There are lots of misconception regarding lung cancer life-threatening malignant disease which makes the condition of its victim much worst or it can be said these misunderstandings are one of the common reason that sabotage people to get cured and live a more normal life. So it is very crucial that every one of us remain aware of the important facts about lung cancer.
As per the medical science, lung cancer is classified into two types, small cell, and non-small cell lung cancer. Out of this about 85% of lung cancer patients come in the category of Non-small cell cancer and rest only 15% comes in the category of small cell cancer.
Both the types of lung cancer usually occurs in smokers however Adenocarcinoma one of the non-small cancer types can occur in people who have never smoked in their life.
Though the data report says that smokers are at greater risk of developing this type of cancer at a certain point in time of their life if they don’t quit it completely but what normal people don’t understand that this type of cancer may also develop in non-smokers as well.
So if someone doesn’t smoke at all that doesn’t mean they do not have the risk of developing this life-threatening condition. Apart from this one another myth people generally carry regarding the lung cancer diseases that once someone has developed this issue they have to live their whole life in the same pattern and their long term survival is almost impossible which is not true.
Likewise, there are many other misconceptions and misunderstanding rolls around in people mind which really needs to be broken completely. So below we have enlisted some vital facts that you must know if you want to prevent this health risk or want to relieve this problem generously if you are already diagnosed with it.
Important Facts about Lung Cancer
Non-Smokers Can Also Develop Lung Cancer
The biggest myth regarding lung cancer that usually people have that this disease is limited to smokers only and non-smokers are completely free of this health hazard risk which is not true.
The records of lung cancer patient worldwide say that about 10 to 15 % lung cancer patients belong to those categories of people who have never smoked in their life at all or those who have left smoking in their long past.
Also, it is found in researches that most of the women who died due to cancer include those woman who had developed lung cancer rather than breast cancer. As per this report out of total lung cancer patients 20% victim list consists of those women who have never smoked in their life at all.
Lung Cancer is the Major Killer than the Breast Cancer in Women
As per the health records published by famous US health journal lung cancer is the primary reason for women death in the comparison to breast cancer. Though the count of the breast cancer patient is quite high around the world still there is very less number of cases where any breast cancer victim died out of this disease.
This shows that women need to maintain more prevention for eliminating their risk of developing lung cancer because it is a life-threatening condition. So as much importance we give to the necessity of early breast cancer detection test for preventing it from growing further if it exists, similarly, the importance to early diagnosis of lung cancer should also be given as this step can work as a life savior for women.
Lung Cancer May or May Not Have Early Symptoms
Lung cancer doesn’t always develop its symptoms or signs in its initial stages and sometimes people start noticing its symptoms in its very advanced stage such as stage 4 which makes its treatment too difficult.
However, when you develop its symptoms in the initial stages it may include a severe cough that doesn’t get relieved even with the treatment, bleeding with cough, difficulty in breathing, chest pain, wheezing, pain in the upper back and shoulder area, constant feeling of fatigue and unusual weight loss without trying.
As soon as someone notices these symptoms without making any further delay they should immediately take the necessary medical help.
Long Term Survivors Rate has Increased Than Before
The days are gone when a person diagnosed with lung cancer was considered as left with very small life span. Now with the invention of tremendously effective treatment techniques, the survivor rate of lung cancer patients has increased drastically.
In more precise term the chances of long term survival are very easy now, than the past era where the medical science was not so developed as it is now. Especially in the cases of stage 4, the survival duration used to be limited to a year only.
However, now even a stage 4 lung cancer patient can survive more than 10 years and even much more after the detection of this disease with proper treatment and care.
There is an immense amount of hope for the long term survival of lung cancer patients. So even if someone is diagnosed with this chronic disease no need to be panic as still, you have time to enjoy and live your life fullest.
As per the report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the year 2017, the five-year survival rate has increased to 16.5% by the year 2001 and 19% by the year 2009. This depicts a ray of hope for the lung cancer patients including stage 4 patients of both the genders.
Lung Cancer Patients has to Undergo Complications
No matter how efficient treatment technologies would develop in spite of utmost care and attention the sad truth is that the lung cancer patients have to suffer from an immense amount of pain and complications caused by this chronic disease.
The cough that they develop due to this disease get worst with time and causes an immense amount of pain hampering their overall lifestyle. The cough problem remains constant for several years.
Yes, the treatment processes are there such as photodynamic therapy to relieve from the constant cough issue which works to shrink the existing blockages of the airways. However, this requires giving an intravenous injection to the patient which contains a chemical that is light sensitive.
So the patient who endures this treatment needs to prevent sunlight and direct exposure to a bright light till the next appointment of bronchoscopic. These are some complications which cannot be avoided fully.
Moreover, the instructions given by the doctors require to be followed strictly otherwise it can make the patient’s condition more worst.
Certain Lung Cancers are Aggressive in Nature
Lung cancer is primarily divided into two types small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer such as adenocarcinoma, squamous cell lung cancer, etc. Out of these as per the health specialists, the small cell lung cancer is much aggressive in nature which consists of 15% of total lung cancers patients.
This is because the small cell lung cancer spreads very rapidly in the body of the affected person and its treatment is also very complicated. On the other hand non-small cell, lung cancer spreads very slowly and can be treated successfully through different therapies and surgical procedures.
Certain type of cancers such as breast cancer, colon cancer, ovarian cancer, etc mostly grows as a result of genetic mutation. Means if any family member has developed these types of cancers, their next generation will remain at risk of developing this type of cancer as well.
However regarding lung cancer how much genetic mutation plays a role is not still completely clear. Still, people having a family history of lung cancer carry the risk of developing this type of cancer in the future.
Surgery for Treating Lung Cancer
Patients who are diagnosed with the early stage lung cancer; the surgery is the best treatment option for them to relieve this chronic condition fully as this technique will prevent its further spreading by removing the whole cancerous cells.
As per the affected lung area, the surgery process will vary. The two lungs in the human body are consist of the five sections knows as lobes. For removing a single diseases lobe the surgery process which is used in known as Lobectomy.
Some patients get well with the less invasive surgery process whereas in certain cases more invasive forms of surgery are required for treating the affected lungs area. Video-assisted thoracic surgery is an example of a less invasive surgery process.
In the more complicated cases, some invasive surgical procedures are required to conduct such as Pneumonectomy in which the entire lung is removed through surgery. Whatever the surgery type is applied for treating the lung cancer the post-surgery care and cautions must be maintained in order to make this entire processing successful.
Therapies and Targeted Treatments for the Lung Cancer
There are special targeted therapies or immunotherapy that helps to combat the genetic mutation that causes lung cancer. There are many therapies which are developed and already approved by the Food and Drug Administration whereas many of them are still under the clinical trial and need full approval from the FDA.
The medications prescribed under these special targeted treatment process are quite effective which have successfully relieved the condition of many lung cancer patients who managed to survive without any necessity of the surgery.
Immunotherapy medications which are also known as immune checkpoint inhibitors work as an immune booster to kill the cancerous cells and prevent its further growth. These effective targeted therapies have managed to increase the survival rate of lung cancer patients by 41% which simply used to look impossible 10 years back from now.
Still, many medications are under trial for the treatment of the non-small cell lung cancers under the supervision of the National Cancer Institute. Also, many alternative treatments are there which offer integrative treatment to the lung cancer patients which are specially designed for improving the quality of life of the lung cancer patient instead of focusing on their survival period.
Treatments May Impact Other Surrounding Organs
Lung cancer or any other type of cancer is treated with a combination of different treatment techniques in order to get the best possible result out of it, such as surgery, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. However, it is often found that these treatment techniques are accompanied by some side effects risk.
For example, a lung cancer patient when undergoing radiation therapy for eliminating the growth of cancerous cells may affect its surrounding healthy organs as well as tissues. There are some remarkable cases came into the picture in which it is found that the radiation therapy which was given for treating the lung cancer issue has badly impacted the heart organ.
So to prevent these risk researches are conducted to eliminate this risk completely by obstructing the exposure of heart during the radiation treatment in order to keep aside this major health risk.
Survivors Need Constant Emotional Support
Living with a life-threatening disease like lung cancer is not an easy matter it needs lots of courage and encouragement from your friends and family members to go through this toughest time of your life.
However still life can be easier and beautiful if we get love, and compassion of our dear ones without asking directly for support from them. How hard this journey everyone knows very well so people surrounding the lung cancer patient should proactively give favor and support to them without waiting for their urge to ask for help.
This kind of favor and support not only increases the long term survival chances of these patients but also make their life less-struggling and critical by making everything easier for them that they can feel their worth for others and have own will to live longer.
Caregivers Should Take Care of Their Own Health As Well
Just like the lung cancer patient their caregivers are equally suffering like them not on the physical level but definitely on the mental level. The fear of losing your dear ones keeps them restless at every moment of life especially if a patient is in his or her final stage of the lung cancer.
At this condition, there remains the immense amount of grief in their heart, and responsibility at the shoulder of the caregivers who need to offer constant support to their loved ones but there remains a deep agony in their heart which they cannot share with the one who is victimized.
This journey is very hard and can cause major illness to the caregivers as well if they don’t take care of their own health and well being. So to avoid this condition a caregiver should take care of their daily diet routine, exercise routine and must share their feelings to some trusted people so that contact negative thoughts and pain would not impact their mental health leading to depression and anxiety issues.
We hope the above mentioned important facts about lung cancer must have cleared your queries regarding this life-threatening chronic disease. Remember this is not a death sentence and there is immense hope of survival and to live a much normal life. So take necessary treatment and keep patience to win this war successfully.View Article Sources