What Is Lung Cancer?

Lung cancer is a condition in which cells grow uncontrollably inside the lungs ( an organ that works to spread oxygen into the blood when breathing in and exhaling carbon dioxide when sighing ). Lung cancer is one of the most common types of cancer.

However, lung cancer is one of the most preventable cancers. This condition is mostly suffered by active and passive smokers. In the early stages, there are no obvious signs or symptoms of lung cancer. But then symptoms such as a sustained cough to the coughing up of blood , always feeling out of breath, exhaustion for no reason, and weight loss will appear.

Types of Lung Cancer Existing
There are two types of primary lung cancer based on the cell type, namely small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) and non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Non-small cell lung cancer is four times more likely than small cell lung cancer.

Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) usually affects only heavy smokers and spreads faster than non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

People at Risk of Lung Cancer
Smoking can be said to be the main cause of lung cancer. People most at risk for lung cancer are active smokers. About 85 percent of lung cancers are associated with smoking habits. Even so, it does not mean every smoker will get lung cancer. In addition, people who do not smoke are also likely to develop lung cancer, although lower in number.

In addition to cigarettes, some other causes of lung cancer are inhalation of arsenic, radiation, and air pollution. Lung cancer is also more common in elderly people.

Treatment In Lung Cancer
There are several factors that influence the method of treatment and treatment performed to overcome lung cancer are:
  • How severe the spread of cancer.
  • Patient health condition.
  • The type of cancer suffered.
Cancer removal surgery can be performed if cancer cells have not spread widely to other parts of the body. If health conditions do not allow for surgical removal, other treatments may be applied. The process of destruction of cancer cells by way of radiotherapy can be run.

Lung cancer generally does not cause symptoms before the cancer cells spread to large parts of the lungs or to other body parts. Healing depends on the spread of cancer and when the diagnosis of cancer is known. The earlier the diagnosis is made, the possibility of treatment to succeed also becomes higher.

Symptoms Of Lung Cancer

In the early stages, lung cancer does not cause any symptoms. The symptoms will only appear when the development of cancer has reached a certain stage. Here are the main symptoms that will be experienced lung cancer patients, including:
  • The cough is sustained and worsens, until it ends up coughing up blood .
  • Experiencing shortness of breath and pain in the chest.
  • Experiencing fatigue for no reason.
  • Swelling of the face or neck.
  • Headache .
  • Bone pain, can be on the shoulders, arms or hands.
  • Weight loss.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • The voice becomes husky.
  • Difficulty swallowing or pain when swallowing something.
  • Changes in the shape of the finger, ie the fingertips become convex.
Immediately see a doctor or go to the clinic to confirm the diagnosis of the symptoms experienced.

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Causes Of Lung Cancer

The main cause of lung cancer is smoking, both in active smokers and in passive smokers. But people who do not smoke or exposed to cigarette smoke also can suffer from lung cancer. Some of the causes of lung cancer will be described further below.

Active Smokers and Passive Smokers
Approximately 80-90 percent of lung cancer cases are caused by smoking habits. So active smokers become the most risky group. Cigarette smoke is inhaled, containing more than 60 toxic substances that can trigger the development of cancer. These toxic substances are known as carcinogenic. For example nicotine used in insecticides and tar used in the manufacture of road asphalt.

Initially, this damage can be repaired by the body. But the repetition and sustainability of smoking causes damage to the lung tissue continues to grow. Damage is what causes the cells to react abnormally until finally emerged cancer cells.

Currently, more than 60 million Indonesians are active smokers. This number continues to grow from year to year. Indonesia ranks third in the countries with the highest active smokers, behind China and India.

In addition to tobacco, marijuana also contains substances that can trigger cancer. Tobacco is often mixed with cannabis. Although the quantity of tobacco mixed with cannabis is less than that of cigarettes, the cannabis smokers suck deeper and longer. The effects of tobacco sucking mixed with marijuana are much worse than smoking regular tobacco cigarettes.

Passive smokers are people exposed to cigarette smoke but do not smoke directly. Although not smoking directly, passive smokers remain at risk for lung cancer. The risk of passive smokers exposed to lung cancer increases at least 20 percent compared to people who are not exposed to cigarette smoke exposure.

Air pollution
According to WHO data, Southeast Asia is in second place as a contributor to the poor air pollution in the world. The risk of developing lung cancer will increase if we are exposed to air pollution exposure for example from vehicle fumes or factory smoke. About one in 100 deaths from lung cancer are caused by high levels of pollution. Inhaling exhaust fumes from vehicles and factories can have the same impact as passive smoking.

Workplace Exposure
Some jobs have a likelihood of being associated with an increased risk of developing lung cancer. Employees exposed to some chemical compounds that are carcinogenic, such as asbestos, nickel, coal, silica, and arsenic have a higher risk for lung cancer.

Radiation Exposure
Radon is part of the air we breathe. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas. This gas comes from rocks and soils in very small quantities.

This radon gas can move through the soil. This gas will enter into the house through foundation cracks, pipes, drains or other open pits. This gas can be tested with simple testing tools, because radon gas is invisible and odorless. If inhaled, radon gas can damage the lungs, especially for a smoker.

Diagnosis Of Lung Cancer

For those of you who experience symptoms of lung cancer such as sustained cough , coughing up blood , shortness of breath, and chest pain should see your doctor immediately.

Early detection of cancer can improve the success of the treatment process. Here are some tests that can be done to confirm the diagnosis of cancer.
  • Sputum examination . Sputum that we remove when cough can be examined in the laboratory with a microscope. Sometimes this check can be used to see if there are cancer cells in the lungs.
  • Imaging test . The first diagnosis for lung cancer usually uses X-rays . X-ray imaging of the lungs may reveal an existing tumor . If an X-ray is suspected of having lung cancer, further tests need to be done to confirm it.
  • A CT scan can show a small abnormal that can not be seen with X-rays . By utilizing CT scan , clearer and more detailed imagery can be obtained.
  • PET-CT Scan can show the location of cancer cells that are active. This imaging is usually done if the results of a CT scan show there is a cancer cell at an early stage.
  • Biopsy or tissue sampling of the lungs . This procedure is performed after an imaging test and shows that there is a cancer cell on the chest. The doctor will take a sample of tissue cells from within the lungs.

Stage of Lung Cancer
  • Stage 1 . The cancer is still inside the lungs and has not spread to the surrounding lymph nodes. The size of the tumor at this stage is still below 5 cm.
  • Stage 2 . Tumor  more than 5 cm in size. But regardless of size, the tumor can be said to enter stage 2 if the cancer has spread to adjacent lymph nodes, the muscles and surrounding tissues, and the respiratory tract (bronchi), the cancer causes the lung to collapse (collapses), there are more than one tumor-sized small in one lung.
  • Stage 3 . At this stage, there are cancer cells that have spread to lymph nodes far away from the lungs or cancer attack other important body parts such as esophagus (throat), trachea, or major blood vessels in the heart.
  • Stage 4 . The cancer has spread to both the lungs or other organs away from the lungs like the brain and liver. In addition, it can be categorized stage 4 if the cancer causes fluid buildup in the lungs.

Treatment Of Lung Cancer
Treatment and treatment for lung cancer depends on the type, size, position of the cancer, and the stage of cancer suffered. The health of the patient is also influential in determining the treatment that can be lived.

Cancer removal surgery can be performed if the cancer is only on one side of the lung and has not spread. In addition, the health conditions of patients with lung cancer should be checked whether it is possible to perform surgery. Cancer removal surgery will usually continue with chemotherapy to eliminate the remaining cancer cells.

For cancer that has spread, only radiotherapy and / or chemotherapy can be done. In addition, biological therapy is also available as an alternative to chemotherapy. Biological therapy aims to control and suppress the development of cancer.

Lung Cancer Removal Operation
Surgery is performed to remove lung cancer and some healthy tissue around it. This is done in order to anticipate if there are cancer cells that have spread.

Wedge resection is a surgical procedure that lifts a small portion of the lung tissue because the tumor is small or if the patient's lung performance has decreased due to lobectomy surgery that has been previously undertaken.

Lobectomy is the process of removal of all parts of the lobe in one lung. The lobes are part of the lung that has clear boundaries. The right lung consists of three lobes, while the left lung of the two lobes. In the lobectomy procedure, the entire lobe of the cancerous lung will be removed. The lungs can still function with the rest of the existing lobe.

Pneumonectomy is a surgical procedure for removal of one side of the lungs as a whole. Implementation of this procedure only if forced, for example because the cancer cells are in the middle of one side of the lung or has spread to all parts of the lung.

Patients will still be able to breathe after the above operations. If a portion of the lung is removed, the rest of the remaining tissue will expand after a while. This will make breathing easier. It took several weeks to fully recover from lung surgery.

As with other operations, lung removal surgery may also lead to complications. Examples of complications of lung surgery include inflammation of the lungs, bleeding, and blood clots.

Radiotherapy uses radiation energy to kill cancer cells. Especially in postoperative conditions, this procedure can also be used to kill the remaining cancer cells. If surgery is not possible, radiotherapy is performed to relieve symptoms or pain and slow the extent of cancer spread.

Possible side effects that can occur due to radiotherapy are as follows:
  • Coughing up sputum with blood mixed.
  • Pain in the chest.
  • Difficulty in swallowing.
  • The skin is reddened and feels sore. The fur plumes on the chest.
  • Often feel tired.

Treatment of chemotherapy is done regularly within a few weeks or months with interspersed breaks to recuperate. Handling procedures use drugs to kill cancer cells, slow the growth of cancer cells, and inhibit its spread.

Chemotherapy is also sometimes administered prior to surgery in order to make the cancer shrink and become easier to remove. In addition, chemotherapy can also be done postoperatively to kill the remaining cancer cells. Another function of chemotherapy is to relieve pain and reduce the symptoms of cancer.

Side effects that will arise due to chemotherapy include physical fatigue, nausea, vomiting, canker sores, hair loss, and the appearance of ulcers on the abdomen. Chemotherapy can also make the body more vulnerable to infection.

Photodynamic Therapy
Treatment steps that can be used to treat early lung cancer in patients who refuse to perform surgery. In this therapy, a flat tube will be inserted into the location of the tumor. Then the laser beam will be fired through the tube to destroy the cancer cells.

Biological therapy
This treatment step is an alternative to chemotherapy. This therapy uses drugs such as erlotinib and gefitinib which inhibit the growth of cancer cells. This therapy is usually recommended for those who have non-small cell lung cancer that has spread so difficult to be treated with radiotherapy or surgery.

This medical action can be done if the cancer has begun to clog the airways. Tool called kryoprobe will be placed on the tumor, then produce very cold temperature. The cold temperature will shrink the tumor.

Ablation of Radiofrequency
This is a type of treatment to treat small cell lung cancer that can be diagnosed at an early stage. The doctor will use a CT Scanner to direct the needle to the tumor. After the needle pierces the tumor, the radio waves will be passed on the needle. The heat generated by radio waves will kill the cancer cells. A common complication after radiofrequency ablation is the appearance of an air bag trapped between the inner and outer layers of the lungs.

Prevention Of Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is one type of cancer that can be prevented. Here are some ways you can do:
  • Do not smoke and avoid becoming a passive smoker . The main way to prevent lung cancer is by not smoking. Avoid also be a passive smoker if your environment is filled with active smokers. Especially for active smokers, quit smoking right now. Despite years of smoking, this step will still be useful and can reduce the risk of lung cancer.
  • Healthy menu choices. Get used to eating low-fat and high-fiber foods. Fruit and vegetables should be the main menu everyday. Avoid consuming too many vitamins in pill or tablet form because such drugs can have side effects.
  • Exercise regularly. Try to exercise regularly. For those who rarely exercise, start this routine gradually. For adults it is recommended to exercise for at least 2-3 hours a week.

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