Contributors: Marie Hunt and Dr. Emran from Simple Health Radio
On this episode of Simple Health Radio, Dr. Emran discusses one of the most common cancers in both men and women, lung cancer. Dr. Emran will discuss the history, causes, types, and diagnosis.
Cancer means an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells. With lung cancer, this growth can occur in one or both lungs. As these abnormal cells grow, they form tumors and interfere with the functioning of the lung.
The number one cause of lung cancer is cigarette smoking. Tobacco contains carcinogens that can trigger cancer. Other environmental factors are asbestos, radon, chemical agents in water, and UV radiation.
Symptoms of lung cancer can be vague. It can be coughing, pain, shortness of breath, changes in the voice, and recurring lung problems. Other symptoms that are more severe could be coughing up blood, losing function of legs/arms, extreme weight loss, and fatigue.
The two types of lung cancer are small cell (SCLC) or non-small cell (NSCLC). While SCLC is less common, it is the most aggressive type as the cancer cells tend to metastasize (spread) more easily. About 80-85% of lung cancer is NSCLC.
The earlier the cancer is located, the better the options for treatment. To get a closer look, doctors will order a CT scan, MRI, or Pet scan. To determine a diagnosis, patients will often have a biopsy. During a biopsy, a small amount of tissue is examined under a microscope. Then a specialist, such as a hematologist or oncologist, will determine which treatment will be most effective.
Treatment will include surgery and the patient will either do chemotherapy or radiation.
Chemotherapy works throughout the body and will kill cancer cells that have spread.
Radiation uses high doses of radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors.
If you have any questions or concerns reach out to your primary doctor or Dr. Emran through one of his social media channels.
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