Cancer is a condition whereby the cells in the body begin to grow uncontrollably due to a fundamental change in their genetic code. The disease progresses in stages, ultimately leading to the organ(s) of origin being compromised as well as the surrounding area and other distant organs. Lung cancer is when the cells of the lungs begin to grow abnormally, and it is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the world. Since the lungs are responsible for the diffusion of oxygen into the bloodstream, the disease can greatly impact your breathing and body functions.
Early symptoms of the disease have few noticeable symptoms, but as the disease progresses symptoms can get quite severe. That is why it is important to catch it early, when there are more treatment options available, and the disease can be effectively treated. If you have a family history of lung cancer you should get screened for the condition regularly. If you do not know of a physician in your area, these best Pulmonologist in Lahore are great options for a remote consultation, or physical examination if you reside in that area.
As mentioned above, the signs of lung cancer are not immediately apparent, and only become noticeable the further the disease progresses. The most common early symptoms of the condition include shortness of breath and back pain. Here are some of the other symptoms you may experience as the disease advances:
- Coughing that persists
- Blood and phlegm being brought up when coughing
- Chest pain that becomes worse as you breathe, cough or exercise the lungs in any way
- Hoarseness in one’s voice
- Inexplicable and sudden weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Sensations of pain in one’s bones, particularly in the back, hips and ribs
- Recurrent respiratory infections, leading to conditions like bronchitis
Sometimes additional symptoms may become apparent that are a result of the cancer metastasizing to other parts of the body. As such, not every individual will experience every symptom, since the site of metastasis may vary. Here are some of the other symptoms that may arise:
- Numbness in the arms and legs
- Drooping of the eyelids
- Difficulty in maintaining balance
- Jaundice, or the yellowing of one’s skin and eyes
- Pain in one’s shoulders
- Swelling of the face and upper body
- Nausea and vomiting
- High blood pressure and blood sugar levels
- Weakening of the muscles
The primary cause of lung cancer in the world is smoking, with about 90% of all cases being the result of the habit. Smoking damages lung cells, causing their internal biology to change, potentially making them cancerous. If one stops smoking, the lung cells have a chance to heal, reducing the risk of developing lung cancer. However, anyone can develop lung cancer, and there are other causes that can lead to the disease. These include exposure to harmful substances like radon gas, asbestos, uranium, nickel, cadmium, and arsenic. Exposure to radon gas has been shown to be the second leading cause of lung cancer.
There are also some factors that make you more likely to develop the disease. These include having a family history of the condition, having undergone radiation therapy in the past, and being exposed to secondhand smoke.
If you are a regular smoker and have a family history of the condition, we recommend you get screened for the condition as soon as it is convenient for you, as catching the disease early can mean life or death. These Pulmonologist in Islamabad are great options for consultation if you reside in that city.