Lung cancer occurs in a human body when the cells in the lung grow abnormally and out of control forming tumors. Smoking and exposure to environmental hazards are some of the main causes of lung cancer. Lung cancer can spread to other parts of the body, including the other lung, brain, bones, lymph nodes, and liver. Some types of lung cancer are aggressive and can spread quickly.
Early stages of lung cancer usually do not produce symptoms. However, early diagnosis and treatment are important to ensure the best outcome. Lung cancer can be detected with the help of an X-ray.
The symptoms that manifest Lung Cancer may include:
A chronic cough for more than a month
Coughing up blood (Haemoptysis)
Difficulty in swallowing
Progressive weight loss
Loss of appetite
Swelling of the arms and face
Other signs may include swallowing problems, a hoarse voice and back pain.
In addition to smoking the other causes which increase the risk of Lung Cancer could be exposure to second-hand smoke, polluted air or water, industrial chemicals and Genetics.
The diagnosis of lung cancer usually starts with examining the patient's medical history and conducting a physical examination along with some preliminary tests, followed by which a chest radiograph is performed when a person reports symptoms that may suggest lung cancer which may reveal an obvious mass, widening of the mediastinum (suggestive of spread to lymph nodes), atelectasis (collapse of lung), consolidation (pneumonia), or pleural effusion.
Chest X-rays and computerized tomography (CT) scans are also used to provide images of the lungs to help diagnose cancer. A biopsy can confirm the diagnosis and identify the type of lung cancer.
Bronchoscopy or CT-guided biopsy is often used to sample a tumor for histopathology. Lung cancer often appears as a solitary pulmonary nodule on a chest radiograph.
CyberKnife can disrupt the growth of the tumor by removing it entirely. Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) is a method of delivering targeted radiation therapy which can be used to treat lung cancer tumors effectively. SBRT may be used instead of/or along with surgery.
The state-of-the-art technology is capable to adjust the beams based on the minor movements made by the patients and also the movement of the tumor caused by breathing during treatment. This precise delivery method quickly allows the tumor to receive the full dose of radiation.