Lung Cancer

Couches Chairs Rugs LobbyLung cancer is a particularly frightening diagnosis for many reasons. Luckily, however, early diagnosis and treatment can make all the difference.

First and foremost, it is important to identify any risk factors for developing lung cancer so that screenings can be done on a regular basis. Risk factors include:

• A history of smoking.

• Exposure to air pollution.

• Family history of lung cancer.
• Age 65 or over.

• Exposure to radon.

• Personal history of lung cancer.

Symptoms

While the early stages of lung cancer may not produce any symptoms, as cancer grows it begins to produce a variety of symptoms including chest pain, an ongoing cough or a cough that produces blood, shortness of breath, trouble breathing, frequent lung infections, weight loss, and fatigue.

Testing

The presence of these symptoms does not mean that you have lung cancer but it’s important to see your doctor if you are experiencing any of these conditions. Your doctor will go over your risk factors, discuss your symptoms, and give you a full examination. It may be decided at that time that further testing should be done which may include a chest x-ray or a CT scan to identify the presence of lung fluid, tumors, or swollen lymph nodes, or a variety of other tests that may be necessary depending on your symptoms and level of risk.

If lung cancer cells are found, they will be examined to determine if they are non-small cell or small cell lung cancer. Non-small cell lung cancer is the larger percentage of diagnosed lung cancer and is slow growing and spreading. Small cell lung cancer is in the minority of diagnosed lung cancer and is fast spreading.

Treatment

Depending on the diagnosis, treatment will be tailored appropriately and may include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, or a combination of several treatments.

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