It is a type of cancer that originates in the tissues of the lungs, most commonly in the cells that line the airways. Lung cancer is divided into two types: small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. These two types develop at different rates and are treated differently. Non-small cell lung cancer is the most registered cancer among the two.
Symptoms of Lung Cancer
There are usually no signs or symptoms in the early stages of lung cancer. It may be found at an advanced stage or during a chest x-ray for other reasons.
However, these signs and symptoms may suggest a developing lung cancer:
- Pain or discomfort in the chest.
- Persistent cough, worsening over time.
- Difficulty breathing.
- Sputum (mucus coughed up from the lungs) with blood.
- Appetite loss.
- Unexplained weight loss.
- Difficulty swallowing
Risk factors for lung cancerr
Anyone can develop lung cancer, but there are certain factors that increase the risk of developing it.
- Smoking: Tobacco smoking is responsible for around 9 out of 10 cases of lung cancer in males and approximately 8 out of 10 cases in women. Lung cancer is more likely to develop the earlier you start smoking, the longer you smoke, and the more cigarettes you smoke every day. If you smoke a lot, drink a lot of alcohol, or take beta carotene pills, your risk increases. If you quit smoking, your risk is lower than if you continued to smoke. You will, however, be at a larger risk than people who have never smoked.
- Second-hand smoke: This is the mixture of smoke produced by a cigarette and smoke exhaled by a smoker. You are exposed to the same cancer-causing chemicals as smokers when you inhale it, though in smaller doses.
- History of lung cancer in the family.
- Exposure to asbestos, arsenic, beryllium, chromium, nickel, soot, or tar at the workplace.
- Exposure to radiation – from Radiation therapy to the breast or chest, Radon, CT scans, etc.
- HIV infection.
- Air pollution.