Symptoms, treatment and prevention of lung cancer
Causes of lung cancer
The cause of almost any malignant disease is damage to DNA cells that occur under the influence of various environmental factors. In particular, these risk factors for lung cancer can be:
- inhalation of various harmful substances (resins, esters, coke, etc.);
- work in hazardous industries;
- professional contact with toxic chemicals and heavy metals;
- radiation exposure;
- the presence of chronic lung diseases;
- The presence of tumor diseases of other organs;
- genetic predisposition;
- age over 50 years;
- endocrine disorders (especially in women).Lung cancer is a malignant neoplasm that develops from the epithelial tissue of the lung.
The mechanisms of transformation of healthy cells into cancer cells are currently not fully understood.And yet, thanks to a large amount of scientific research, it became known that there is a group of chemical substances, carcinogens, capable of causing a malignant cell degeneration.
The first cause of lung cancer is inhalation of carcinogens. According to statistics, people who smoke have lung cancer more often than non-smokers. About 80% of patients suffering from this disease are smokers. When tobacco burns, toxic carcinogens are released that cause cancer. The probability of its occurrence increases in proportion to the number of cigarettes smoked and smoking experience. Also of great danger are non-filter cigarettes made from cheap varieties of tobacco.
Tobacco smoke is a great danger not only for the smoker himself, but also for the people around him. The smoker inhales only a small part of the smoke, and the remaining 80% of this smoke exhales into the air. Family members of smokers have lung cancer 1.5-2 times more often than non-smokers.
For lung cancer has a direct relationship and air pollution. Residents of large cities inhale thousands of carcinogens, which are released into the air by the combustion of automobile fuel and factories.Increased risk of lung cancer exists among workers in the woodworking, metallurgical, steel industry, phosphate and ceramic asbestos-cement production, and miners.
Lung Cancer Symptoms
Symptoms of lung cancer are:
- shortness of breath;
- pain in the chest;
- loss of body weight;
In lung cancer, paroxysmal, coughing is noted. The latter may be causeless, as well as associated with physical activity, inhalation of cold air or lying down. In central lung cancer, sputum is greenish-yellow in color.
Hemoptysis (sputum) is one of the most characteristic specific symptoms of lung cancer. Blood may be mixed with sputum and have a pinkish tint. It can also be bright scarlet, in the form of streaks or in dark clots. Prolonged and intense bleeding from the respiratory tract can lead to death. However, hemoptysis can be a symptom of other lung diseases: bronchiectasis, pulmonary tuberculosis.In the early stages of cancer, there is no pain; intense pain is characteristic of the later stages of tumors. In this case, the pain occurs in one place or is given to the shoulder, neck, back, arm, abdominal cavity, and they can also increase when coughing.
Symptoms of lung cancer are characteristic of various respiratory diseases. And because patients usually go to the doctor not immediately, and in many cases, the diagnosis is not timely. The identification of some of the above symptoms should alert and promptly seek medical attention.
In addition, you need to pay attention to the following indirect signs: apathy, lethargy, decreased activity. You should also pay attention to a slight increase in body temperature, which is able to mask the disease under sluggish bronchitis or pneumonia.
Diagnosis of lung cancer
In more than 15% of patients, the initial stages of this disease are asymptomatic, and therefore it is possible to suspect its presence only with the help of a follow-up examination. To do this, you need to take an x-ray or x-ray image each year.If a tumor darkening is detected in the picture, the diagnosis of lung cancer is not removed until the opposite is proven.
The following methods are used to further diagnose lung cancer:
- CT scan;
- puncture biopsy of the lymph nodes;
- transthoracic puncture;
- determination of the level of tumor markers in the blood.
Lung cancer treatment
Depending on the stage and form of lung cancer, the oncologist prescribes the necessary treatment program. Radiation therapy, surgical treatment and chemotherapy are used. As a rule, these methods are prescribed in combination with each other.
There are several different types of lung surgery:
- removal of part of the lung;
- marginal resection (removal of the tumors themselves);
- pneumonectomy (removal of the entire lung);
- combined operations.
When small-cell carcinoma is detected, chemotherapy may be prescribed as the main method of treatment, since this form of the tumor is more amenable to conservative methods of treatment. In such cases, chemotherapy can achieve a fairly good effect for several years.
Radiation therapy is used for unresectable tumors of the lung stage 3-4. This method allows to achieve good results in the case of small cell cancer, especially in combination with chemotherapy. With radiation treatment, the standard dosage is 60-70 gray. The prognosis for lung cancer primarily depends on at what stage of the process it was diagnosed, and on the histological picture of the tumor.
Prevention of lung cancer
It is necessary to remember simple, but very effective ways to prevent lung cancer:
- first of all, it is quitting smoking, which effectively reduces the risk of the disease;
- refusal of contact with heavy metals and asbestos dust;
- refusal to work in hazardous production or use personal protective methods (masks, respirators, etc.) in contact with substances harmful to health;
- a balanced diet, including natural antioxidants, which are contained in fruits, herbs and vegetables;
- prophylactic annual passage of fluorography to identify the initial stage of lung tumors;
- performing 1-2 times a year bronchoscopy (for heavy smokers).
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