What Is Lung cancer?
Lung cancer is cancer that is associated with lungs. The most common type of lung cancer is NSCLC (Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer). It covers almost 80-85% of all cases. The particular type of cancer starts from the body’s surfaces and cavities through the formation of lining by the cells. It usually develops in the outer portion of the lungs (known as adenocarcinomas). Another 30% of this type starts from the respiratory tract through the lining formation by the cells (known as squamous cell carcinoma). A rare type of adenocarcinoma starts in the alveoli (small air sacs in the lungs). It is known as Adenocarcinoma In Situ (AIS). This particular situation needs immediate treatment. If NSCLC grows faster than the normal, then large-cell neuroendocrine tumours and large-cell carcinoma can happen.
Another type of lung cancer is SCLC (Small-Cell Lung Cancer). It covers almost 15-20% of lung cancers. This type of cancer grows as well as spreads faster than NSCLC. It responds faster to chemotherapy, but the chances of recovery are less than the former type.
In some cases, lung cancer tumours are associated with both NSCLC and SCLC cells.
Another type of lung cancer is Mesothelioma. It is usually caused by asbestos exposure.
What Are The Symptoms Of Lung cancer?
Basically, the symptoms associated with non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer are same.
Some of the initial symptoms are as follows:
- Worsening or a lingering cough.
- Chest pain that increases with the deep breath, cough, or laugh.
- Fatigue or weakness.
- Shortness of breath.
- Weight loss and loss of appetite.
- Coughing up phlegm or blood.
- A person can also experience respiratory infections such as pneumonia or bronchitis.
As cancer starts to spread, additional signs and symptoms start to show:
- Abnormality in lymph node: Lymph node can be started to develop lumps, especially in the collarbone or neck.
- Pain in bones: A person may experience pain in the bones associated with back, hips, or ribs.
- Issues in brain or spine: Dizziness, headache, balance problems, or numbness in legs or arms.
- Abnormality in liver: Yellowing of eyes and skin (jaundice).
Tumours that are located at the top of the lungs may affect facial nerves, and the result can be a small pupil, drooping of one eyelid, lack of sweating on one side of the face, etc. These signs and symptoms are called Horner syndrome altogether.
Sometimes, lung cancer can create hormone-like substances that can cause a wide variety of symptoms known as the paraneoplastic syndrome. The symptoms are as follows:
- Muscle weakness.
- High blood pressure.
- Fluid retention.
- High blood sugar.
Lung cancer can cause neurologic deterioration, such as:
- A weakness of the legs and arms.
- Bowel and urinary incontinence.
- Loss of sensation or numbness associated with legs and feet.
- Interference with the blood supply in the spine.
Without treatment, back pain caused by the lung cancer may become more complicated.
What Are The Causes Of Lung cancer?
Most of the lung cancer is linked with smoking, but non-smokers can also develop lung cancer.
Smoking: Smoking cigarettes is a major risk factor associated with lung cancer. It covers more than 85% of lung cancer cases. Tobacco smoke is involved with more than 60 various toxic elements that can be responsible for cancer development. Smoking cannabis increases the risk factor for lung cancer.
Passive smoking: If a person doesn’t smoke, but always lives in an environment of tobacco smoking, then it is called passive smoking. It can enhance the risk associated with lung cancer.
Radon: Radon is a radioactive gas that naturally comes from small amounts of uranium that are present in all soils and rocks. Sometimes, it can be found in buildings. If a person breathes in radon, his/her lungs can damage especially if that person is a smoker.
Pollution and occupational exposure: Certain occupations and industries can be associated with some substances and chemicals that can enhance the risk of lung cancer. These harmful chemicals are:
- Coal and coke fumes.
A family history of lung cancer can also be an influencing factor.
What Are The Things One Should Do To Manage Lung cancer?
Patients suffering from lung cancer should do the following things:
- Avoid smoking: Try to avoid or completely quit smoking as it is the biggest risk factor associated with the lung cancer.
- Avoid hormone therapy: Women should stay away from hormone therapy for menopause as it may be linked with cancer.
- Physical exercise: Physical exercise may cut down your risk of developing cancer. So, maintain a routine of physical exercise.
- Body Mass Index: Maintain a healthy BMI (Body Mass Index) as it reduces stress in the body that results in lesser cell damage.
What Are The Things One Should Avoid To Manage Lung cancer?
Patients suffering from lung cancer should not do the following things:
- Don’t be even a passive smoker: Try to maintain a distance from a person who smokes openly. If any of your family members is an active smoker, make him/her understand about its dangerous effects.
- Don’t lose weight: Patients suffering from lung cancer should not lose their weight.
What Are The Best Foods For Lung cancer?
Lung cancer patients can take the following foods upon the recommendation of their Doctors:
Cruciferous vegetables: Cruciferous vegetables like brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli are very beneficial foods in cancer as they are associated with sulforaphane (the biggest cancer fighter component). These kinds of vegetables contain a substance called indole-3-carbinols that can repair damages to the cells (by carcinogens) before they turn to cancerous.
Orange and red-colour vegetables and fruits: Papaya, orange, red bell pepper, peach, and carrot are associated with an orange colour antioxidant pigment (carotenoid) called beta-cryptoxanthin. It is very helpful in reducing the risk of lung cancers, particularly in smokers.
Soy foods: Soy foods can cut down the risk associated with lung cancer.
Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acid: Fish such as Salmon, Mackerel, and Sardines as well as other foods that are rich in Omega-3 fatty acid can minimise the effect of lung cancer.
Foods rich in folate: Folate (a type of Vitamin-B) can work as a safeguard to the cells from the tobacco carcinogens. Spinach, beans, kale, etc. are rich in folate. Smoking and drinking alcohol can drain out folate from the body.
Whole grains: Substitute your white rice intake by the brown rice and whenever you purchase bread or pasta, don’t forget that their main ingredient should be whole grains such as quinoa, whole wheat, or oats. These substances are helpful in fighting lung cancer.
What Are The Worst Foods For Lung cancer?
Lung cancer patients should avoid the following foods:
Acidic, tart, and spicy foods: Citrus foods or tomato-based foods may be hard to swallow. So, these types of foods should be avoided by the lung cancer patients.
Rough-textured foods: Raw vegetables, fruits, pretzels, and crackers may be hard to swallow as lung cancer patients’ oesophagus becomes sensitive. So, any foods with sharp edges and rough textures should be avoided.
What Are The Medicines For Lung cancer?
What Are The Tips To Manage Lung cancer?