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What you need to know about lung cancer

Learn about different types of lung cancer, contributing factors,
its symptoms and available treatments

We all know someone or are somehow connected to someone who has been affected by cancer.

Lung cancer, in particular, is quite common, and yet despite this many of us don't know a great deal about it, such as whether blood test can show for lung cancer.

Making yourself familiar with the basic facts regarding lung cancer will not only help you spot the symptoms, but you could also help someone else. Here we’ll take a look at some important facts that you should know about lung cancer.

Drawing of a man smoking, while the Death awaits
Both smokers and second-hand smokers can get lung cancer, as the most likely group of
people. But lung cancer can also be caused by other, unknown factors.
(Image by Pixabay.com)

There are different kinds

There are in fact two general kinds of lung cancer:

  • Small cell lung cancer
  • Non small cell lung cancer

The type of cancer you have will depend on how well it responds to treatment and what your next medical steps might be.

Non-smokers can also get it

Think of lung cancer and it’s easy to picture a heavy smoker, who’s been inhaling toxic smoke since their teens. However, many non-smokers can actually develop lunch cancer either from second-hand smoking or by other means.

Other contributing factors

Just because you don't smoke doesn't mean you can't develop lung cancer. Those who have worked with asbestos in the past are at high risk of developing cancer later in life, so factory workers, plasterers, even ex-military personnel are vulnerable. As are those who work with other chemicals such as silica, including those in the glass manufacturing industry, shipbuilding and sandblasting and exposure to exhaust fumes, mechanics, drivers and engineers.

Family history

If you have a family history of lung cancer then you may also be more likely to develop it.

The symptoms

Lung cancer has several symptoms that you should be vigilant of. Especially if you're exposed to contributing factors. Obviously, if you have any of these symptoms you should seek medical advice.

Here are some of the most common and recognizable:

  • A shortness of breath
  • Blood in phlegm
  • Loss of appetite
  • A persistent cough
  • A cough that is suddenly painful
  • Losing weight
  • Persistent chest infections
  • Constantly out of breath

What kind of treatments are to be expected?

The kind of treatment received will depend on the type of lung cancer, it’s stage and it’s severity.

Which could include the following or a combination of the following:

  • Radiotherapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Laser therapy
  • Photodynamic therapy
  • Surgery

The effectiveness of each treatment will depend on type of cancer, how early it's been detected and other health factors that vary from person to person.

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