Lung Cancer Check up

What are Causes and Symptoms of Lung Cancer? Tests for Lung Cancer

Cancer is one deadly disease that claims thousands of lives all over the globe and keeps the medical community on its toes. There are many variants of cancer that affect humans and lung cancer is a prominent one. It is among the most common types of cancer and still it is among the preventable forms of cancer. It can affect any part of your lung but in most instances the bronchioles- pinkish gray walls in airways get affected. Lung cancer has almost 20 types and can affect both genders at many ages. With proper and timely Lung Cancer Check up it can be prevented in most situations.

The Causes Leading to Lung Cancer

Below Listed are the Main Causes of Lung Cancer:

  • Smoking: Smoking is biggest cause of lung cancer. In more than 80 percent of cases, smoking is the root cause. In fact, passive smoking can also contribute to it.
  • Exposure to asbestos fibers: This fiber can reside in lung tissue for long time and can lead to cancer of lungs.
  • Radon exposure: Exposure to this natural radioactive gas also paves way for onset of this type of cancer. It is often found under foundation of houses in some areas and detecting it can be tough.

Major Signs, Symptoms of Lung Cancer

You should be aware of main symptoms of lung cancer and that will help you to avail timely lung cancer detection. The major signs include:

  • Chronic raspy coughing.
  • Recurring Respiratory infections.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Swelling of the neck.
  • Weakness.
  • Trouble swallowing.
  • Loss of weight as well as appetite.

The sad thing is such symptoms usually do not appear in victims in early state of the cancer, making timely detection difficult. The signs appear owing to blocked breathing passages and they also are seen when the cancer spreads to nearby parts from the lungs.

Diagnosis and Testing Options for Lung Cancer Check up

For lung cancer check up and proper diagnosis the doctors rely on a serious of advanced clinical procedures. Based on the stage, one or more such lung cancer check up methods can be carried out on a patient. These comprise of:

  • Radiology – Chest x ray and CT Scan of Thorax: Most cases of lung cancer can be spotted with x-ray of the chest. However, at early stage this may not be the case.
  • Lung Biopsy: As is the case with many other types of cancer, biopsy is used to confirm presence of lung cancer. It is called lung biopsy or bronchoscopy.
  • Other Tests: Based on stage of cancer and confirmation of cancer by biopsy results the doctors may carry out other test to check if the cancer has affected other parts in body of the affected person. These tests required for extensive lung cancer scan can include MRI and CT scan.

Treatment Options for Lung Cancer

Your doctors will choose treatment plan for lung cancer based on stage of the daises and other health factors. They will also have to analyze if treatment can affect other body organs or not.

  • Surgery is the most preferred treatment type when the cancer has not affected other body parts much. The affected part and tumor may need to be removed. Sometimes, removing affected lungs may be required.
  • Radiofrequency Ablation is used to treat patients affected by non-small cell lung cancer.
  • High-energy X-ray is often used to destroy tumor causing lungs cancer.
  • Chemotherapy is often used to treat this cancer. This can be used for most types of lung cancer.
  • Sometimes, chemotherapy and radiation may be used in combination based on the case.

Preventing Lung Cancer

It is not actually possible to prevent all type of lung cancer from taking place. However, you can adopt some measures to bring down the risk factor to an extent. These include:

  • It is ideal that you do not intake tobacco in any form if staying away from lung cancer is a priority. Smoking is the biggest risk factor and passive smoking avoidance can help too. Giving up smoking also reduces chance of its recurrence, as it has often been seen.
  • Checking for radon gas in your home can also help you evade risk of contracting this cancer.
  • Studies suggest sticking to a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables can help reduce risk of contracting this cancer.

Summing it up

With proper knowledge of warning signs and making some lifestyle changes, you can keep lung cancer at bay. Of course, undergoing periodical Lung Cancer Check up is important.

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Kaushal M. Bhavsar (MBBS, MD)Assistant Professor in Pulmonary Medicine, GMERS Medical College, Ahmedabad