Lung cancer has always been at the top of the list of the most deadly cancers in the United States, with nearly 160,000 deaths from lung cancer each year. Although most diagnoses of lung cancer are related to smoking, non-smokers are also likely to develop lung cancer and should be aware of the risk of developing the disease.
Everyone is at risk of lung cancer
Although smoking is the number one risk factor for lung cancer, everyone is at risk of developing lung cancer. Other factors that cause lung cancer include air pollution; exposure to asbestos, radon, nickel, arsenic, soot, and tar. People who have received thoracic radiation therapy and have a family history of lung cancer are also at high risk of lung cancer.
The symptoms of lung cancer are far more than dyspnea
Symptoms of lung cancer include difficulty breathing but a persistent cough; chest discomfort, wheezing, blood in the mucus, and hoarseness. Lung cancer also has a series of weaker symptoms, including fatigue, loss of appetite, and unexplained weight loss. Even if you do not smoke, if you experience any of the above symptoms, please consult your doctor immediately.
There are several types of lung cancer
Lung cancer is divided into two main types: non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer. Non-small cell lung cancer is the most common, and when the epithelial cells (epithelial cells) that form the inner layer of the lung begin to grow rapidly and uncontrollably, it can lead to the development of non-small cell lung cancer. The proportion of patients with small-cell lung cancer is about 15%. It is produced from the bronchi of the chest cavity. These tumors often spread to other parts of the body, including the brain, liver, and bones.
From an academic point of view, although mesothelioma is not lung cancer, it has many of the same symptoms as lung cancer. Mesothelioma cell carcinoma occurs in the inner layer of the organ, and its biggest pathogenic factor is contact with asbestos.
The medical profession has targeted treatment for lung cancer
A series of discoveries of lung cancer in the medical community-including: including mutated genes in lung cancer tumors such as EGFR and ALK, as well as an in-depth understanding of tumor biology, make precision medicine for many lung cancer patients a reality. Many lung cancer patients benefit from precision medicine, whether they are smokers with a pack of cigarettes a day or people who have never used tobacco. These targeted therapies have helped cancer patients around the world extend their lives.
You should avoid the factors that cause lung cancer
Although non-smokers can reduce the risk of lung cancer by not smoking, there are some ways to help them further reduce their risks, such as avoiding exposure to second-hand smoke, radon, and other carcinogens. Radon is the main cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. Although it is invisible and colorless, it can be detected by simple and inexpensive in-home testing. Other carcinogens such as asbestos or soot or appear in the workplace of certain people. Although government agencies and employer companies have taken necessary measures to help people avoid exposure to these carcinogens, if conditions permit, you actively avoid exposure to these substances, which can further ensure that you avoid the risk of lung cancer. Finally, maintaining a healthy diet and an adequate intake of vegetables and fruits can also help reduce the risk of lung cancer.
Lung cancer treatment
There are generally 4 methods for treating lung cancer, and doctors will decide whether to combine them depending on the type of cancer:
Surgery: For lung cancer that has not spread in the early stage, the recovery rate can reach 60% or more. Depending on the condition of the disease, surgery may remove the tumor and some surrounding tissues, and even the entire lung.
External radiotherapy: used for radical treatment of early lung cancer. If the tumor has spread locally, or the unresected cancer cells are to be eliminated after the operation, the doctor will use radiation to destroy the patient’s cancer cells. This treatment method is also suitable for patients who are not suitable for surgery due to old age or other diseases.
Chemotherapy: If cancer cells metastasize or spread to other organs, doctors will use anticancer drugs to prevent cancer cells from dividing and growing. The doctor will need to inject one or more anti-cancer drugs due to the condition. The injection is once every three to four weeks. The entire course of treatment requires about four to six injections.
Targeted therapy: It is designed for the characteristics of certain types of cancer cells and has fewer side effects than general chemotherapy. It is suitable for patients with lung cancer in the later stage.
In addition to the above four treatments, the latest immunotherapy can also be used for patients with advanced lung cancer, which activates their own immune system to deal with cancer cells through drugs. This treatment has mild side effects and is an alternative to chemotherapy and targeted drugs.
Due to the high recurrence rate of lung cancer, patients must undergo regular follow-up consultations during the recovery period, and they can be treated promptly if they recur.
In addition, in daily life, you should also pay attention to home air circulation, do more appropriate exercises to enhance lung function, avoid going to crowded and cloudy air to avoid respiratory infections and eat more vitamins A and C rich foods such as carrots, grapes, pears, etc. Of course, the most important thing is to quit smoking completely!
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