Carcinoma of the lung or lung cancer, is considered as one of the most common types of cancer in present date. In case of lung cancer, the symptoms are not clearly visible at an early stage. Lung cancer is basically responsible for large amount of deaths in both male and female all over the world.
A person may struggle with lung cancer when a development of malignant cancer cells is spotted in the lungs. Based on the stage at which lung cancer is spotted, it can be categorized as being in the:
- Early stages
- Mid stages
- Advanced stages
At present, huge extent of statistics on lung cancer is available. Patients and relatives can access the info over the net, which possess uncountable number of websites dedicated to different traits of lung cancer- types, causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment etc.
Previously, treatment on lung cancer was not a stress-free task, due to the massive volume of expenses involved in the form of medical bills, hospital stay fees. While, at present with the accessibility of insurance, things have turned easier.
There two main types of lung cancer. Both these types are present in the epithelial cells of the lungs. They are:
- Small cell lung cancer (SLCC)
- Non-small cell lung cancer
There’s yet another type, known as mixed small cell/large cell lung cancer. In this particular type you can find both types of cells in the cancerous tissue.
In addition, there’s yet another form of cancer in the lung area, known as mesothelioma cancer. But, this is not believed to be a primary form of lung cancer, as its target area is not the lobes of the lung, but the pleural membrane covering the lung.
Small Cell Lung Cancer
This is the sporadic of the two basic forms of lung cancer. One out of every five lung cancer patients struggle with small cell lung cancer.
Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
It is a more common of the two basic forms of lung cancer. Four out of five lung cancer patients struggle with this type of cancer.
Depending on the cell type/ area in which the carcinogenic cells thrive in the lungs, non-small cell lung cancer is further classified into three types. They are:
- Squamous cell carcinoma
- Large cell carcinoma
- Bronchioalveolar carcinoma (BAC)
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
This is considered as the most common type of lung cancer. It arises in the cells lining the airways inside the lungs. This type of cancer usually takes place due to nicotine ingestion through smoking.
This form of cancer is present in the mucus cells within the airways in the lung.
Large Cell Carcinoma
This is also known as undifferentiated lung cancer. In large cell carcinoma, the proliferating cells are round and much bigger than the cells visible in adenocarcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma.
Bronchioalveolar Carcinoma (BAC)
This form of cancer is present in the bronchioalveolar area of the lung.
The principal cause of cancer is exposure to tobacco. This is due to smoking. Nearly 80 percent of lung cancer patients are smokers. Smokers might be either cigarette smokers, cigar smokers or pipe smokers; it really doesn’t matter.
An individual may breathe in smoke directly. A person may also breathe in smoke passively or reluctantly. This smoke is termed as secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke is basically of two types:
Mainstream: This smoke is exhaled by the smoker, and accounts to more than 50 percent of all secondhand smoke.
Sidestream: This smoke emanates from the burning end of a cigarette/cigar/pipe/hookah.
Passive smokers are also prone to lung cancer. The possibilities of passive/secondary smokers contracting lung cancer is nearly 30% higher than people who do not breathe in smoke either actively or passively.
While, there have been certain occasions of even total non-smokers struggle with lung cancer. In short, smoking is not the only reason behind the cause of lung cancer. It is yes of course, the primary cause, but not the only cause. Mentioned below are some of the other causes of lung cancer:
- Air pollution
- Exposure to radon, a radioactive substance formed by breaking down uranium
- Breathing of asbestos fibers.
- Inhaling marijuana fumes by smoking
- Exposure of the chest area to radiation therapy during cancer treatment
- Hereditary reasons.
- Presence of arsenic in drinking water
- Diet with low fruit and vegetable content.
Mentioned below are some of the common symptoms of lung cancer:
- Persistent coughing
- Loss of breath
- Loss of appetite
- Reddish or muddy brown spit
- Renewed wheezing
- Continuous or repetitive infections on the bronchial tract
- Hoarseness of voice
In its later advanced stages, when the lung cancer is in metastasis, the symptoms are:
- Numbness of arms and legs
- A jaundiced appearance
- Tumorous growth near the skin surface
- Bone pain
Detection and Diagnosis
It is very sporadic to detect lung cancer in early stages. There’re no particular symptoms of early stages of lung cancer. Owing to this, lung cancer is detected in its later stages.
The use of appropriate screening technique would to some extent increase the possibilities of early lung cancer detection. While, there’s no such appropriate and totally effectual screening technique still. At present, a novel technique known as spiral CT look like a better option for early detection.
After lung cancer is detected, the next move is to ascertain the stage it is in. This is carried out using AJCC system. Roman numerals are used to spot the different stages of lung cancer, numerals from 0-IV. At times, the stages are divided into substages, by means of connotations A and B. The thumb rule is that the lower the denomination, the less severe the condition.
Lung cancer treatment alternatives are basically similar to prostate cancer treatment option or colon cancer treatment options. While, lung cancer tests may be not be the same as colon cancer tests. They are:
- Radiation therapy
The more severe the cancer, the more chances that diverse treatment options will be cast-off in the cycle, or one after the other.
Ayurvedic medicines can be considered as an add-on to the standard line of treatment for lung cancer. The main ambition of the treatment is to control lung cancer, prevent or reduce its spread to other body organs and enhance overall survival. Medicines which acts particularly on the lung tissue are used to treat this condition.
These encompass Ras-Sindur, Sameer-Pannag-Ras, Nag-Guti, Chaturbhuj-Ras, Hema-Garbha-Ras, Laxmi-Vilas-Ras, Karpuradi-Churna, Kantakari-Avleha, Bhallatak-Asav, Vasavaleha, Sitopaladi-Churna, Talisadi-Churna, Pippalyadi-Ghrut and Drakshasav. Herbal medicines useful in this condition are: Kantakari (Solanum xanthocarpum), Bhruhat-Kantakari (Solanum indicum), Vasa (Adhatoda vasaka), Yashtimadhuk (Glycerrhiza glabra), Pippali (Piper longum), Behada (Terminalia bellerica), Bharangee (Clerodendron serratum), Kushtha (Saussurea lappa), Dhatura (Dhatura fastuosa) and Pushkarmool (Inula racemosa). The medicines Kanchnaar-Guggulu and Maha-Manjisthadi-Qadha are used in very high doses in order to prevent the spread of tumor locally or to other body parts.