Lung cancer is caused by lung cells growing out of control. As the number of cells grow, they form into a tumor. There are many types of lung cancers. They are described below.
Lung cancer that has spread to the lung from another part of the body is called metastatic cancer. Two other types of lung cancer are mesothelioma and carcinoid tumors. These cancers will not be discussed in here.
Smoking cigarettes (now or in the past) is the leading cause of lung cancer. However, lung cancer in non-smokers has been rising in recent years. Other causes for lung cancer include radon, radiation, asbestos, and pollution.
Current or former heavy smokers, can have a special test (CT scan) to screen for lung cancer. This test can find lung cancer sooner and may help patients live longer. Speak to your healthcare provider to decide if this test is right for you.
The early stages of lung cancer may not have any symptoms. As the tumor grows in size, it can cause symptoms.
When your healthcare providers think you may have lung cancer, they will order tests. Here are some of the tests
These tests are important but a biopsy is the only way to know for sure if you have cancer. A biopsy
A pathology report summarizes these results and is sent to your healthcare provider, typically 5-10 days after the bronchoscopy. This report is an important part of planning your treatment. You can request a copy of your report for your records.
To guide treatment, lung cancer is "staged." This stage is based on
Stages range from stage I (smallest, most confined tumors) to stage IV (tumors that have spread to other areas of the body). The stage and type of lung cancer will guide your treatment plan,
In general, the following treatments are used:
This article is a basic guide to lung cancer. You can learn more about your type of lung cancer and treatment by using the links below.
Lung Cancer Web-U-Cation Program: This video will help you learn about lung cancer. The topics include diagnosis, staging, and treatments. It also addresses coping with cancer and concerns surrounding work, insurance and disability.
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