Lung cancer is extremely common and has high mortality. It is categorized as either small cell and non small cell, each category has different prognosis and treatment.
Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death worldwide. Nowadays, there is no doubt that smoking is the main causative factor for most lung cancer types. Smoking cessation is the main step for disease prevention. Other risk factors include radiotherapy, professional exposure to toxic substances, air- pollution.
Usually lung cancer in early stages doesn’t cause symptoms. In some cases it is an incidental finding of a medical checkup for a different reason. Cough is the most common symptom when a bronchus (air pipe) is blocked. Chest pain is another common symptom that can lead to diagnosis. Dyspnea, frequent respiratory infections, blood stained sputum, and facial swelling could be lung cancer symptoms. Lethargy, weight loss, fever and anorexia could coexist.
In most cases a chest x-ray could provide initial diagnosis. Both chest CT and MRI could provide more information and accuracy as far as disease extent and metastases are concerned bronchoscopy and tumor biopsy set the final histological diagnosis.
Treatment depends on tumor stage. In limited disease surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy usually provide very good results, even cure, in some cases. For more advanced stages chemotherapy, targeted therapy and immunotherapy are the main options.