Important Facts about Lung Cancer
One of the worst ways that we can lose a loved one is through cancer. The pain that cancer causes so many families across the United States is truly tragic.
There are thousands who have felt the pain of losing someone to lung cancer.
There’s no sugar coating what people will have to go through. Thankfully there are many millions of dollars that are donated annually to help work on alleviating the scourge that is cancer. Hopefully, the end of cancer is near. Until that time, however, it’s good to educate yourself on what lung cancer is composed of.
Lung Cancer Symptoms
It may seem odd, but there are many people out there who may have lung cancer and quite simply they don’t know about it. That’s because many of the symptoms of lung cancer are shared with other issues and respiratory conditions in particular. Here are some of the common symptoms of lung cancer:
- A persistent cough - These coughs quite simply never go away. They will typically get worse as things go on.
- Bloody Coughing - In addition to that persistent forever cough, it’s possible that blood will be present in the coughing.
- Unexpected Weight Loss - Those who suffer from lung cancer often will begin to lose weight very quickly and will lose what appetite they had.
- Shortness of Breath - Unsurprisingly with the lungs compromised by cancer, shortness of breath is a common next step.
Types of Lung Cancer
There are actually quite a few different types of lung cancer and they affect people in different ways. While all of them are terrible, they don’t all behave in the same way or grow in the same way. Cancer is broken up into two main separate groups.Here are some of the main types of lung cancer that fall into those two categories:
- Large Cell Carcinoma
- Cell Carcinoma
- Small Cell Lung Cancer
Stage 4 Lung Cancer
A common term that people use is “Stage 4” Lung Cancer. But what does stage 4 actually mean? People hear a number and assume that the number denotes a measurement in time. The question is, are higher numbers or lower numbers more severe?
Cancer is broken up into four stages. Doctors and treatment teams do this so that they can understand exactly what stage the cancer is in relation to when it was found. The basic number staging systems range from Stage 1 to Stage 4. There can be further breaking down, but here is what the basic stages mean:
- Stage 1 - Stage 1 tends to be the least severe of the potential stages. Stage 1 is usually given when a cancer is small and still in its original location.
- Stage 2 - Stage 2 cancers have grown larger than the original Stage 1 cancer. Generally, stage 2 cancer has at least remained in the tissue or organ where it originated and hasn’t spread to any other locations. It could also refer to having spread to the lymph nodes. This depends on the type of cancer in question.
- Stage 3 - This next stage of cancer once again shows that cancer has grown even larger than Stage 2 cancer. It’s definitely spread to the lymph node area and it’s also spread from the original tissue to other tissues nearby.
- Stage 4 - This is the most severe type of cancer. It has moved from the original location to one or multiple other body organs. This can also be referred to as secondary cancer by some people.
Since the lung is certainly not an optional organ, chemotherapy is currently the most common treatment for lung cancers. Chemotherapy involves prescription medication that will rapidly attack cancer. The downside is that it can also attack healthy cells as well. Chemotherapy is currently used for many different forms of cancer.
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