, cough, and blood in the cough. These are the symptoms of a lot of other non-cancerous diseases as well; therefore, they are often ignored or diagnosed late.
Majority Late Diagnosis
Over 80% of lung cancer fighters are diagnosed at a very late stage which is either stage 3 or 4. Stage 3 lung cancer is too late to operate and stage 4 is when cancer spreads to some of the organs. Late stage diagnoses do not have surety of cure but can be offered chemotherapy which varies from the case of one patient to another.
Mistaken as Tuberculosis
Due to some of the symptoms and other reasons, lung cancer is often diagnosed as tuberculosis (TB). As many people with respiratory concerns with X-ray reports showing shadows on the chest are mostly prescribed antitubercular drugs, a lung cancer diagnosis is confused with TB. Additionally, such misdiagnosis becomes one of the reasons for the delay in lung cancer detection that leads to the last stage of progression.
Lung Cancer Among Non-Smokers
“Smoking causes cancer.”
We have heard this multiple times because it is a reality. Smoking causes cancer and for the longest time, non-smokers were considered safe from this deadly disease. However, recent trends have shown a large occurrence of lung cancer among non-smokers as well. This strange shift can be the reason for air pollution, passive smoking, or indoor air pollution.
How Can Lung Cancer be Treated?
Just like any other disease, in lung cancer, one is advised to seek a second opinion before starting the medical treatment. For this, you must consult a team of doctors including a pulmonologist (lung specialist), radiation oncologist, a specialized surgeon in chest and lung, and a medical oncologist.
The treatment of non-small cancer cells (NSCLC) differs in every case, depending upon the health condition and the medical history of a person.
For Stage 1 NSCLC, chemotherapy is recommended especially if the risk factor is too high or there is a great chance of reoccurrence.
For Stage 2 NSCLC, chemotherapy is recommended but surgery may be required to remove a part or maybe all of your lung.
For Stage 3 NSCLC, a patient may need a combination of all: surgery, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and targeted therapy.
For Stage 4 NSCLC, the cure is quite difficult. However, the only available options are targeted therapy, immunotherapy, radiation, and chemotherapy.
The Bottom Line
Lung cancer is the most common cancer in the world but its awareness is still considerably limited. Lung Cancer Awareness Month helps everyone understand the threats late diagnosis can cause and the risk factor associated with it because it is not curable it’s detected.