Lung cancer is also known as lung carcinoma, is a malignant tumor that can grow without control, in the lung tissues. In most cases, cancer spreads from the lungs to other parts of the body, such as the vertebrae, the breast and so on. This process is known as metastasis. The tumor that begins in the lung, also referred to as primary lung cancers are carcinomas. Lung cancer is one of the most critical and famous causes of cancer deaths, especially in America. There are two main types of lung cancer, and these are squamous-cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. Some of the common signs and symptoms of cancer are a prolonged cough, that doesn’t resolve, even after using cough syrups. Others include hemoptysis, pain in the chest, hoarseness of voice, pain in the bone, headache and loss of weight. Lung cancer is mainly due to some lifestyle activities, such as smoking. According to statistics, approximately 90% of lung cancer cases are due to smoking. The remaining 10% occur in non-smokers. However, lung cancer occurs mostly as a result of a combination of genetics and environmental factors. Some of the materials that could lead to the development of this tumor include exposure to radon gas, air pollution, and asbestos. This disease can be diagnosed by using imaging techniques such as the CT scan. And chest radiographs. Diagnosis is usually confirmed by extracting some tissue from the lungs and performing a biopsy. Bronchoscopy can also be done. The prognosis of cancer isn’t good, in fact, most of the cases are not curable. However, conventional treatments used for lung cancer are chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and surgical procedures. Those in the stem cell business are doing a lot of work in creating a stem-cell therapy for lung cancer.
Types Of Lung Cancer
Lung cancer can be divided into 2 main categories. This classification is based on their appearance under the microscope. The two types of lung cancer are;
- Small-cell lung cancer: This type of cancer occurs in only chronic and heavy smokers. It almost doesn’t affect non-smokers. The small-cell lung cancer isn’t as common as the non-small cell lung cancer.
- Non–small cell lung cancer: This is a broad term for many types of lung cancer that act in ways that are similar to each other. Examples of non-small cell lung carcinoma are squamous cell carcinoma, large cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Lung Cancer?
Lung carcinoma doesn’t display any symptoms in the initial stage. However, they begin to show in the later stage, and when the disease is already advancing. Below are some of the symptoms;
- Respiratory symptoms: People affected by this disease typically display some pulmonary symptoms such as hemoptysis, shortness of breath, difficulty in breathing, and coughing.
- Systemic signs and symptoms: Rapid and severe loss of weight (cachexia), fever, chronic fatigue syndrome, and clubbing of the fingers.
- The tumor usually gets more prominent and might eventually start compressing on the nearby organs and vessels. Some of the conditions that typically arise as a result of this are superior vena cava compression, problems swallowing food, and so on.
- Paraneoplastic effects: This is a condition in which the tumor takes over endocrine functions. They might start producing Adrenocorticotropic hormone, Lambert-Eaton syndrome and Syndrome of Inappropriate antidiuretic hormone production.
- Other symptoms that might occur include a headache, bone pain, cachexia, chest pain, and so on.
What are the causes of Lung cancer?
Smoking is the most common cause of lung cancer. It’s responsible for close to 90% of all lung cancer cases. People exposed to secondhand also have a high risk of having cancer.
- Smoking: Smoking is the most critical factor when it comes to the development of lung cancer. It’s mostly responsible for most cancer cases. Cigarette contains close to about seventy carcinogens. In addition to this, secondary smoking is also capable of causing lung cancer. Those who inhale smoke, or are exposed to a lot of cigarette smoke have about 30% rise in risk of having lung carcinoma.
- Radon gas: This gas doesn’t have any color or smell. However, it’s capable of causing mutations, and eventually leading to cancer. This gas is usually gotten from the breakdown of the radioactive element radium.
- Air pollution: Fumes released from cars, factories, and the smoke from the burning of fossil fuel also contributes and increases the risk of having lung cancer. As an illustration, women who cook with firewood, have twice the chance of having lung carcinoma as compared to other people.
- Heredity: People who with relatives that have suffered from this disease tend to have more risk of having lung cancer.
What Are The Risk Factors Of Having Lung Cancer?
There are some factors that increase the risk of having lung cancer. Some of these factors are;
- Smoking: Smoking cigarette is the most leading cause and a predominant risk factor for lung cancer. Smoking increases the likelihood of having this disease by multiple folds. It has been observed that 90% of those affected by this disease are smokers.
- Heredity: It has been noticed that those who have relatives that are affected by lung cancer have a high chance of also developing lung carcinoma. The closer the connection, the more the risk. For example, parents to children.
- Secondary smoking: Inhaling cigarette smokes or being exposed to smoke for a long time increases the risk of having the disease.
How Lung Cancer Is Currently Treated?
The physician would decide what kind of treatment is appropriate for the patient. However, this depends on the severity and stage of cancer. There are cases where a patient would rather not undergo treatment, because of the pain and possibility of recovery associated. Some of the popular treatment methods are surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy. The oncology surgeon would directly remove the tumor, and wherever it might have spread to. Also, high-powered radiations are also used to kill the tumor cells.
Stem Cell Therapy And Lung Cancer
There is a lot of potential in the stem cell therapy for lung carcinoma. Usually, adult stem cells can repair, and replace abnormal cells and tissues in the body. Researchers are working on ways to use this knowledge to treat lung cancer efficiently.
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