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Respiratory Resources 11 Nov 2018

12 Essential Lung Cancer Facts

Know the facts about lung cancer – risks, symptoms and treatment

Your lungs play a critical role in your body’s respiratory system and are responsible for absorbing oxygen and expelling waste gases as you breathe in and out. Find out the essential facts about lung cancer below.

ONE STEP AT A TIME, TOGETHERClick hereto learn about the importance of lung cancer screening

  1. Lung cancer is one of theleading causes of cancer deaths worldwide -and among Arab men.
  2. According to studies, around 30,000 people are expected to be diagnosed with lung cancer in the Middle East in 2020, almost double the number of people diagnosed in 2008.
  3. Smoking, in any form - cigarettes, shisha, medwakh, is the number one cause of lung cancer. Around 85-90% of lung cancer cases are the result of tobacco use.
  4. If you quit smoking, your risk of developing lung cancer decreases over time, but not completely.Non-smokers can also develop lung cancer.
  5. Exposure to radon (a radioactive gas), hazardous chemicals like asbestos, arsenic and nickel, and environmental pollutants are other causes of lung cancer.
  6. Symptoms of lung cancer can include:
    • A persistent cough, or a cough that gets progressively worse
    • Chest pain which worsens when coughing or breathing heavily
    • Coughing up blood, or phlegm that contains blood
    • Shortness of breath
    • Hoarseness or changes to your voice
    • Recurring chest infections, such as bronchitis or pneumonia
    • Weight loss
  7. Detection can be difficult and often only happens at an advanced stage. As such, lung cancer screening, which involves a CT scan, is recommended for high-risk groups such as long-term smokers over the age of 50, or those who have quit smoking in the previous 15 years.
  8. The two main types of primary lung cancer are non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and small cell lung cancer (SCLC). NSCLC is the most common form, accounting for around 85% of lung cancers.
  9. Diagnosis can be made by bronchoscopy, CT guided lung biopsy or surgery. Modern bronchoscopic and CT guided methods are usually preferred and minimally invasive approaches that can often be done in an outpatient setting.
  10. Treatment is developed according to the type of lung cancer you have and how advanced it is. It can include surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
  11. Surgical treatment can involve either partial (segmentectomy or lobectomy) or complete (pneumonectomy) removal of the lung.
  12. Where possible, surgery is performed with using a technique called Video Assisted Thoracic Surgery (VATS), which is minimally invasive and can offer a faster recovery.

Learn more about the diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer here.

Remember, lung cancer often has no symptoms until it is at an advanced stage, when survival rates are lower. If caught early, it has a much higher chance of being cured. The best way to detect lung cancer early is through routine screening.

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