Every member from the malignant cancer family is as deadly as the grim reaper, but the deadliest among them is Lung cancer. About 87% of the total number of lung cancers are caused by smoking. The fact that we are the creators of our own demise makes it deadlier than any other form of the disease. Today, lung cancer is the most common form.
Technically, a lung cancer is the crazy growth of abnormal cells in any part of the lungs. There are many ways lung cancer can attack your health, but broadly they are categorised into 2 types, Small Cell Lung cancer (SCLC) and Non-small cell lung cancers. Where the former comprises 20% of the total lung cancer cases and the latter is marked for 80% of the same.
Signs and symptoms-
Signs and symptoms are the only things which compel you to visit a doctor. Hence, it is very important to know the signs for such a wide spreading disease, here are some-
- A chronic cough
- Coughing up blood
- Chest pain
- Recurrent respiratory infections
- Repeating fever and shoulder pain
- Weakness and weight loss
After matching the dots your doctor will suggest you undergo some tests. The first test will possibly be a chest x-ray. However, a doctor doesn’t just rely on an x-ray, as it shares a similar resemblance to scarring and calcium deposits in the chest. So, a CT scan or MRI is the ideal test to confirm whether it’s cancer or not. Other tests like Bronchoscopy and sputum testing can also be used.
After the patient is positively diagnosed with the disease, Lung cancer treatment is the next step. Your doctor will devise your treatment plan on many things like your stage, age, health, prognosis etc. However, your treatment plan will broadly revolve around 3 treatment options for chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and some form of surgery.
For a long time surgery was expected to be the only treatment option for cancer. But chemotherapy broke that notion today, and it’s the first line of defense against any 1st stage cancer. It might not eradicate the cancer cells but it surely can control its size. The last in the line is radiation therapy which is a great option to shrink the tumor. It uses high-intensity x-rays directed onto the affected area.
Lung cancer treatment in India largely features a combination of all 3 treatment options. Where a patient starts with chemo sessions, the high-intensity medication in chemo destroys the DNA of any rapidly producing cells in the body, limiting its growth. Radiation therapy does the same in a different way, it shrinks the tumor size by working only on the affected area. When the tumor comes of a treatable size, it is surgically removed along with some healthy tissue lining surrounding it. Chemo and radiation therapy sessions might continue as a post-surgery treatment to eradicate any traces of the disease.