What is lung cancer?

Lung cancer is the type of cancer which forms in tissues of the lung because of the uncontrolled growth of cells. If left untreated, these cells can spread beyond the lung into the tissues nearby or other parts of the body.

Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in men and women, and it is the leading cause of cancer death among men and women. Each year, the number of death of lung cancer is more than the total death caused by breast, prostate and colon cancer.

Based on how the cells look under the microscope, lung cancer is separated to small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer, which are the two main types of lung cancer.

The most common symptoms of lung cancer are coughing, weight loss and shortness of breath.

80-90% of lung cancers are caused by long term exposure to tobacco smoke. 10-15% of lung cancers happen to non-smokers, the cause is mostly genetic factors, radon gas, asbestos and air pollution.

Lung cancer can be detected on chest radiograph and CT scan, and the diagnosis of lung cancer is confirmed with a biopsy.

Common treatments for lung cancer include surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and immunotherapy. Non-small cell lung cancer is often treated with surgery, and small cell lung cancer responds to chemotherapy and radiotherapy better. Treatment outcomes are different depend on the type of cancer, the stage of cancer and patient’s overall health, which can be measured by performance status.