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Lung cancer is surely deadliest of all other types of cancer and each year thousands of people die of lung cancer. Working in asbestos prone environment and exposure to strong chemicals like beryllium, gasoline, nickel chromates and chloro-methyl ether certainly will increase the risk of lung cancer.
People who have COPD Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease have increased chance of getting lung cancer.
People who are subjected to high level of air pollution, who drink water that has high arsenic content are at risk of developing lung cancer. Symptoms related to cancer like dysphagia (difficulty in swallowing), paralysis of esophagus, hemoptysis (blood in cough) and shoulder pain will be there in some people. Doctors will ask you to take X-ray and CT scan or bronchoscopy for checking the lung cancer. Treatment is available in several forms like surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, photo dynamic therapy and radiofrequency ablation. Radiation therapy is best suited for both types of lung cancer, which uses high power radiation for killing cancerous cells inside. Lung Cancer Symptoms, Causes, Treatment - How do health-care professionals determine lung cancer staging? Sign up to stay informed with the latest cancer-related updates on MedicineNet delivered to your inbox FREE!
Doctors also sometimes use biological therapies for some people with non small cell lung cancer.
The best treatment for you depends on the type of lung cancer you have, where the cancer has spread to, and the treatment you have already had.
If the cancer is partly blocking an airway and making you breathless, your doctor may suggest one of several different treatment options to relieve the blockage.
If the cancer has spread to just one area, for example in one or two bones, you may have radiotherapy. If you have already had radiotherapy to a particular part of your body, you may not be able to have any more to that area. Common symptoms include a cough and breathlessness, which can be distressing and frightening. Depending on your symptoms, your treatment may also include steroids and other drugs such as muscle relaxants and pain killers. Other symptoms of advanced lung cancer may include tiredness, weight loss and loss of appetite. If the cancer is blocking, or partly blocking, an airway and making you breathless your doctor may suggest one of several treatment options.
If the tumour is squashing your airway and making it difficult for you to breathe comfortably, your doctor may suggest putting in a rigid tube to keep the airway clear. It is quite common for people with lung cancer to develop a collection of fluid between the sheets of tissue that cover the lung (the pleura). If you have more than a litre of fluid inside your chest, it needs to be drained off slowly. Remember that if your tube is connected to a bag or bottle, don't lift it above where the tube goes into your chest. After the hour is up, your doctor may connect a suction tube, as this helps the pleura to stick. We have detailed information about treatment for fluid on the lung elsewhere on this website.
Advanced lung cancer can sometimes block a large vein that carries blood from the brain, head and arms back to the heart. People developing SVCO might notice swelling around their eyes, particularly first thing in the morning. Another drug that can help to strengthen your bones is a monoclonal antibody called denosumab. Bevacizumab (also called Avastin) is an anti angiogenic monoclonal antibody (MAB) in trials for advanced non small cell lung cancer. You can look at the lung cancer research page for information about other areas of research. There is also information explaining the clinical trial process, including information about taking part in trials. It can be difficult to decide which treatment to try, or whether to have treatment at all, when you have an advanced cancer. If you would like to talk to someone outside your own friends and family, you can phone the Cancer Research UK nurses. If you want to find people to share experiences with online, you could use Cancer Chat, our online forum. Cancer Research UK is a registered charity in England and Wales (1089464), Scotland (SC041666) and the Isle of Man (1103). Lung cancer starts in the cells of the lung .The lungs are in the chest on either side of the heart.
Small cell lung cancer : -This is a less common type of lung cancer and it spreads faster than non-small-cell lung cancer. Nonsmokers who breathe in the smoke of others (also called second hand smoke or environmental tobacco smoke) are also at increased risk for lung cancer. Recurring Inflammation : - Tuberculosis and some types of pneumonia often leave scarred areas on the lung. Talcum Powder : - While no increased risk of lung cancer has been found from the use of cosmetic talcum powder, some studies of talc miners and millers suggest a higher risk of lung cancer and other respiratory diseases from their exposure to industrial grade talc. Personal and Family History : - People who have lung cancer have an increased risk of another lung cancer. Other Mineral Exposures : - People with silicosis and berylliosis (lung diseases caused by breathing in certain minerals) also have an increased risk of lung cancer. Vitamin A Deficiency or Excess : - People who do not get enough vitamin A are at increased risk of lung cancer.
Air Pollution : - In some cities, air pollution may slightly increase the risk of lung cancer.
Metastasis to brain: headache, weakness, behavioral changes, speech problems and memory lapses.
If lung cancer is suspected, the person will have their medical history taken, a physical examination, and a variety of tests to confirm the diagnosis. During the physical exam, the doctor will look for lymph node enlargement in the neck or in the region above the collarbones, liver enlargement, abnormal abdominal enlargement, and signs of a lung mass. Once the diagnosis of lung cancer is made, further staging studies are done to determine the spread of the disease and the appropriate treatment method.
A bone scan, also called a radionuclide or nuclear medicine scan, involves injecting a radioactive substance into the body.
Once the additional tests are done, the doctor will determine what stage the cancer is in and base treatment decisions on this information. Standard treatment for patients with lung cancer is of limited effectiveness in all but the most localized tumors.


Surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy (used alone or in various combinations) are the standard methods used to treat lung cancer.
Surgical procedures that may be employed include wedge or segmental resection (removal of a portion of the affected lungs), lobetomy (removal of the entire lobe of the lung) or pneumonectomy (removal of the entire right or left lung). Radiation therapy is usually given by external beam, using machines located outside the body that deliver x-rays or electrons to the location of the tumor.
Some patients first receive external therapy to a wide area that includes the primary tumor and surrounding tissue. Chemotherapy (treatment with anticancer drugs) is a systemic treatment - the drugs enter the bloodstream and travel through the body, affecting cancer cells outside the lung area. Successful heart surgery at We Care India partner hospital allows Robert Clarke to live a normal life despite a rare genetic disorder We Care india helped Robert find best super specialised surgeon for his rare conditions. Lungs are vital parts of our body needed for respiration and any tumor like growth inside can lead to problems in liver and brain. Symptoms of metastasis like headaches, blurred vision, stroke, weakness and loss of sensation will be observed in some others. The doctor will decide the course of treatment based on your age, intensity of cancer and your health condition. These treatments can shrink the cancer or stop it growing and so can help to reduce symptoms and keep you well for longer. The biological therapy drugs they may use include erlotinib (Tarceva), gefitinib (Iressa), crizotinib (Xalkori) or afatinib (Giotrif). Under local anaesthetic, the doctor puts a drainage tube into your chest through a small cut. It carries blood from the brain, head and arms back to your heart and if blocked, can cause swelling.
If your doctor thinks the cancer is in more than one area of the body, you may have chemotherapy or biological therapy. There is a maximum amount of radiation that you can have to any part of the body before it causes too many side effects. Even if your cancer cannot be cured, there is treatment available to control your symptoms. They might use a stent if SVCO develops rapidly, particularly if the cancer has not yet been fully diagnosed. A nonsmoker who is married to a smoker has a 30% greater risk of developing lung cancer than the spouse of a nonsmoker. Radon can enter a building through cracks in the foundation or insulation, or through drains or walls. In the past, it has been used in oven, brake pads, insulation, and many other industrial products Death from lung cancer is about seven times more likely to occur among asbestos workers than among the general population. This scarring increases the risk of the person developing the adenocarcinoma type of lung cancer. Brothers, sisters and children of those who have had lung cancer may have a slightly higher risk of lung cancer themselves.
When symptoms do occur, they are a result of tumor growth, pressure and invasion on nearby structures and nerves, regional growths or metastasis.
Using a machine called a spirometer, the doctor is able to record the rate at which a person exhales air from the lungs and the total volume exhaled, thus indicating a narrowing or obstruction in the airways. A computer then receives the x-ray images and creates a cross-sectional picture of the area being examined. For this reason, patients are encouraged to consider participating in clinical trials (research studies) designed to evaluate new approaches to therapy. The choice of treatment depends on many factors, including the type of tumor, the extent of the disease when it is diagnosed, the age and general health of the patient and other variables. After the initial treatments, a smaller area is treated and a final treatment area that may be quite small.
Lung cancer has every possibility to spread to brain, adrenal glands and liver causing death.
Paraneoplastic symptoms are also seen in few people and for some others, there would not be any symptoms at all. Chemotherapy and biological therapy treat the whole body and radiotherapy treats only the area it is aimed at. There is detailed information about all these treatments on the page about treating a blockage in an airway. It makes you breathless because it takes up space in your chest that your lung would normally fill when you breathe in. Your doctor will ask you to sit comfortably, leaning forward onto a table or back of a chair. But it isn't a good idea to keep on doing it, as you are likely to get an infection there in the end.
But after the fluid has drained off, your doctor injects a sterile powder (talc) through the drainage tube. To help strengthen your bones, lower the risk of fractures and control pain you may have one of the following treatments or a combination. This includes the possible side effects as well as stresses such as travelling to the hospital and back.
Air is inhaled through the nose and throat and flows past the voice box (larynx) into the windpipe (Trachea).The windpipe divides into 2tubes the left and right bronchi which supply air to each lung within the lung the tubes get smaller and smaller (bronchioles)until they reach air sacs(alveoli) The alveoli's job is too add oxygen to the blood and to take waste gases out. The longer a person has been smoking and the more packs per day smoked, the greater the risk.
However, it is difficult to say how much of this excess risk is due to inherited factors and how much is due to environmental tobacco smoke. A PET scan is similar to a bone scan except it gives information on all the organs of the body. The first question to ask is whether the lung cancer is caught at an early enough stage to allow for surgery with curative intent. Radiation here is referred to as a "boost." Like surgery, radiation therapy is called local treatment, because it affects only the cells in the area being treated.
Benign tumors are not harmful and can easily be removed since it will not spread to other parts. During advance stages there may be joint pain, facial paralysis, eyelid drooping, bone pain, shoulder and nail problems. Since these signs are indicative of other small disease also, you need to consult your doctor for preventing the risk. Depending on the size of tumor and its position, surgeons will open the chest wall and will remove the cancer portion of the lobe and also removal of lymph nodes in the lungs. Staging involves evaluation of a cancer's size and its penetration into surrounding tissue as well as the presence or absence of metastases in the lymph nodes or other organs. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina.
If there is a lot of fluid it may take a day or so to drain and you will need to stay in hospital during that time.


If the fluid keeps building up, or your doctor thinks that it will, you may have treatment to try to stop it. If the cancer squashes or blocks this vein, there is a build up of pressure behind the blockage. If a person stops smoking before a cancer develops, the damaged lung tissue starts to gradually return to normal.
A bronchoscopy involves inserting a flexible lighted tube (a bronchoscope) into the person's mouth or nose and guiding it into the bronchi. But malignant tumors are potentially dangerous since they attack the neighboring cells and tissues. Staging is important for determining how a particular cancer should be treated, since lung-cancer therapies are geared toward specific stages. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology. When the anaesthetic has had time to work, the doctor makes a small cut in the area and puts in a needle called a cannula. Even after ten years, the ex-smoker's risk still does not equal the lower risk of a person who never smoked.
Metastatic lung cancer is the one which starts in any part of the body and subsequently spread to lungs.
Staging of a cancer also is critical in estimating the prognosis of a given patient, with higher-stage cancers generally having a worse prognosis than lower-stage cancers.Doctors may use several tests to accurately stage a lung cancer, including laboratory (blood chemistry) tests, X-rays, CT scans, bone scans, MRI scans, and PET scans. Another method is called a percutaneous needle biopsy, in which a needle is inserted through the skin into the lung. Your doctor may put in the tube using a thoracoscope (a tube with a light and camera at the end) so that they can see inside the chest. Pleurodesis aims to stick the pleura together, so there is no space for the fluid to collect. With the help of ultrasound or a CT scan, the doctor is able to guide the needle to the cancerous growth and remove a sample. Results of surgical resection in patients over the age of 70 years with non-small cell lung cancer.
If you had a stitch to hold the drain in, it is pulled tight when the doctor takes the tube out. Influence of age on operative mortality and long-term survival after lung resection for bronchogenic carcinoma. The worse the performance status, the more likely it is that the patient will have significant complications during aggressive treatment. Table 2 presents one performance status scale commonly used by oncologists to gauge an individual patient's level of daily functioning.
Patients with non-small cell lung cancer and a performance status of 3 or 4 are usually not candidates for surgery or chemotherapy.
In addition to evaluating general performance status, a careful assessment of heart function, lung function, and other chronic illnesses may be required before treatment recommendations can be made.Table 2. Zubrod or Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) Performance ScaleTREATMENT OF PATIENTS WITH STAGE I OR STAGE II DISEASE SURGERYStage I or II non-small cell lung cancer typically means that the cancer is confined to the lung and there is no or minimal lymph node involvement. The most effective treatment for patients with stage I or II disease is to surgically remove the cancer by cutting out all or part of the involved lung. Studies have shown that elderly patients with good lung and heart function and a good performance status can tolerate lung cancer surgery as well as younger patients with a similar chance for cure (3-7). Older patients may need to undergo a more rigorous evaluation of their heart and lung function prior to surgery to ensure that surgery can be performed safely and with an acceptable risk of long-term complications. For more information on surgery, see the article in CancerNews titled "Lung Cancer: Who is a Candidate for Surgery?"RADIATION THERAPYRadiation therapy is the treatment of cancer by a beam of high energy x-rays directed at the part of the body affected by the cancer.
Like surgery, it is a local treatment that only can kill cancer cells within the area being treated, not throughout the whole body. One such analysis was done of a trial comparing sequential to concurrent chemotherapy plus radiation therapy (17).
All patients enrolled in this trial had a good performance status, but only 17% were elderly (70 years old or older). The elderly patients on this trial were just as likely to complete treatment and obtained as much benefit from treatment as younger patients.
Although the elderly patients had a higher risk of short-term side-effects, specifically low blood counts and esophageal irritation, they did not have any greater risk of long-term complications. Another analysis was done of a study comparing chemotherapy plus concurrent chemotherapy given once or twice a day in which 26% of patients were 70 years old or older (18). Again, the chance for cure was similar in younger and elderly patients, but the risks of side-effects, particularly low blood counts and inflammation of the lungs, was higher in elderly patients.
Overall, these data suggest that concurrent chemotherapy plus radiotherapy is both tolerable and beneficial in elderly patients with stage III non-small cell lung cancer who are in good overall physical condition.TREATMENT OF PATIENTS WITH STAGE IV DISEASEStage IV disease usually means that the cancer has spread through the bloodstream to another location in the body, either to the other lung or to organs outside of the chest such as the brain, liver, adrenal glands, or bones.
Treatment of advanced non-small cell lung cancer in the elderly; the role of third-generation platinum-based combination chemotherapy. Unfortunately, stage IV non-small cell lung cancer is not curable with any currently known treatments.
Surgery and radiation therapy are local treatments that cannot eradicate cancer once it has spread to a distant site. Therefore, the primary treatment option for patients with stage IV disease is chemotherapy, and the goal of treatment is to prolong good quality of life. Standard treatment consists of a combination of two chemotherapy drugs, usually cisplatin or carboplatin plus another agent such as paclitaxel, gemcitabine, docetaxel or vinorelbine. The use of cisplatin in elderly patients may result in a greater risk because of its particular side-effects which include impairment of kidney function, damage to the nerves in the hands and feet, nausea and vomiting with resultant dehydration, and hearing loss. Cisplatin should clearly be avoided in elderly patients that already have, or are at specific risk for, one of these conditions.
Despite these concerns, analyses of two studies that treated patients of all ages with a cisplatin-containing regimen have shown that ?°fit?± elderly patients with a good performance status had no significant differences in response to treatment or survival when compared to the younger patients on the trials (19,20).Several studies have specifically studied the use of chemotherapy in elderly patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer. One of the central questions of these studies has been the potential role of single-drug treatment based on the rationale that one drug would result in fewer side-effects than combinations of chemotherapy drugs, and may therefore lead to improved quality of life and duration of survival in the elderly population (21-24).
While this may be the case in a fair number of elderly patients who have significant limitations in their functional ability or other medical illnesses, it has now become clear that many elderly patients can tolerate and benefit from standard treatments for lung cancer.
In recent years, there has been a greater focus on the development of clinical trials that specifically address lung cancer treatment in the elderly and several excellent reviews of this topic have been published in the medical literature (27-31). It is important to stress that performance status is the most significant indicator of how well an individual patient will tolerate therapy and how well they will do with the disease in general. Patients with a limited performance status have a shorter survival time and are much less likely to benefit from treatment.



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