Understanding Lung Cancer

Understanding Lung Cancer

Lung cancer can arise from any part of the lungs. However, in most cases (90 to 95%) lung cancer mostly arises from the epithelial cells which line the smaller and larger airways (bronchiole and bronchi). It is for this reason that lung cancers are sometimes referred to as bronchogenic carcinomas or bronchogenic cancers. In a few cases, lung cancer can arise from the lining of the trachea and even blood vessels in the lungs.

According to American Cancer Society, this kind of cancer has the highest mortality rate in both women and men throughout the world. The American Cancer Society estimates that just in 2016 224,000 new cases of lung cancer were diagnosed in the United States and that in the same year 158,000 died from this terrible disease. Even more worrying is the fact that the United States National Cancer Institute predicts that around 6.5% of women and men will be diagnosed with this kind of cancer in the course of their lives. It is more predominant in the older demographic (70% of people diagnosed are over the age of 65).

The incidence of this type of cancer is strongly correlated with consistent tobacco use. Most people who smoke have no idea that tobacco contains more than 7000 chemical compound which has been proven to be carcinogenic. Passive smoke is also another established risk factor for lung cancer. Other risk factors include as exposure to asbestos fibers which are used in some acoustic and thermal insulation materials, radon gas which is produced in the decay of uranium, familial predisposition and other lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

How to avoid developing Lung CANCER

Although there is no sure way of preventing this terrible disease, you can substantially reduce the risk in the following ways:

Avoid smoking

If you have never smoked in your life then do not be tempted to start. It is important for parents and teachers to set a great example and start the conversation about the dangers of smoking at an early age so that kids do not succumb to peer pressure

Stop smoking

If you are already a smoker, stopping immediately will help reduce your chances of developing lung cancer. For persons who have been smoking for years, it is advisable to seek your doctor’s advice about effective strategies that can aid it helping quit this highly addictive habit. Some viable options include support groups, nicotine replacement products, and medication.

Avoid second-hand smoke

If are living or working with a person or people who smoke, urge them to quit the habit or at the very least request them to smoke outside. Also, avoid areas where people generally smoke such as restaurants and bars. Always seek for smoke-free options

Have radon levels at your home checked

Have you ever checked the radon levels at your home? This is especially important if you reside in an area where this gas is known to a problem. For information about this harmful gas contact your local department of public health for assistance.

 Avoid exposure to carcinogens while at work

 

 

It is advisable to take precautions to avoid exposure to toxic chemicals while at work. Always follow employer’s instructions strictly. For instance, when given a face mask for protection, wear it religiously. If you work in an environment where carcinogens are prevalent seek your doctors advise on how to protect yourself better.

Eat a diet that is rich in vegetables and fruits

A diet with a variety of vegetable and fruits is recommended. Also, avoid taking vitamins in pill form as this may be harmful to the user over time. For instance, in a study on lung cancer, researchers hoped to reduce the occurrence of this disease in smokers by giving them beta-carotene supplements, sadly the study ascertained that this supplements actually increased the chances of developing this type of cancer in people who smoke.

Adopt a daily exercise regimen

Avoiding a sedentary lifestyle will help keep your lungs in proper condition at all times. This is especially if you have quit smoking and are trying to keep your lungs healthy and functioning well.

Look out for the symptoms of lung cancer so that it can be diagnosed early

Most cancers have a better chance of being managed when diagnosed early before they spread to other organs in the body. Some symptoms of lung cancer include; a cough that lingers despite treatment, coughing up blood, shortens of breath, chest pains, constricted, blocked and inflamed airway causing wheezing, abnormal raspy or hoarse voice, unexplained significant drop in weight, bone pain, consistent migraines. Although these symptoms may be an indication of other diseases that are less dangerous, it is better to visit the doctor early to rule out the possibility.