The National Cancer Institute (Inca) estimates that between 2020 and 2022, more than 30,000 people will be diagnosed with lung, tracheal and bronchial cancer in Brazil. And men were the majority: they were responsible for 17,760 cases, while women added 12,440.
Very often, lung cancer is detected at a later stage. At this point, symptoms often include bloody sputum, difficulty swallowing, hoarseness, and frequent lung infections.
Lung tumors are the leading cause of cancer death in men and women worldwide: approximately 25% of all deaths from the disease are due to complications from tumors in the organ. However, cases and deaths are declining year on year. Experts suggest that this happens because people smoke less.
Take a Look at the Top 10 Signs of Lung Cancer:
Lung cancer is usually diagnosed in its most advanced form. At this stage, the following symptoms are common:
- Persistent dry Cough;
- Breathing Difficulties;
- Difficulty Breathing;
- Lack of Appetite;
- Back Pain;
- Blood in the Sputum;
If these signs and symptoms are present, it is important to see a doctor. A pulmonologist or general practitioner can be consulted to identify the disease early, initiate treatment, and prevent complications from developing.
Metastasis occurs when cancer cells travel to other parts of the body through the bloodstream or lymphatic vessels. It can occur after a few months and, depending on where it occurs, cause different symptoms.
In lung metastases there may be chest pain unrelated to breathing or pleural effusion. Headache, nausea, vomiting and even neurological deficits can appear in the brain.
With bone metastases, bone pain and frequent fractures can occur. In the hepatic version, hepatomegaly, mild weight loss, and right upper abdominal pain are common.
What Causes Lung Cancer?
The main responsible for the development of this type of cancer is the consumption of cigarettes. About 90% of all cases occur in smokers: the number of cigarettes smoked per day and the number of years that the habit has been pursued are risk factors that can aggravate the situation.
According to doctors, factors that increase the risk of developing lung cancer include:
- Inhaling other people’s cigarette smoke, thus being a passive smoker;
- Frequent exposure to radon and other dangerous chemicals such as arsenic, asbestos, beryllium, cadmium, hydrocarbons, silica, mustard gas, and nickel;
- Live in areas with a lot of environmental pollution;
- You have a genetic predisposition;
In addition, treatment of other types of cancer can increase the risk, such as in cases of breast cancer, lymphoma or testicular cancer treated with radiation therapy, for example.
People with these risk factors should see their GP or pulmonologist regularly to assess their lung health and check for any suggestive changes, such as a nodule.
How is the Treatment Done?
The treatment of lung cancer depends on the type of tumor, its characteristics and the presence of metastases. Your doctor may recommend surgery to remove part or all of your lung to prevent cancer cells from spreading.
Chemotherapy and radiation therapy may also be indicated before or after surgery. The purpose of these procedures is to shrink the tumor and make sure that all cancer cells are destroyed.