Lung cancer is cancer that starts in the lungs. The most common type is non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
A rare subset of adenocarcinoma begins in the tiny air sacs in the lungs (alveoli). It’s called adenocarcinoma in situ (AIS). This type isn’t aggressive and may not invade surrounding tissue or need immediate treatment. Faster-growing types of NSCLC include large-cell carcinoma and large-cell neuroendocrine tumours.
Mesothelioma is another type of lung cancer. It’s usually associated with asbestos exposure. Carcinoid tumors start in hormone producing (neuroendocrine) cells. Tumors in the lungs can grow quite large before you notice symptoms. Early symptoms mimic a cold or other common conditions, so most people don’t seek medical attention right away. That’s one reason why lung cancer isn’t usually diagnosed in an early stage.
Anyone can get lung cancer, but 90 percent of lung cancer cases are the result of smoking. From the moment you inhale smoke into your lungs, it starts damaging your lung tissue. The lungs can repair the damage, but continued exposure to smoke makes it increasingly difficult for the lungs to keep up the repair.
How to Identify?
Lung cancer sometimes creates a substance similar to hormones, causing a wide variety of symptoms called paraneoplastic syndrome.
- muscle weakness
- fluid retention
- high blood pressure
- high blood sugar
Symptoms of non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer are basically the same.
Early symptoms may include:
- lingering or worsening cough
- coughing up phlegm or blood
- chest pain that worsens when you breathe deeply, laugh, or cough
- shortness of breath
- weakness and fatigue
- loss of appetite and weight loss
What to Do?
Your doctor may be able to help make that happen. If you’re diagnosed with lung cancer.
Stage 1 NSCLC: Surgery to remove a portion of the lung may be all you need. Chemotherapy may also be recommended, especially if you’re at high risk of recurrence.
Stage 2 NSCLC: You may need surgery to remove part or all of your lung. Chemotherapy is usually recommended.
Stage 3 NSCLC: You may require a combination of chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation treatment.
Stage 4 NSCLC is particularly hard to cure. Options include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy.
Options for small cell-lung cancer (NSCLC) also include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. In most cases, the cancer will be too advanced for surgery.