Mahesh Memorial Trust




Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is the most common cancer amongst men in India, with approximately 33,000 new cases every year. Cancer that begins in the lung is called lung cancer.
Symptoms
Unexplained chronic cough
Repeated attacks of lung infection
Breathlessness, wheezing, hoarseness
Sputum mixed with blood
Constant chest pain
Loss of appetite or weight loss
Fatigue
Diagnosis
Evaluation of medical history, smoking history, exposure to environmental and occupational substances and family history of cancer.
Clinical examination and x-ray of the chest
Special x-ray examination called Tomography
Biopsy
Bronchoscopy - The doctor puts a bronchoscope (a thin, lighted tube) into the mouth and down through the windpipe to look into the breathing passages. Through this tube, the doctor can collect cells or small samples of tissue.
Staging in Lung Cancer
Stage I: The cancer is located only in the lung, and has not spread to the lymph nodes. This is the least advanced stage.
Stage II: The cancer has spread to the nearby lymph nodes found in the chest near the lungs. Lymph nodes are small, bean-shaped structures where cells are stored; nodes can trap cancer cells or bacteria traveling through the body.
Stage III: The cancer is found in the lymph nodes in the middle of the chest away from the lungs. Stage III lung cancer has two types. If the cancer is a single tumor, or mass, it is called stage III-A. If the cancer in the chest has spread to more than one area, it is called stage IIIB.
Stage IV: This is the most advanced stage of lung cancer. This is when the cancer has spread to a distant part of the body - for example, your liver, bones, brain, or some other organ.
Side Effects of the Treatment
Surgery to remove a cancerous tumor for Stage I or Stage II lung cancer is a major operation and will take weeks, even months, to regain strength and energy.
Muscles of the chest and arm on the side of surgery may become weak and require special exercises to regain strength.
Pain and discomfort after surgery.
Air and fluid often collect in the chest after lung surgery. To help relieve this, patients are helped to turn, cough and breathe deeply and prescribed respiratory physiotherapy.
Shortness of breath after surgery
Infections, skin rashes, loss of hair, diarrhea, vomiting, tingling and numbness in the fingers and toes and hearing loss.
Extreme fatigue.
Radiation dermatitis - Skin covering the radiated area becomes red, dry, itchy and may show signs of scaling off. This will slowly settle as radiation ceases, but there may be a permanent 'bronzing' of the skin.
Urinary discomfort and fall in the white blood cells.
Risk Factors:
Smoking of Cigarettes, Beedies, Cigars and Pipe.
Environmental Tobacco Smoke or passive smoking
Inhalation of asbestos fibers
Exposure to Radon, an invisible, odourless and tasteless radioactive gas
Pollution
Lung Disease such as tuberculosis increases chances of developing lung cancer
Personal Medical and Family History
Other Mineral Exposures