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Based on statistics from the Global Cancer Observatory (GLOBOCAN), lung cancer is that it is second among the most common types of cancer in the Philippines. And one of the must-know lung cancer facts is that it has the highest mortality rate compared to other types of cancer in the country.
And among the many types of cancer, lung cancer ranks as sixth among the leading causes of death worldwide.
But what is lung cancer? Is it only caused by smoking or inhaling secondhand smoke? Are other groups of people at risk? Let’s find out more lung cancer facts to better understand what causes it, and how it can be prevented.
Before we answer the question “What is lung cancer?” we first need to understand what cancer is.
Cancer refers to a group of diseases that happen when the cells in the body start replicating abnormally and uncontrollably. This can happen to any type of cell in the body, and it can also spread or metastasize to other organs if left untreated.
These abnormal cells don’t function like healthy cells, and this causes any affected organs to have difficulty in performing their regular functions. Eventually, this causes the affected organs to fail, resulting in death.
In the case of lung cancer, the abnormal cells start replicating in a person’s lungs, causing breathing problems. Cancer cells can eventually spread throughout the entire body, and cause other complications.
The symptoms of lung cancer can vary from case to case. Sometimes, the symptoms appear connected with a person’s breathing, but there are cases where it can affect other parts of the body, especially if the cancer has already metastasized.
These symptoms can also be present in other lung diseases. So if you experience any of these symptoms, it would be best to visit your doctor in order to get a clear diagnosis of what the problem might be.
Have you ever asked yourself, “What is lung cancer’s number one cause?” You might be surprised that you already know the answer.
By far, one of the most well known lung cancer facts is that the number one culprit is smoking.
Smoking not only affects the lungs of the person smoking the cigarette, it also affects the lungs of people who inhale secondhand smoke.
In fact, prolonged exposure to secondhand smoke has been recognized as a definite cause of lung cancer. It’s clear that smokers are not only putting themselves at risk, but the people around them as well.
When it comes to testing for lung cancer, there are various invasive and non-invasive procedures in order to test for its presence.
If the test results show that there are cancer cells, then your doctor will need to evaluate how widespread the cancer is. This could mean further testing, and conducting other procedures in order to check if the cancer has spread to other parts of your body.
In terms of treatment, there are a number of options available for treating lung cancer. However, it depends on the severity of the cancer, as well as the patient’s choice. This is why consulting with a doctor in order to find the best form of treatment is advisable.
Here are some of the most common ways of treatment for lung cancer:
Under chemotherapy, drugs are used in order to kill cancer cells. This may also be used in conjunction with other types of treatment.
As the name implies, radiation therapy uses targeted radiation in order to kill cancer cells in the body. It’s usually used in conjunction with chemotherapy to help eradicate all of the cancer cells in the body.
There are situations where your doctor needs to take out a part of your infected lung in order to remove the cancer entirely. This is also used in conjunction with chemotherapy to help kill any remaining cancer cells.
Much like radiation therapy, radiosurgery uses radiation to target specific areas of the body. The main difference is that radiosurgery is much more targeted, and ideal for people with small cancers, or even brain cancer.
Targeted drug therapy uses drugs that are specifically designed to target specific cancer cells in the body. However, these have very specific uses, and are used for more severe cases.
Cancer cells usually create proteins that prevent the body’s immune system from targeting them. Under immunotherapy, drugs are used to interfere with the process, and allow the immune system to directly attack the cancer cells.
Palliative care, while not a cure, can help greatly improve the quality of life of a cancer patient. This helps them cope better with the treatments, and helps manage any symptoms of cancer as well as side effects of the treatment.
Just like other cancers, there is no confirmed way of completely avoiding the risk of lung cancer. However, there are a number of things that a person can do in order to significantly lower the risk of lung cancer.
These steps should not only help lower your risk of lung cancer, but other types of cancer as well.
Because of the numerous advancements that medical science has made when it comes to cancer research, the mortality rate for people diagnosed with cancer has significantly decreased.
Despite this, the number of people who are being diagnosed with cancer, especially lung cancer, has gone up.
However, by knowing lung cancer facts and making informed health decisions as well as significant changes to our lifestyle, we can lower our chances of being diagnosed with not just lung cancer, but numerous other diseases as well.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
The Top 10 Causes of Death https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/the-top-10-causes-of-death Accessed 12 May 2020
Cancer https://www.who.int/health-topics/cancer#tab=tab_1 Accessed 12 May 2020
Lung Cancer https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/lung-cancer/symptoms-causes/syc-20374620 Accessed 12 May 2020
Philippines Fact Sheet Phttp://gco.iarc.fr/today/data/factsheets/populations/608-philippines-fact-sheets.pdf Accessed 12 May 2020
Cancer https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/cancer Accessed 12 May 2020