How is lung cancer detected? How is it treated?

Lung cancer is considered to be one of the deadliest forms of cancer, is the leading cause of death in cancer patients. Though there is no sure shot prevention of the disease, it is essential to be informed, in order to recognize symptoms and get timely treatment for the condition. Here is everything you should know about lung cancer.

What are the symptoms of lung cancer?

There are a number of lung cancer symptoms, based on staging of the disorder.
• Shortness of breath
• Coughing up blood
• Chest pain
• Hoarseness in the throat
• Chronic cough

What are the causes of lung cancer?

Though the cause of lung cancer is unknown, there are several risk factors:
• Smoking
• Secondhand smoke
• Workplace exposure to carcinogens such as asbestos
• Genetic history of lung cancer

How is lung cancer diagnosed?

Lung cancer can be diagnosed with a few tests conducted by the doctor:
Imaging tests
Imaging tests such as PET CT scan, Chest X-Ray, etc. can detect the presence, as well as the spread of lung cancer in the body.

Sputum Cytology
For patients who suffer from chronic cough, examination of sputum under a microscope can help diagnose lung cancer.

Biopsy
Biopsy of lung tissue is also used to determine if the patient is suffering from lung cancer.

What are the treatments for lung cancer?

Based on staging, the doctor may recommend appropriate lung cancer treatment.
Surgery
In the early stages, cancer that is only confined to the lungs can be surgically removed. This has helped in achieving better outcomes and lesser complications.

Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy is a combination of drugs administered, to kill cancer cells. This can also be used to shrink large tumors, which can then be surgically extracted.

Radiation Therapy
Radiation therapy is often used in addition to, or after chemotherapy, to kill cancer cells. This is done by delivering high powered energy beams to localized areas.

How can lung cancer be prevented?

Though there is no assured way for lung cancer prevention, there are various steps that can help minimize the risk of lung cancer.

Stay away from the smoke
Avoid smoking at any cost. If you have never smoked, don’t start, and if you are a smoker, stop smoking right away. Quitting smoking can minimize risk, even now. Avoid being exposed to secondhand smoke.

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