Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment of Lung Cancer

9:57:00 AM
Lung cancer is often associated with smoking, but not always smoking and lung cancer go hand in hand. Stage lung cancer early symptoms of cough, wheezing, shortness of breath and bloody mucus that is often misconstrued as the diagnosis of TB / black lung disease. Lung cancer treatments include surgery, chemotherapy and / or radiation. 

In Indonesia, lung cancer became the leading cause of death of men and more than 70% of new lung cancer cases are diagnosed at an advanced stage.

The risk factors for lung cancer is something that increases the chance of anyone for this cancer. Having more than one risk factor can make a person more likely to develop lung cancer. But that does not mean, if you have risk factors for sure you will have lung cancer. And keep in mind that many people who have lung cancer also have no risk factors mentioned as follows.


About 85 of the 100 people with lung cancer associated with smoking.
The risk of lung cancer increases associated with:
The longer duration of smoking.
The more cigarettes smoked each day.
Quitting smoking lowers your risk for cancer, and the risk continues to fall as long as you do not smoke. Even reducing the number of cigarettes can reduce the risk (but the risk will be greatly reduced if a full stop).

If you live with a smoker, you have a higher risk for lung cancer compared with people living in the neighborhood who do not smoke. This is where you become passive smokers.

other risks

Exposure to certain substances can increase the risk for lung cancer, including:

    Smoking one marijuana cigarette can affect the lungs equivalent to smoking one pack of regular cigarettes.
    Certain chemicals, including arsenic and asbestos.
    Exposure to radiation at work, medical tests with radiation exposure, or from the environment (such as radioactive dust).
    Radon gas. This includes exposure of your home or workplace.
    Air pollution. Live where the air is heavily polluted may increase the risk for lung cancer.

Some gene changes (mutations) can increase the risk of lung cancer. Changes in these genes occur largely because the person gets older.

What causes lung cancer?


The incidence of lung cancer is highly correlated with smoking, with about 90% of lung cancers arising as a result of tobacco use. The risk of lung cancer increases with the number of cigarettes smoked over time; doctors refer to this risk in terms of a history of smoking (number of packs of cigarettes smoked per day multiplied by the number of years smoked). And people with a history of smoking three packs a day, considered to have the greatest risk of developing lung cancer. Among those who smoke two packs or more per day, one in seven people will die from lung cancer. But although the risk will be higher than the amount and duration of smoking, no word is safe from exposure to tobacco smoke.

Pipe and cigar smoking can also cause lung cancer, although the risk is not as high as with cigarette. While someone who smokes one pack of cigarettes per day are at risk for lung cancer alone has 25 times higher than in nonsmokers, pipe and cigar smoke have an increased risk for lung cancer is about 5 times that of nonsmokers.

Tobacco smoke contains over 4,000 chemical compounds, many of which have been proven to cause cancer, or carcinogenic. Two major carcinogens in tobacco smoke are chemicals known as nitrosamines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. The risk of lung cancer decreases each year after smoking cessation as normal cells grow and replace damaged cells in the lungs. In the person of ex-smokers, the risk of lung cancer begins to approach such a nonsmoker about 15 years after quitting smoking.

Passive smoker

Passive smoking, or inhaling tobacco smoke from other smokers, live together or friends work, is also a risk factor for the development of lung cancer. Studies have shown that non-smokers who live with smokers have a 24% increase in risk for lung cancer compared with nonsmokers other. It is estimated that deaths from lung cancer occurred as many as 3,000 people in the US are caused by passive smoking.

Asbestos fibers

Asbestos fibers are silicate fibers that can persist for a lifetime in lung tissue caused by exposure to asbestos. The workplace is a common source of exposure to asbestos fibers, asbestos was widely used in the past for thermal and acoustic insulation materials. Today, asbestos use is limited or banned in many countries the United States. Lung cancer and mesothelioma (a type of cancer of the pleura or the lining of the abdominal cavity called the peritoneum) are associated with exposure to asbestos. Smoking in the extreme increase the chances of developing lung cancer, and longer associated with asbestos exposure to workers. Asbestos workers who do not smoke have a risk fivefold greater risk of lung cancer than non-smokers, and those asbestos workers who smoke have a risk that is 50-90 times greater than those with non-smokers.

Radon gas

Radon gas is a natural, chemically inert gas that is a product of the natural decay of uranium. Decays to form products that emit ionizing radiation types. Radon gas known to cause lung cancer, with an estimated 12% of deaths from lung cancer caused by radon gas. 15,000 cancer-related deaths, now to 22,000 people annually in the United States. As with exposure to asbestos, smoking along with exposure to radon increases the risk of lung cancer. Radon can penetrate the soil and enter homes through cracks in holes, pipes, drains, or other openings. The US Environmental Protection Agency estimates that one of every 15 homes in the US contains dangerous levels of radon gas. Radon is invisible and odorless, but it can be detected with simple test kits.

The tendency family

While the majority of lung cancer associated with smoking, the fact that not all smokers eventually develop lung cancer showed that other factors, such as individual genetic susceptibility, may play a role in the etiology of lung cancer. Numerous studies have shown that lung cancer is more likely to occur in people who smoke and do not smoke, but have a relative who has been suffering from lung cancer than the general population.


The presence of certain diseases of the lung such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), was associated with a slight increased risk (4-6 times the risk of a smoker) for lung cancer.

A history of lung cancer

Survivor of lung cancer that first have a greater risk than the general population to experience lung cancer second. While survivors of cancer are non-small cell lung others have additional risk by 1% -2% per year for the lung cancer second. In survivors of small cell lung cancer, the risk of lung cancer development that is both close to 6% per year.

Air pollution

Air pollution from vehicles, industry and power plants, can increase the likelihood of developing lung cancer. Up to 1% of deaths from lung cancer caused by breathing polluted air, and experts believe that prolonged exposure to highly polluted air can carry the same risk with passive smoking to lung cancer.

How Lung Cancer Diagnosed?

Doctors may suspect lung cancer when a routine physical examination revealed:

    Swollen lymph nodes above the collarbone
    Respiratory weak,
    abnormal sounds in the lungs (checked with a stethoscope)
    pupil uneven
    eyelid fall
    Weakness in one arm
    dilated veins in the arms, chest, or neck
    facial swelling

Some lung cancers produce high levels of certain hormones or certain substances such as calcium levels become abnormally high. If someone shows such evidence and no other obvious cause, doctors should consider a lung cancer.

Lung cancer, which is derived from the lungs, it can also spread to other parts of the body, such as bone, liver, adrenal gland, or brain. First discovered in a remote location, but still called lung cancer if proof was started there.

After lung cancer starts to cause symptoms, abnormal lung picture can be seen on X-rays. Sometimes, lung cancer who has not started to cause symptoms can appear on a photo illustration chest X-rays when it is taken for other purposes, such as for medical examination only. CT scans of the chest may be advisable to get more detailed results.

Although laboratory tests of lung mucus or fluid can be revealed completely, the diagnosis of lung cancer typically needs to be confirmed by lung biopsy. With the patient anesthetized mild, the doctor guides a thin, lighted tube through the nose and down into the airways to the location of the tumor, where a small tissue sample can be taken. This is called a bronchoscopy and a tool called a bronchoscope. This is useful for tumors located near the center of the lungs.

If the biopsy confirms lung cancer, other tests will determine the type of cancer and how far it has spread. Lymph nodes nearby can be tested for cancer cells with a procedure called Mediastinoscopy, while imaging techniques such as CT scans, PET scans, bone scans, and either MRI or CT scan of the brain can detect whether the cancer is lodged elsewhere in the body (metastasis).

However, groups of associations such as the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute in the US said "screening low-dose helical CT" must be offered to those at high risk of lung cancer that includes smokers and former smokers aged 55-74 years who had smoked 30 pack-years or more and either continue to smoke or have quit in the last 15 years.

Total pack-year is the number of packs of cigarettes smoked per day multiplied by the number of years a person smokes. These guidelines are based on research that shows CT screening reduces the likelihood of death overall, but increases the chances of having a false alarm that requires further testing.

Lung Cancer Surgery
Surgery is the preferred treatment for many people with lung cancer.
Lung Cancer Chemotherapy
Various chemotherapy drugs used to treat lung cancer.
Lung Cancer Radiation
Radiation therapy is commonly used to treat lung cancer.
Drugs for Cancer Pain
Several types of prescription drugs used to treat cancer pain. (Dr. Ursula Penny)

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