Lung Cancer

Lung cancer ranks top among the most common cause of cancer related deaths. It has been estimated that only 5% of cases being diagnosed are curable. The fact that lung cancer occurs due a completely avoidable risk factor i.e smoking. This underscores the importance of creating awareness among individuals to quit smoking.

  • Symptoms
  • Treatment

Lung cancer symptoms:

Patients with lung cancer presents with productive cough not relieved by medication, sometimes blood mixed with sputum also expectorated. In advanced cases it can present with breathlessness. Large tumor can also compress major vessels and lead to compression syndrome.

Diagnostic approach to Lung cancer:

Patient with suspicion of lung cancer should undergo contrast enhanced CT scan of chest this gives a fair idea about the local extent of the disease and also the involvement of neighboring lymph nodes. For diagnosis either bronchoscopic biopsy or CT guided biopsy is done. Tissue diagnosis reveals the type and grade of the tumor as well as receptor status. As lung cancer is known to spread early to different organs a metastatic work up needed this can be done by single PET scan and depending upon type of the tumor and symptoms MRI brain may be required.

Treatment of Lung cancer:

Treatment depends upon the stage of the disease and also the cardiorespiratory fitness of the patient. Surgical excision which entails complete removal of the tumor along with proper staging is done in early stage lung cancer. Also patient should be fit to undergo lung resection that could be either lobectomy or pneumonectomy. Patients with locally advanced carcinoma lung undergo combined modality treatment i.e chemotherapy along with radiation. In case of disease that have spread to distant organs treatment option is only systemic therapy. Targeted agents that act on particular receptors expressed by the tumor becomes the mainstay of treatment in metastatic disease, these agents are less toxic than chemotherapy and shown to halt the progression of tumor.

Survival in Lung cancer:

Survival depends upon the stage of lung cancer. Non small cell lung cancer is common variant and five year survival according to the stage is 60-70% in stage I, 40-50% in stage II, 25% in stage III, and <5% in stage IV.


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