Lung cancer is a form of cancer that usually starts in the lower trachea or inner cell walls of the bronchi (tubes heading into the lungs). It then often moves into the lobes of the lungs themselves or into the surrounding tissues. If cancer starts elsewhere in the body and later migrates to the lungs, it is called metastasized lung cancer. If you are concerned that you or a loved one might be suffering from lung cancer, this article will help you examine the symptoms to see if this is likely what you are dealing with. It will also aid in forming first steps to deal with the possibility of lung cancer.
SYMPTOMS OF LUNG CANCER EXPLORED
All symptoms of lung cancer could be cause by less serious ailments or diseases. These symptoms should not cause undue stress or worry. Instead of worry and anxious questioning, if you have any of these symptoms see your physician immediately for diagnosis:
- Unexplainable ongoing fatigue or weakness
- Shortness of breath
- Bone pain
- Chest pain
- Persistent cough/coughing blood
- Drooping eyelids or paralysis of the facial muscles
- Significant changes in your voice (e.g. hoarseness)
- Unexplainable weight loss
The hope is that upon visiting your physician a less serious cause can be uncovered for these symptoms with no need for a lung cancer treatment of any kind.
POSSIBLE CAUSES OF LUNG CANCER
Any of the following can greatly increase your likelihood of lung cancer. First or second hand smoke is the single greatest contributing factor to lung cancer. Asbestos exposure can cause lung cancer (mesothelioma). Exposure to carcinogenic chemicals such as arsenic in water, radon gas, vinyl chlorine, or mustard gas. Pollution, if breathed regularly or intensely can also be a stimulus for cancerous cell growth. If you have been exposed to these chemicals schedule regular check up as quick diagnosis and treatment is key to surviving.
Help reduce the risks of lung cancer for you and those you love. Stop smoking if you currently do. Never smoke around children or non smokers if you must smoke. Respect the rights of others to breathe clean air. Avoid breathing gas and diesel fumes. Carpool and reduce driving times to help cut down on pollution. Have your water tested for carcinogens, and your basement air tested for radon gas.
LUNG CANCER TREATMENT.
In order to receive lung cancer treatment you will fist need to be diagnosed, of course. Many people self-diagnose and choose to avoid treatment. Unfortunately this raises the death toll of lung cancer. 40% of lung cancer patients survive more than a year. Many survive for decades after diagnosis. Expect to receive x-rays, MRI's, CT scans, blood work, and possibly scoping of your bronchial tubes and/or biopsy. All of these possible diagnostic tests may help isolate the cancer or confirm the diagnosis.
Treatment may include radiation, chemotherapy, or surgery. It may include all three. Certainly it should include immune system boosting diets, approved supplements, and a healthy dose of unrelenting hope.
If you are a lung cancer victim, be fully informed about your treatment plans and possible hope of recovery. Retain a sense of hope while facing realistically the situation you find yourself in. Prepare your family and loved ones for possible outcomes. Be sure your financial and property related affairs are in order, as well as any minors are cared for in case lung cancer treatments are unsuccessful. However, do not stop living. Enjoy life, and pursue life dreams knowing that even if time is short life is a gift worth enjoying.
ASBESTOS LUNG CANCER OR MESOTHELIOMA
Mesothelioma is a different breed of lung cancer in that its direct cause is known - asbestos exposure. A particularly difficult lung cancer to treat the survival rates are not encouraging. However, that is in significant part due to the fact that mesothelioma often does not present symptoms until late in its stages when treatment is more difficult. If you know that you have been, or you suspect that you have been exposed to asbestos, lung cancer is a grim possibility. Schedule a check up appointment with your physician as soon as possible.
If, tragically, you have received a Mesothelioma diagnosis do not give up hope. There are survivors. Further, consider getting a mesothelioma attorney if your asbestos lung cancer is due to occupational exposure or living conditions in someone else's property you may be due compensation. Asbestos removal is a hazardous occupation that if not cared for correctly can be deadly. Make sure your employer was diligent in protecting your health.
FAMILY MEMBERS AND LOVED ONES.
If you are a family member or loved one of a victim of lung cancer there are things you can do to help. Your verbal support and physical presence are often the greatest service you can provide. Be eager to listen, quick to notch up your help, and happy to step aside or offer space if requested. Do not assume that your friend or loved one desires space more than anything else. Lung cancer can be a lonely proposition, and most people need the support of their relationships increasingly through their battle against lung cancer.
If you suspect your loved one has lung cancer:
- Insist on seeing a physician as soon as possible for a diagnosis
- Be fully present and supportive
- Remove any carcinogenic influences from the home (smoke, second hand smoke, gas or diesel fumes etc)
- Stock the fridge with fruits and vegetable and encourage nutrient rich diet changes
- Send written as well as verbal expression of your love and concern
- Offer to help with small tasks or errands to relieve stress and free up time
- Offer to drive to lung cancer treatments
- Read up on lung cancer treatment and what it entails
- Avoid suggesting treatments that are not approved or proven to be affective
- Keep your own optimism toward lung cancer treatment high but realistic in terms of the pain and struggle