Lung cancer has been commonly associated with cigarette smoking and use of tobacco. Lung cancer can surface in any part of the lung, though most instances of lung cancer are noticed in the epithelial lining. Smoking is the cause for nearly 90%of the cases of lung cancer. Tobacco smoke contains carcinogens that contribute towards the development of lung cancer. Women smokers are at greater risk of lung cancer than men smokers. Even passive smoking is fraught with risks. Another cause for lung cancer is exposure to asbestos fibers. This gives rise to mesothelioma. A small percentage of lung cancer cases are attributed to radon gas exposure. Persons suffering from COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) at at increased risk for lung cancer. Air pollution arising from vehicular and industrial effluents can increase the risk of lung cancer.
Symptoms of lung cancer include coughing and wheezing and chest pain. A patient suffering from lung cancer may notice blood while coughing. There might be extreme fatigue and unexplained weight loss. Lung cancer patients are more likely to face repeated respiratory infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia. Other symptoms of lung cancer include difficulty in swallowing and enlargement of lymph nodes on the neck.
The physician will look into the lungs with a bronchoscope. Tissue samples are often taken for biopsy. Sputum cytology is also conducted to detect presence of lung cancer cells. Chest x-ray and examination is done. Tissue biopsy of lymph nodes is done to diagnose lung cancer. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are used in the treatment of lung cancer.
Pneumonectomy is a surgical removal of the lung. This is done on patients suffering from lung cancer, COPD and emphysema. When a person is suffering from lung cancer, it has to be ascertained if the cancer has not spread. CT scan and bone scan can help. When the patient has a tumor near the lung center, Pneumonectomy is done when there is no other option. In a simple Pneumonectomy surgery, only the affected lung is removed. In extra pleural Pneumonectomy, a part of the pericardium and parietal pleura is also removed.
Lobectomy involves surgical removal of a lobe of the lung, in cases of lung cancer. The size and location of the tumor in the lungs determines the lobectomy procedure.