Lung cancer is one of the most common kinds of cancer in the world. It was earlier predominantly a disease of the elderly with 70% of patients belonging to the age group of 65 and above, but now unfortunately, the trend is changing and even younger people are getting affected.
Lungs are the sponge-like organs in your body that take in oxygen when you inhale and release carbon dioxide when you exhale. Though lung cancer can develop in any part of the lungs, 90-95% of cases are considered to arise from the epithelial cells, i.e. cells that line the airways. Lung cancer can be broadly divided into Small Cell Lung Cancers (SCLC) and Non-Small Cell Lung Cancers (NSCLC). While NSCLC is the most common type of lung cancer, SCLC is a more aggressive one.
Common causes of lung cancer include active and passive smoking, exposure to certain kinds of toxins like asbestos fibre and Radon gas. Symptoms include a persistent cough, hoarseness of voice, chest pain, blood in sputum, weight loss, and unexplained fatigue. Many a time, symptoms often don't appear till the cancer is advanced.
Treatment for lung cancer depends on the type and stage of cancer. Often, surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy or a combination of these is used.