Lung cancer myths and truths


The lung is a vital organ, and lung cancer is one of the most lethal cancers. Among the main risk factors for this type of cancer is smoking.

The lung is an important organ of the respiratory system, and therefore vital. It is responsible for oxygenating the blood, making it with the quality indicated to circulate in our body. Breathing is the process by which the oxygen we inhale reaches the lungs.

In addition to oxygenating the blood, the lung also has the function of controlling the acidity of the blood, which increases when there is too much carbon dioxide in the blood, removes air bubbles from the blood, protects the heart in situations of trauma, and also functions as a reservoir of blood especially during physical exercise.

Lung cancer, is one of the most lethal cancers and happens due to a genetic alteration that leads to the appearance of cancer cells in the tissue of the lungs, with uncontrolled growth resulting in a tumor.

Are there different types of lung cancer?

Lung cancer can be non-small cell or small cell, depending on the appearance under the microscope.  The most common non-small cell cancer is less aggressive than the small cell cancer, which usually metastasizes more quickly. For different types and stages of cancer different types of treatment are selected.

Should smokers be on the alert?

Smokers and ex-smokers, being a risk group, must be especially attentive and make periodic consultations that allow injuries to be identified early.

Other factors, such as healthy eating, physical exercise, and excessive alcohol consumption, also influence the appearance of lung cancer.

Early detection of lung cancer helps to reduce mortality by 20%. Paying attention to symptoms and having a preventive attitude, adopting a healthy lifestyle is the best way to avoid it.

How to diagnose lung cancer?

To make an early diagnosis of lung cancer your doctor will want to assess your risk. Individuals who have smoked for most of their lives, or who have direct family members with lung cancer, are at greater risk, and it is recommended that annual screening be carried out from the age of 55.

If the doctor thinks that screening should be done for you, he or she may order a series of tests to help assess the presence of this cancer.

Imaging - a chest X-ray helps reveal whether or not there are nodules or masses in the lungs. A TAC can also help to visualize, especially when the masses or nodules are very small.

Sputum cytology - if the patient has sputum cough, sometimes cytological analysis can reveal cancer cells under a microscope.

Tissue biopsy - when a mass or nodule is found, a sample can be removed and observed under a microscope to determine whether it is a cancerous lesion or not.

What is the profile of the lung cancer patient?

Lung cancer is more common in males, and in smokers. On average, the diagnosis of cancer is made between 55 and 75 years old, although there may be cases between 35 and 40 years old.

About 10% of lung cancer cases are diagnosed in non-smokers, so the adoption of healthy lifestyle habits is very important for the prevention of lung cancer.

What is the prognosis of the lung cancer patient?

The prognosis of lung cancer often depends on the type of cancer and the stage. The earlier the cancer is diagnosed, the better the prognosis.

The most important thing is to comply with the treatment recommended by your doctor, and systematically assess progression.


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