by Dr. Sherif Fayed Pulmonary Specialist
What is Lung Cancer?
Lung cancer develops when cells in the lung become abnormal and grow out of control. Two groups of cancers start in the lungs.
1. Non-small cell lung cancer Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the most common type of lung cancer. It affects 85 percent of all lung cancer patients.
NSCLC can develop in individuals who smoked or who never smoked. It is treated with surgery, radiation, chemotherapy or a combination of these treatments.
2. Small cell lung cancer Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is less common.
It affects 15% of all lung cancer patients.
It is the most aggressive type of lung cancer and may be treated with chemotherapy and radiation.
What are the symptoms of lung cancer?
One of the reasons lung cancer has a poor survival rate is that early symptoms are vague and easily confused with other ailments such as bronchitis, pneumonia, and emphysema. People who recognize their risk, either from smoking or other exposures, should be especially watchful of symptoms that could indicate the early signs of lung cancer. Symptoms of lung cancer can include the following:
• shortness of breath
• pain in chest, shoulder, upper back or arm
• repeated pneumonia or bronchitis
• bloody sputum
• loss of appetite and weight loss
• general pain
• swelling of face or neck
• digital clubbing (square swelling of the fingertips).