Lung cancer, like all other cancers, is the result of an abnormal growth of cells in the body. Under normal conditions, the body has a regular system of checks and balances that ensures that cell growth only happens when it is needed. However, when this system is out of control, the body's cells can continue to grow unchecked creating tumors. When this happens in the lungs, you have lung cancer. There are several different types of tumors that could be related to lung cancer so it's important for everyone to know a little about lung cancer treatment, signs, and symptoms.
Warning Signs And Symptoms of Lung Cancer
The symptoms of lung cancer can vary depending on several factors: the location of the tumor in the lung, how much it has spread, and how long it has been growing before diagnosis.
No symptoms: around 25% of lung cancer victims do not show any symptoms before the cancer is diagnosed. It is usually uncovered through a routine chest exam or a CT scan. These patients have the best chance of recovery when the cancer is detected in the very early stages of the disease.
Mild symptoms: Once the cancer has had a chance to spread it will begin to invade the lungs and surrounding tissue. Patients at this stage may find that they have a persistent cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, and even wheezing from time to time. Sometimes their cough will bring up blood in the sputum.
Advanced symptoms: patients will have shoulder pain as the cancer begins to travel from the lungs to the arm or even begin to paralyze the nerves surrounding the vocal cords. This will be evident by a hoarseness in the voice, difficulty swallowing or even a collapsed lung.
Non-specific symptoms: There may be symptoms that won't seem to be directly related to lung cancer. These include weight loss, fatigue, and a sense of weakness throughout the body.
How To Treat Lung Cancer
In your research on lung cancer treatment, signs, and symptoms, if you find that you have these signs and symptoms you'll want to start treatment immediately.
Your treatment options will depend largely on the type of cancer you have and how far it has advanced. Small cell lung cancer is more commonly treated with a series of chemotherapy sessions whereas non-small cell lung cancer may be treated with surgery, radiotherapy, or chemotherapy. Your doctor may even choose to do a combination depending on your specific cancer.
Before a decision can be made, you'll have to meet with a cancer specialist who will look at all the factors involved. He will take into consideration your health history, your current condition, and the stage of your cancer. So, you may find that other people are given different treatment options even though they have the same type of cancer.
The more you know about lung cancer treatment, signs, and symptoms the easier it will be to understand what's involved in managing your health and slowing down the advancement of the disease and possibly stop its spread throughout the body.