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Lung Cancer

Lung Cancer: Causes, Symptoms, Stages, and Treatment

What is Lung Cancer?

Lung cancer (lung carcinoma) is a kind of cancer that originates in the lungs or within the bronchi. Usually, it occurs in the cells that line the air passages. Abnormal cells grow uncontrollably and cluster together to form a tumor.

In the early stages, there may be no symptoms of lung cancer. However, chest pain, coughing, and shortness of breath may be the early symptoms of lung cancer in some people.

There are two types of lung cancer:

  • Small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) – It is less common, and about 10–15% of lung cancer cases are attributed to SCLC. It multiplies quickly and spreads to other parts of the body.
  • Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) – It is a common type of lung cancer. About 80–85% of cases of lung cancer are attributed to NSCLC.

Based on the histology of cancer cells, your doctor will decide the type of NSCLC you are suffering from. The subtypes of NSCLC are:

  • Adenocarcinoma – It occurs in mucus-secreting cells. It usually occurs in smokers but is also common in non-smokers.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma – It starts in the larger airways of the lungs.
  • Large cell carcinoma – It can occur in any part of the lungs.

Is Lung Cancer Curable?

Lung cancer is mostly curable with speedy treatment. Early diagnosis and an appropriate treatment approach can prolong the life of the patient and progression-free survival (PFS) and improve their quality of life. The treatment approach depends upon the cancer’s size, position, and stage, and the patient’s overall health.

What Causes Lung Cancer?

Causes Lung Cancer

  • The main reason for lung cancer is smoking. Smoking contributes to about 90% of lung cancer.
  • Exposure to radon (radioactive gas naturally present in the soil), hazardous chemicals (such as asbestos, cadmium, nickel, arsenic, uranium, etc.), and pollution may also lead to lung cancer.
  • Genetic factors may also be the risk factor for lung cancer. Talk to your doctor if you have a family history of lung cancer.

You can also get a free second opinion by consulting our cancer experts at Yashoda Hospitals now.

How Many Stages in Lung Cancer?

Stages in Lung Cancer

The stages of NSCLC are as follows:

  • Occult stage – In this stage, a sputum test may detect the cancer cell but not diagnosed in imaging.
  • Stage 0 – Abnormal cells may be present in the lining of the air passages.
  • Stage 1 – Here, the lung cancer tumor is larger than 4 cm in the lung tissues but has not spread to lymph nodes.
  • Stage 2 – Tumor may have spread to the lymph nodes.
  • Stage 3 – Cancer has spread to the lining of the chest wall.
  • Stage 4 – Cancer has spread to other parts of the body (such as the brain, liver, and kidney) and is called metastatic lung cancer.

SCLC has two stages:

  • Limited stage – Cancer has spread to one lung.
  • Extensive stage – Cancer has spread throughout the lungs and chest.

Is Stage 3 Lung Cancer Curable?

Stage 3 lung cancer is treatable. Lung cancer treatment can alleviate the symptoms and may prolong life. Hospital treatment approaches include chemotherapy, surgery, radiation therapy, and targeted therapy. The cost of lung cancer treatment in hospitals varies depending upon the type and stage of cancer.

Is Stage 4 Lung Cancer Curable?

Stage 4 lung cancer is treatable, and prompt treatment can prolong the life of the patient. The best treatment approach includes chemotherapy, targeted therapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, and surgery. Your doctor will aim for overall survival (OS) and PFS.

How to Detect Lung Cancer ?

How to Detect Lung Cancer

Your doctor will examine you for signs of lung cancer and suggest some tests for lung cancer diagnosis.

  • Chest X-ray – It is done to find any abnormal areas in the lungs.
  • Computed Tomography (CT) scan – A CT scan can show the tumor’s size, position, and shape. It is also used for a guided needle biopsy to get a tissue sample if the cancer is deep inside the body.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) – It is often used to detect lung cancer that has spread to the spinal cord.
  • Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan – It shows the spread of lung cancer to the liver, bones, or some other organs.

Sputum cytology, bronchoscopy, thoracentesis (where the doctor removes fluid from lungs), etc., are also done to diagnose lung cancer.

Take it one step at a time. Get a free second opinion and consult our cancer experts for the best cost-effective treatment at Yashoda Hospitals in Hyderabad today.

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