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Lung cancer

Lung cancer: Introduction

Lung cancer is a common cancer of the respiratory system. In lung cancer abnormal cells grow uncontrollably and devastate healthy lung cells. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in both women and men.

The prognosis for someone with lung cancer is poor. Less than 10% of people with the disease live longer than five years after diagnosis. Diagnosing lung cancer in its earliest stage provides the best hope for successful treatment and a cure.

Because the vast majority of cases of lung cancer are caused by smoking, it is a highly preventable cancer. It is key to not smoke and to avoid exposure to second-hand smoke. This includes not smoking cigars or pipes. Exposure to smoke damages the cells that line the lungs. Over time, these cells begin to change and grow abnormally, resulting in cancer.

Lung cancer may also be caused by exposure to carcinogens that can be present in the air, such as radon and asbestos. Less often, lung cancer may also develop from other cancers y that have metastasized to the lungs, such as breast cancer or bone cancer.

The longer a person smokes or is exposed to carcinogens in the air, the greater the chances of developing lung cancer. The greater the amount of smoking or concentration of carcinogens in the air, the greater the chances of developing lung cancer. Quitting smoking can greatly reduce the risk of developing lung cancer, even if you have been a heavy smoker for many years.

Lung cancer in its early stages often produces no symptoms. As the disease progresses, symptoms may include a chronic cough with bloody sputum, repeated respiratory infections, and difficulty breathing. For more information on symptoms, refer to symptoms of lung cancer.

Diagnosis of lung cancer begins with taking a thorough medical history, including symptoms, and an examination. During the examination, your health care provider will listen to the sounds of your lungs with a stethoscope. Certain abnormal breathing noises, such as wheezing, may increase the suspicion of lung cancer, as well as other chronic lung disease, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Testing may include a chest X-ray, which may reveal a mass or tumor in the lungs. Other testing may include a CT scan of the chest and a sputum test, in which phlegm is examined under a microscope to check for cancer cells.

A lung biopsy is a more definitive test that takes a small sample of lung tissue in order to examine it for cancer cells. This procedure is performed using a camera that is inserted through a small incision in the chest to guide instruments inserted in other small incisions in taking a sample of lung tissue. This is called video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS). A lung biopsy can also be performed with a special needle, called a needle biopsy or by using a bronchoscope. This instrument includes a lighted tube that is passed through the mouth and throat into the lungs to collect a sample of tissue.

Because there may be no symptoms of lung cancer, seeking medical care and getting a diagnosis can be delayed. In addition, symptoms can mimic symptoms of other diseases, such as bronchitis. For information on misdiagnosis, refer to misdiagnosis of lung cancer.

Treatment of lung cancer varies depending on a variety of factors, including the individual case, the specific type of lung cancer, and the stage of cancer. Treatment may include a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. In some cases, some patients may choose to have no treatment. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of lung cancer....more »

Lung cancer: Misdiagnosis

Because most people have no symptoms of lung cancer in its early stages, it is easy to miss a diagnosis of the condition when it is most treatable and most curable.

A diagnosis of lung cancer can also be delayed, because it may be confused with or assumed to be symptoms of other conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, bronchitis, ...more misdiagnosis »

Causes of Lung cancer:

The following medical conditions are some of the possible causes of Lung cancer. There are likely to be other possible causes, so ask your doctor about your symptoms.

» Review Causes of Lung cancer: Causes | Symptom Checker »

Home Diagnostic Testing and Lung cancer

Home medical tests possibly related to Lung cancer:

Lung cancer: Symptom Checker

Listed below are some combinations of symptoms associated with Lung cancer, as listed in our database. Visit the Symptom Checker, to add and remove symptoms and research your condition.

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Lung cancer Treatments

The first step in the treatment of lung cancer is prevention. The best way to prevent lung cancer is not to smoke. This includes pipes and cigars, as well as cigarettes, and avoiding second-hand smoke. Stopping smoking can also help to slow or stop the growth of a lung cancer tumor.

To prevent lung cancer, it is also important to avoid carcinogens in the ...Lung cancer Treatments

Some of the possible treatments listed in sources for treatment of Lung cancer may include:

Review further information on Lung cancer Treatments.

Alternative Treatments for Lung cancer

Alternative treatments or home remedies that have been listed as possibly helpful for Lung cancer may include:

Lung cancer: Comorbid Symptoms

Some of the comorbid or associated medical symptoms for Lung cancer may include these symptoms:

Causes of General Symptom Types

Research the causes of these more general types of symptom:

Research the causes of related medical symptoms such as:

Lung cancer: Deaths

Read more about causes and Lung cancer deaths.

Misdiagnosis and Lung cancer

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Chronic lung diseases hard to diagnose: Some of the chronic lung diseases are difficult to diagnose. Even the well-knowns conditions such as asthma or lung cancer often fail to be diagnosed early. Some of the chronic lung...read more »

Lung cancer: Research Related Doctors & Specialists

Other ways to find a doctor, or use doctor, physician and specialist online research services:

Hospitals & Clinics: Lung cancer

Research extensive quality ratings and patient safety measures for hospitals, clinics and medical facilities in health specialties related to Lung cancer:

Lung cancer: Related Rare Diseases

Rare types of medical conditions and diseases in related medical categories:

Lung cancer: Undiagnosed Conditions

Conditions that are commonly undiagnosed in related areas may include:

Definitions of Lung cancer:

Carcinoma of the lungs; one of the commonest forms of cancer
- (Source - WordNet 2.1)

Cancer that forms in tissues of the lung, usually in the cells lining air passages. The two main types are small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. These types are diagnosed based on how the cells look under a microscope.
- (Source - National Cancer Institute)

Detailed list of causes of Lung cancer

The list below shows some of the causes of Lung cancer mentioned in various sources:

How Common are these Causes of Lung cancer?

This information refers to the general prevalence and incidence of these diseases, not to how likely they are to be the actual cause of Lung cancer. Of the 29 causes of Lung cancer that we have listed, we have the following prevalence/incidence information:

  • 1 causes are "very common" diseases
  • 0 causes are "common" diseases
  • 0 causes are "uncommon" diseases
  • 0 causes are "rare" diseases
  • 10 causes are "very rare" diseases
  • 21 causes have no prevalence information.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Lung cancer:

The following list of conditions have 'Lung cancer' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Lung cancer or choose View All.

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Conditions listing medical complications: Lung cancer:

The following list of medical conditions have Lung cancer or similar listed as a medical complication in our database. The distinction between a symptom and complication is not always clear, and conditions mentioning this symptom as a complication may also be relevant. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

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Causes of Lung cancer Based on Risk Factors

This information shows analysis of the list of causes of Lung cancer based on whether certain risk factors apply to the patient:

  • Diabetes - history of diabetes or family history of diabetes?

    Classifications of Lung cancer:

    Medical Conditions associated with Lung cancer:

    Lung symptoms (3280 causes), Respiratory tract symptoms (5166 causes), Cancer-related symptoms (173 causes), Throat symptoms (3410 causes), Mouth symptoms (6864 causes), Breathing symptoms (3381 causes), Breath symptoms (3023 causes), Head symptoms (10192 causes), Face symptoms (8109 causes)

    Medical articles on signs and symptoms:

    Doctor-patient articles related to symptoms and diagnosis:

    These general medical articles may be of interest:

    Related medical articles from our Disease Center for Lung cancer:

    More Ways To Research Medical Signs and Symptoms:

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