Lung Cancer: Symptoms, Risk Factors, Stages & Diagnosis

April 11, 2022

Lung Cancer: Symptoms, Risk Factors, Stages & Diagnosis
Share the article


The abnormal growth of cells causes lung cancer. This is because the cells grow into a mass or tumour. Any abnormal increase in the body invades surrounding tissues and organs, spreads to other parts of the body, or has the potential to grow back after removal is called “malignant” or cancerous.

Who is at risk for lung cancer?

Lung cancer can take several years to develop, although the sooner it is detected and treated, the better the chance of a successful outcome. Cigarette smoking is one of the most common risk factors for developing lung cancer. Many people exposed to cigarette smoke or some of its components will have permanent lung changes. These changes can lead to the development of a cancerous tumour within the lung. About 25% of all lung cancer cases occur in people who have never smoked. The underlying cause is not understood in these cases. Two out of three people diagnosed with lung cancer are over 65.

Stages of Lung Cancer

Staging allows the doctor to fully understand the extent of the patient’s cancer to make treatment decisions and predict expected outcomes.

  • Localised: the cancer is confined to the lung.
  • Regional: Cancer has spread to lymph nodes in the chest.
  • Distant:Cancer has spread (or metastasised) to other body parts.

Symptoms of lung cancer

Lung cancer signs and symptoms are not always present until the disease progresses. However, some people show symptoms early on. These include:

  • Coughing up phlegm or phlegm with blood in it
  • Weakness
  • Infections that return or cannot be cleared
  • Coughing or laughing can make chest pain worse
  • Wheezing

Advanced lung cancer symptoms may include coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, fatigue, and unintentional weight loss if the cancer spreads to other parts. In addition, signs and symptoms may appear, including bone pain, headache, muscle weakness, and drooping of the eyelids.

What Are the Risk Factors for Lung Cancer?

    • Smoking

Cigarette smoking is the most crucial risk factor for developing lung cancer. The use of other tobacco products, such as cigars or pipes, also increases the risk of lung cancer. Tobacco smoke is a mixture of more than 7000 different chemicals. Many things can be poisonous. Smoking cigarettes is a leading cause of lung cancer and death. People who do not smoke are 15 to 30 times more likely to avoid this fate. Even smoking a few cigarettes a day occasionally increases the risk of lung cancer.

Smoking cigarettes is a leading cause of lung cancer and death. People who do not smoke are 15 to 30 times more likely to avoid this fate. Even smoking a few cigarettes a day occasionally increases the risk of lung cancer. The more years a person smokes and the more cigarettes they smoke each day, the greater their risk of developing a smoking-related disease.

    • Second-hand smoke

Secondhand smoke from other people’s cigarettes, pipes, or cigars can cause lung cancer. When a person inhales indirect smoking, Seems that they are smoking.

    • Family history with lung cancer

A person’s family history may increase lung cancer risk; this risk increases with exposure to other risks, such as smoking. You are twice as likely to have cancer if a family member has lung cancer than if there is no history of the disease in your family.

Also Read: An Introduction About Cancer and its Treatment

How is lung cancer diagnosed?

A doctor usually diagnoses lung cancer by examining the patient’s symptoms and medical history. A biopsy may also determine cancer’s stage and how far it has spread. Your doctor may suspect lung cancer if the physical exam shows:

  • swollen lymph nodes above the collarbone
  • abdominal mass
  • weak breathing
  • abnormal lung sounds
  • sluggishness when patted on the chest
  • unequal students
  • sagging eyelids
  • Weakness in one arm
  • Dilated veins in the arms, chest, or neck
  • Swollen face

If lung cancer is causing symptoms, it is usually visible on an X-ray. On a chest X-ray taken for another cause, lung cancer that has not yet shown signs may occasionally be visible.

Your doctor might advise a chest CT scan if they feel that a more detailed exam is necessary. For example, a lung cancer diagnosis is usually confirmed with a lung biopsy. The doctor guides a thin, lighted tube through your nose or mouth and into the air passages to the tumour. They then remove a tiny tissue sample. This is a bronchoscopy with a biopsy performed using endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) guidance. This is useful for tumours near the centre of the lung.

Treatment for lung cancer

There are several types of treatment for lung cancer, depending on the type of cancer and how far it has spread. For example, some people with non-small cell lung cancer can be treated with surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy, or a combination of these treatments.

  • Surgery is a medical procedure that is used to treat a variety of illnesses and injuries. A process in which doctors cut out cancerous tissue.
  • Chemotherapy is a type of cancer treatment. Cancer can be treated with certain medicines that will shrink or kill it. Medications can be pills you take, medications in your veins, or sometimes both.
  • Targeted therapy approaches treating a disease or condition that focuses on specific body areas. For example, cancer cells can grow and spread if not stopped. Drugs can help block the growth and spread of cancer cells. These drugs may be you taking pills or intravenous injection of the anaesthetic. You will first be given tests to see if targeted therapy suits your cancer type. If it is, this treatment will be used.

People also ask

1. What are the 1st signs of lung cancer?

A cough that doesn’t go away or get worse. The person is experiencing chest pain that is often worse when they breathe. Hoarseness, loss of appetite, and shortness of breath are common symptoms.

2. What does early-stage lung cancer feel like?

In the early stages, lung cancer usually has no visible or felt symptoms. Later, it often causes coughing, wheezing, and chest pain.

3. How can I check myself for lung cancer?

The only recommended screening test for lung cancer is a low-dose computed tomography scan (LDCT). During an LDCT scan, you lie on a table, and an X-ray machine uses a low dose of radiation to make detailed images of your lungs. The scan will only take a few minutes and is not painful.

4. Where does lung cancer usually start?

Cancers of the lung usually start in cells that line the bronchi and parts of the lung, such as the bronchioles or alveoli.

Disclaimer: We recommend consulting a Doctor before taking any action based on the above shared information.



Medical Oncology

Medical Oncology

Chat with us!
Chat with us