Lung cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in one or both lungs. Usually it starts off in the cells that line the airway passage.
It is the commonest form of cancer found in men & women across the globe. Talking about statistics of lung cancer In India, each year approximately 90,000 men & 80,000 women are diagnosed with cancer of lung & bronchi. It claims more lives than breast, colon, prostate and ovarian cancers combined. Usually the age bracket is mid 50s in Indians and 60s in western population.
Surprisingly, incidence of lung cancer in men is seen declining in comparison to women, where it is seen as a constant rise.
Smoking and usage of other tobacco products is the main risk factor for lung cancer. Other cause can be passive smoking, radiation therapy to the chest, familial disposition, air pollution, asbestos exposure and radon gas exposure.
Lung cancers which are also known as bronchogenic carcinoma can be broadly classified under two types:
Small cell lung cancers (SCLC) - This makes about 10%-15% of lung cancers. This is the aggressive type of lung cancer and grows very rapidly. SCLC is majorly due to cigarette smoking and only 1% of these tumours occur in non-smokers. Small cell lung cancers spread rapidly to other sites within the body.
Non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC) - NSCLC is the commonest type of lung cancer, accounting for approximately 85%-90% of all lung cancer cases. This has been further divided in to three categories as per the type of cells found in the tumour - Adenocarcinomas, Squamous cell carcinomas and Large cell carcinomas.
The disease does not exhibit pronounced symptoms initially and therefore early detection is usually missed. Once it reaches an advanced stage, symptoms may begin to appear like severe coughing, chest pain, blood in sputum, shortness of breath, fatigue and weight loss.
Like all other types of cancers, it takes several years for the symptoms to appear and to prompt the patient to seek medical assistance and this leads to a poor prognosis in lung cancer patients.
Since the disease remains asymptomatic for a long time, it usually gets diagnosed by an abnormal finding in chest imaging study (chest X-ray or CT scan) or when the disease reaches an advanced stage and begins to cause symptoms like severe coughing, chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue and weight loss.
Lung cancer is a dangerous life-threatening condition. As this cancer usually do not show any noticeable symptoms in its early stages, it becomes important to detect and diagnose this disease with the help of early screening and examinations. Health care providers like Indus Health Plus offer a master health package that involves early screening of various diseases. Such examinations help people at high risk of developing the disease. Connect with us by simply filling the form and our team will contact you.