By Dr. Ninad Katdare , Oncology
Lungs are one of the vital organs of our body, along with the heart and brain. Without them, a person cannot survive. They are used during respiration, taking in oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide. When cancer develops in it, it is invariably fatal, unless detected early. Lung cancer leads to more death than any other type of cancer, which is why identifying the symptoms and knowing the causes are instrumental in obtaining a timely diagnosis as well as in prevention of this disease.
Symptoms of lung cancer in the early stages-
- Persistent coughing: Any type of cough which lasts for more than 15 days should be evaluated.
- Chest pain Bleeding: Blood in your cough can be one of the first signs of lung cancer.
- Loss of appetite
- Sudden weight loss
Symptoms of lung cancer in the advanced stages-
- Breathlessness: Usually due to fluid filling in the chest
- Bone pain
- Facial paralysis
- Neck swelling
- Blood clotting
- Severe chest pain
Causes of Lungs Cancer
- Smoking- People who smoke are more prone to lung cancer. With the increase in the number of cigarettes you smoke, your chances of getting lung cancer increase too. People who don’t smoke but are surrounded by the smokers also have high chances of being affected by this form of cancer (Passive smokers). Smoking e-cigarettes and hookah can also lead to cancer.
- Exposure To Asbestos- Asbestos is a group of mineral, which is present naturally in the environment. Lung cancer can occur due to the inhalation and ingestion of asbestos fibers. This causes a unique form of cancer called Mesothelioma.
- Exposure To Radon Gas- Radon is a radioactive gas, which is formed naturally on decaying of radioactive elements. It is found in low levels in the air that we breathe and the water that we drink. Consumption of air and water having this gas leads to lung cancer.
- High Levels of Air Pollution- Presence of high levels of dust particles and pollutants in the air that we breathe can cause lung cancer. 1-2% of lung cancer is caused because of it.
- High Levels of Arsenic in Drinking Water- Consuming water with arsenic content is harmful as it directly affects the lungs and when the arsenic content is too high, it may lead to lung cancer.
- Exposure to chemicals like uranium, coal products, gasoline, diesel exhaust and mustard gas can also cause lung cancer.
- Family history of lung cancer- Chances of getting lung cancer increase if your parents, child or siblings are already prone to lung cancer.