Lung cancer is a disease in which cells in the lungs grow out of control. It is the leading cause of cancer death in the world, accounting for about 22% of all cancer deaths.
There are two main types of lung cancer: non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and small cell lung cancer (SCLC). NSCLC is the most common type, accounting for about 80% of all lung cancers. SCLC is less common, but it is more aggressive and tends to spread more quickly.
The main cause of lung cancer is smoking. Other risk factors include exposure to secondhand smoke, radon, asbestos, and certain chemicals.
Lung cancer often does not cause symptoms in its early stages. However, as the cancer grows, it can cause a variety of symptoms, including:
- Coughing up blood
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Weight loss
If you have any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor right away. Early detection and treatment of lung cancer can improve the chances of survival.
The treatment for lung cancer depends on the type of cancer, the stage of the cancer, and the patient’s overall health. Treatment options may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or targeted therapy.
There are a number of things that you can do to reduce your risk of lung cancer, including:
- Quit smoking
- Avoid secondhand smoke
- Limit your exposure to radon
- Avoid exposure to asbestos and certain chemicals
- Get regular cancer screenings
If you have been diagnosed with lung cancer, there are a number of support resources available to help you. These resources can help you cope with the emotional and physical challenges of the disease.