Over the past few decades, the life expectancy of individuals has increased. While this means more years spent among family and friends, it also means that diseases of aging are more common. One example is cancer and pretty much everyone knows somebody who has been afflicted by this deadly disease. There are many different types of cancer and one of the most common forms is lung cancer. While there are have been tremendous advances in the diagnosis and treatment and most types of cancer, lung cancer has not been so lucky. This remains one of the most deadly types of cancer around. Therefore, it is important for everyone to understand the signs, the symptoms, and the treatment of lung cancer.
One of the most common signs of lung cancer is weight loss. Cancer is a disease in which the normal regulatory mechanisms of cellular division have been derailed. This means that cells replicate out of control. Because of this, these cancer cells take up a lot of the body's resources. This means that these cells burn more calories than the typical cell. As a result, the body is deprived of its fat and muscle stores in order to power this cellular division. As a result, people start to lose weight. Those who have lost weight unintentionally, particularly if the weight loss is significant, could have lung cancer. They should see a doctor as quickly as possible.
One of the many symptoms of lung cancer is a dry cough that is persistent in nature. Pretty much everyone has had a cold at some point and understands what the cough of a cold sounds like. This is typically a productive cough where people are bringing up mucus. Furthermore, this type of nagging cough tends to disappear in just a few short days. In contrast, the cough associated with lung cancer is persistent. It sticks around for weeks or even months, particularly as the tumor grows. In addition, the cough is not productive. Unlike a cold, where there is mucus in the lungs, cancer does not produce any mucus. As a result, the cough will be dry. A persistent, dry cough is a symptom of lung cancer and deserves further investigation led by a medical professional.
There are many ways that someone might be diagnosed with lung cancer; however, the definitive diagnosis is made by a biopsy. After this, the treatment process can begin. The treatment process of lung cancer is involved and is typically a combination of chemotherapy and surgery. Examples of chemotherapy drugs include Methotrexate, Gemcitabine, and Pemetrexed. These medications are used to try and shrink the cancer tumor. If the tumor is relatively small, surgery might also be an option. One possibility is that the affected lobe of the lung is removed. If the cancer is widespread, it is also possible to remove the entire lung. While this might sound scary, people can survive with only one lung. Ultimately, the treatment of lung cancer depends on both the type of the lung cancer and the severity of the disease.
Lung cancer is a deadly disease that can progress quickly. Therefore, it is vital for everyone to understand how this disease presents and the treatment options that are available. It could wind up saving a life.