Showing posts with label Common. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Common. Show all posts

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Most Common Risk Factors in Lung Cancer

When one thinks of lung cancer, it is thought of as exactly that, however, this deadly disease comes in many shapes and forms, however. The two types of lung cancer that most variations fall under are the non small cell lung carcinoma, or cancer, and the small cell lung cancer (carcinoma), abbreviated as SCLC. The latter has also been called oat cell carcinoma for its "oat cereal like" appearance on the lung. SCLC is the less common of the two types of cancer, but it can be more difficult to treat and cure, as it is a more aggressive type of cancer. Statistics vary, but it is generally agreed that between 15% - 20% of all lung cancer cases are the small cell carcinomas.

So what are the most common risk factors that can lead to the growth of small cell lung cancer (SCLC)?

Smoking - Small cell lung cancer is often associated with a lung cancer that has grown due to an individual's habit of smoking. This may be the most important risk factor. Nicotine is the addictive part of the cigarette, but there are numerous known carcinogens (chemicals that are known to cause cancer) in the tobacco of a cigarette, cigar, or "chew". A carcinogen is a chemical that can alter a cells "make-up" or DNA, in an unhealthy manner. By altering the cells in the body, these abnormal cells change the normal, healthy life of a body cell. The abnormal cells can become cancerous and spread within the organ or to other organs and tissues in the body. If a small cell lung cancer cannot be treated and stopped, death may occur.

Radiation - Radiation can be a useful tool medically, but it can also be a risk factor in the development of this type of cancer. Ionizing radiation, in particular, is the form of radiation to blame. As ionization is the ability of the radiation to alter a cell's make-up by removing an electron from it, this can lead to a death of a cell, or a mutation of the cell that then renders it cancerous and it multiplies. While there is controversy over whether or not any non-ionizing radiation can contribute to cancer, it is generally assumed that it does not. Interestingly, ionizing radiation such as x-rays are used to diagnose and treat cancers of the lung, as they have that same ability to kill cells, in this case, the cancer cells when well-targeted during therapy.

Poor Nutrition - A diet that is lacking in the necessary nutrients to sustain and grow healthy cells throughout the body can contribute to the proliferation of small cell lung cancer. Cells in the lungs rely on the exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen in order for us to breathe properly. If the body cells that contribute to this exchange are not healthy, this important function can be hampered. As cells become weaker due to poor food habits, the environment becomes more unstable and prone to the growth of cancer cells.

Asbestos - While asbestos is really a mixture of minerals that are natural to our environment, when inhaled by a human lung it is a potential hazard to one's health, as asbestos is made up of very tiny fibers which can interact with the lung cells and cause irritation. This irritation can stimulate cells to become cancerous and create an environment for small cell cancer to grow.

By educating oneself to the general risk factors of small cell lung cancer, it is always hoped that an individual will avoid the practices that lead to this deadly cancer, while seeking medical treatment if there is any concern about one's own personal risk factors.

The Royal Brompton Hospital is one of the world's leading heart and lung centres, renowned for its expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer. If you're looking for more information about early lung cancer symptoms visit us today.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Common Early Signs That You May Have Lung Cancer

Warning signs of lung cancer may be more apparent in some sufferers than in others, depending on the type of cancer, and the stage that it has reached within the body. Lung cancer may show either moderate signs of being present, or may even show no signs at all. Most people when diagnosed with lung cancer, are usually in the later stages of the disease, which can be attributed to either the early warning signs being put down to other illnesses, or by being simply overlooked all together.

Common Early Warning Signs of Lung Cancer

1. A persistent cough, also called a smoker's cough, that is usually attributed to heavy smokers. It usually starts first thing in the morning when a considerable amount of phlegm (a sticky liquid secreted by the mucus membranes) can be found in the throat. To clear the phlegm, it may be necessary to cough repeatedly, as phlegm acts as an irritant within the area of the throat. Persistent coughs may also affect those who have been exposed to throat, nasal, or lung irritants over a period of many years.

2. Coughing up small amounts of blood, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest pains, are also signs that lung cancer may be present within the body. Although often attributed to ageing, being a little out of trim, or slightly overweight, these conditions are usually caused by the growth of cancer cells within the lung, and their invasion into the surrounding tissues. These conditions should always be checked by a doctor, especially if they persist.

3. A dull aching pain in the shoulder that may move down the outside of the arm, is another warning sign that often gets over-looked. The pain may often get put down to something else, such as, the after effects of playing football, doing exercise, or even working excessively. But this type of shoulder pain is also a warning sign that lung cancer may be developing. The pain is often caused when cancer cells have invaded the nervous system, which may also attribute to a dull pain in the back.

4. A notable weight loss when eating normally should be another cause for concern. The weight loss may also be accompanied by continued and excessive fatigue even after a good nights sleep, together with depression and mood swing changes. These signs are often associated with lung cancer, and are usually categorized as being nonspecific as they are easily attributed to other causes.

5. Recurrent chest infections or pneumonia are often warning signs that the airways from the lungs may be obstructed, causing small abscesses (cells) to grow on the inside of the obstructed tubes, which overtime may grow into malignant tumours. The obstruction of the airways is usually caused when a portion of the lung has either partially or completely collapsed due to the cancer spreading.

Important: If any of these warning signs are apparent, an appointment should be made to see a doctor. If after consultations with the doctor, he is still unable to reassure as to the reasons for the existence of these conditions, then it is advisable that a second or even third opinion be sought.

Philip Albert Edmonds-Hunt is from the County of Oxfordshire in the United Kingdom. He has travelled most of Europe, and he has lived in Spain on more than one occasion. Philip has also travelled much of the USA and now lives and works as a Freelance Writer and English Teacher in Mexico. He is the owner of "The Oxford Quill," a small but reliable business offering a range of services such as, "Professional Article Writing, Proofreading, and Website Design." If you are interested in reading more about lung cancer, check out:

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Most Common Symptoms - Lung Cancer Detection

In just the UK, a staggering 1 in every 14 people will suffer from lung cancer during their lifetime. Unfortunately, lung cancer does not have a great survival rate and one of the biggest reasons is because often diagnosis happens in the latter stages of the disease. This late diagnosis is largely due to a lack of awareness of the symptoms. Only 27% of patients survive for longer than a year following their diagnosis. Of those 27%, patients who are diagnosed during the early stages of lung cancer have a 43-78% chance of surviving for up to five years following their diagnosis. Whereas survival rates past a year for those who have their cancer diagnosed during the later stages can be as low as 10%.

Because of this, it is absolutely crucial that people make themselves aware of the early symptoms of lung cancer so that they can go to a doctor for an assessment and possible diagnosis as quickly as possible. You may find that when you go to the doctor's you are simply reassured that your symptoms do not equate to cancer of the lungs. But, if you are unfortunately diagnosed, the earlier you get the diagnoses, the better. Here are some early signs of lung cancer to look out for, however these do not give a definitive answer, they are just a suggestion that you need to go to your doctor for a check-up.

Persistent coughing: Although coughing is a symptom of many illnesses (the majority of which are relatively harmless), persistent coughing may indicate a problem. If your cough has lasted for a several weeks or has worsened over time, it might be a sign of lung cancer. Also, bringing up large amounts of phlegm, especially if it contains blood, can be a prominent symptom.

Noisy breathing: If someone is making noises when they are breathing it is always a cause for concern. If someone is having difficulties breathing and/or is wheezing (stridor), it could be a sign of a chest infection, asthma or allergic reaction. However, it could also be an indication of lung cancer. Any trouble breathing should always be checked out.

Pain: In your shoulder, back and chest which isn't caused by persistent coughing.

Tiredness: Poor lung function (which could be caused by this type of cancer) will mean that your body isn't sending enough oxygenated blood to organs and muscles in your body. Because of this you may become extremely tired and your muscles may even begin to waste (cachexia.)

A loss in your appetite and weight loss: This isn't just a symptom of lung cancer exclusively but is a symptom of many cancers. Professionals remain unsure of why this is the case however it is certainly one to be aware of.

The Royal Brompton Hospital is one of the world's leading heart and lung centres, renowned for its expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer. If you're looking for more information about the Royal Brompton's stop smoking clinic visit us today.

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