Lung Cancer Symptoms

C A N C E R   I N F O R M A T I O N

Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is one of the most common of cancers accounting for a majority of all cancer deaths in men.

Since the increase in the number of women smoking, the number of lung cancer deaths in women is rapidly catching up with the male rate.

The peak incidence appears to be between the ages of 55 and 65 years.

The majority of lung cancers are associated with cigarette smoking.

Other forms of smoking, e.g. pipes and cigars are also implicated to a lesser extent.

Environmental pollution in the modern city and also industrial pollution may play a role in the occurrence of lung cancer.

Involuntary exposure to other people’s smoke, passive smoking, accounts for 1 to 2% of the 6000 deaths from lung cancer in Australia each year.

With regard to cigarette smoking, the chances of developing lung cancer decrease markedly with the cessation of smoking.

The appears to be a genetic link between the incidence of lung cancer in certain families who are at risk from other causes such as smoking. On the other hand some heavy smokers do not develop lung cancer and this could be due to a genetic ability to withstand the effects of smoking.

Symptoms of lung cancer include a cough which may be blood stained, difficulty in breathing, loss of weight, chest pain and finger clubbing which is seen as a club like effect at the end of the fingers. Finger clubbing (enlargement of the most distant part of the findger and nail) is generally a sign of chronic lung disease which is often associated with smoking and precedes lung cancer.

At present early diagnosis is not the way to prevent the fatal effects of lung cancer.

Once cancer of the lungs is diagnosed, the outlook is not good and a survival time beyond one year is not very common.

Avoiding the commonest causes of lung cancer is the way it is being tackled world-wide with the quit smoking campaigns and lowering the level of environmental and industrial pollution.

Treatment of lung cancer one it is diagnosed can include surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

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