The lungs are a vital organ in the body through which gas exchange takes place, which makes breathing possible. Cancer that starts in the lung is known as lung cancer. People who smoke cigarettes are at risk of developing lung cancer. However, it can also occur in those people who do not smoke. People who are diagnosed with lung cancer must consult an oncologist.
World Lung Cancer Day is held anually on August 1 to spread awareness regarding lung cancer – a serious and sometimes fatal disease which is becoming far too common nowadays. This article explains the symptoms, risk factors, and prevention tips for lung cancer. Keep reading to learn more!
Table of Contents
Lung Cancer Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of lung cancer do not often appear in the initial stages. When they show up, the condition has already progressed. The signs and symptoms of lung cancer are:
- Coughing up blood
- Cough that becomes chronic- does not go away
- Chest pain
- Bone pain or bone fractures
- Unintentional weight loss
Lung Cancer Risk Factors
Factors that increase the risk of lung cancer are:
The biggest risk factor for lung cancer is smoking cigarettes. According to the experts, when you inhale cigarette smoke, you intake carcinogens directly into your lungs. It causes tissue changes there that eventually result in cancer.
The risk of lung cancer increases with excessive smoking. However, it is never too late to stop. Quitting smoking can lower the risk of lung cancer, so it is highly recommended.
2. Exposure to Secondhand Smoke
Secondhand smoke or passive smoke is the one that you inhale from the environment. Even if you do not smoke, if you are in a place where other people smoke, it can cause disastrous changes in your lungs, leading to lung cancer.
3. Radiation Therapy
You may develop lung cancer if you undergo radiation therapy for any other condition. It can happen because radiation can damage your cells. However, your healthcare provider will decide based on the risk versus benefit ratio.
4. Exposure to Radon Gas
Radon gas is naturally produced upon uranium breakdown in soil, rock, and water. It eventually becomes the part of the air we breathe. Therefore long-term radon exposure can lead to lung cancer.
5. Exposure to the Carcinogens
If you work at a place where you get daily exposure to carcinogens, such as asbestos, nickel, arsenic, and chromium, the risk of contracting lung cancer will increase. Moreover, if you are a smoker, too, the risk doubles up for you.
6. Family History
A family history of lung cancer can put you at a greater risk. If your mother, father, or sibling has had it, you’ll naturally be more susceptible to it.
Lung Cancer Prevention
You can not prevent lung cancer from occurring. However, you can lower the risk by practicing the following tips:
- Quit smoking as soon as possible. If you are unable to do that, you can seek professional help.
- Avoid exposure to secondhand smoke.
- Follow all the precautions if you work in an area exposed to carcinogens.
- Consume an ample amount of fruits and vegetables that contain antioxidants.
- Be physically active. Make a workout routine for at least five days a week for half an hour.
The Bottom Line
Lung cancer is the type of cancer that starts in the lung. If you have a complaint of chronic cough or coughing out blood, you should not take it lightly. You must visit your healthcare provider so that they can make the right diagnosis. If you are diagnosed with lung cancer, you should consult an oncologist in Karachi.