Lung cancer is one of the major common and serious kinds of cancer. Around 17,000 people are diagnosed with the condition every year in the Nigeria.
There are normally no signs or symptoms in the beginning stage of lung cancer, but most people with the condition eventually develop symptoms including:
· a persistent cough
· coughing up blood
· persistent breathlessness
· unexplained tiredness and weight loss
· an ache or pain when you breath or cough
You should see your doctor if you notice any of these symptoms.
Types of Lung Cancer
Cancer that starts in the lungs is known as the primary lung cancer. Cancer that spreads to the lungs from other parts in the body is known as secondary lung cancer. This information is basically about primary lung cancer.
There are two major classes of primary lung cancer. These are categorized by the type of cells in which the cancer starts growing. They are:
· Non-small-cell lung cancer – the major common form, accounting for more than 87% of cases. It can be any of three types: squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma or large-cell carcinoma.
· Small-cell lung cancer – a less common form that normally spreads faster than non-small-cell lung cancer.
The type of lung cancer you have determines the type of treatments to be recommended.
Lung cancer mainly affects the elderly people. It's not common in people younger than 40. More than 4 out of 10 people diagnosed with lung cancer in the Nigeria are aged 75 and older.
Although individuals who have never smoked can get lung cancer, smoking is the main common cause (accounting for about 72% of cases). This is due to that smoking involves regularly inhaling a number of different toxic substances.
Treating Lung Cancer
Treatment relies on the type of mutation the cancer has, how far it's increased and how good your general health is.
If the disease is diagnosed early and the cancerous cells are restricted to a small area, surgery to remove the affected area of lung may be suggested.
If surgery is unsuitable because of your general health, radiotherapy to destroy the cancerous cells may be recommended instead.
If the cancer has escalated too far for surgery or radiotherapy to be effective, chemotherapy is usually used.
There are also a various number of medicines known as targeted therapies. They aim for a specific change in or around the cancer cells that is helping them to grow. Targeted therapies cannot resolve lung cancer but they can slow its spread.
Lung cancer does not generally cause noticeable symptoms until it is spread through the lungs or into other parts of the body. This implies the outlook for the condition is not as good as many other forms of cancer.
About 1 in 3 people with the disease live for at least 1 year after they're diagnosed and around 1 in 20 people live at least 10 years.
However, survival rates differ widely, depending on how far the cancer has spread at the time of diagnosis. Early diagnosis can make a huge difference.
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