Lung cancer is the most common cancer type in the world. Every year over 1.30 million people die from lung cancer. Most common reason of lung cancer is smoking. 80–90% of all smokers get lung cancer. Also nicotine affects immune system and slow down system’s reaction to cancer. Rate is 10–15% for non-smokers. Also some genetic factors, radon gas, secondhand smoke and asbestos can cause lung cancer. It’s averagely five years survival time after lung cancer diagnosis. How many symptoms of lung cancer are there?
Main symptom of lung cancer is coughing up blood. Blood comes after a persistent cough attack and it’s only a little but dark red. All blood coughing is not the result of lung cancer but it’s a general symptom of it.
Difficulty breathing is another main symptom of lung cancer. Cause of difficulty breathing is mainly a tumor which is closing the inhale channel. Difficulty on breathing starts and develops very quickly. Also people with lung cancer may face wheezing. Main cause of wheezing is very similar to difficult on breathing.
Pain in chest and shoulder may also be a symptom of lung cancer. There’s no definite time when tumor causes pain but it’s mostly when tumor growth and started to press on a nerve of lung.
Sometimes lung cancer shows symptoms by repetitive bronchitis and pneumonia. Also similar lung diseases may come repetitive. Main problem on this situation is that when a patient goes different doctors on each lung problem, doctors mostly diagnose this situation as a standard lung disease and it’s very late when patient comes with repetitive problem. So it’s very important to control by one doctor in such problems.
Hoarseness is not a common symptom of lung cancer and it mostly comes in the late period of tumor. Main reason of hoarseness is tumor’s press to voice channels or similar. Sometimes it’s very hard to notice the change in voice but it gets worse after a few months.
Symptoms like unexplained weight loss, depression and loss of appetite may be about lung cancer. But it’s very hard to diagnose lung cancer by only these symptoms. Also some blood and hormone test result may show symptoms of lung cancer but they are also not enough for diagnosing. These levels can be low sodium levels, anemia and elevated calcium levels.
Also headaches, vision symptoms, seizures and weakness on one side of the body may be the symptoms of lung cancer. But they are not common like pain in the back and hips.
Depression is very rare to be a direct symptom of lung cancer but it’s an important symptom of a lung problem and maybe lung cancer because breathing is the source of every process in body and when breathing quality lowers or breathing process starts to be interrupted by some elements repetitively, people can start to get into depression.
Today, there are lots of treatment methods for lung cancer but success is very low. One treatment way is chemotherapy. But side effects of chemotherapy are very high and may cause fatal problems.
Doctors also prefer surgery for lung cancer. Surgery is mostly preferable on early stages of lung cancer. Targeted therapies are preferable in the stage 3 and 4 periods of lung cancer. Main target in this therapy is avoiding process of a protein stays on lung cancer tumor cells and starts to divide the tumor. This study became successful on some patients but it’s very new now and there’s no detailed work for side effects. Also treatment ways like radiation therapy are common for lung cancer patients.