Lung Cancer Awareness Month falls in November, and it is a great medium to share and inform the world of the lung cancer, its symptoms and more. Lung Cancer is the most common form of cancer the world over, and not many people are privy to what Lung Cancer is really about but approximately 11270 Australians fall prey to this disease each year according to the Lung Foundation Australia.
What is Lung Cancer?
Lung Cancer is an uncontrollable growth of abnormal cells, also referred to as a malignant tumour, in either one or both lung tissue. The initial point of growth is usually in the lining of the airways, which is known as the bronchus. There are many varieties of lung cancer dependent on the type of cell that is affected and is grouped into two main types; small cell and non-small cell lung cancer, as stated by the Lung Foundation.
Lung Cancer Symptoms
The downside of Lung Cancer is that there are no early visible symptoms; however you should look out for changes in your body including the likes of the following. If you have a cough that has persisted for 3 or more weeks, if you are coughing up blood, experience shortness of breath along with weight loss, loss of appetite, persistent chest infection and pain, and fatigue, it is important you take notice though you may often assume it’s another condition. Lung Cancer does not just affect the elderly and smokers, but also the young and non-smokers, therefore if you have noted that you cough has changed, take notice and take action. If you are able to get diagnosed early, the treatment and outcome may be favourable.
Lung Cancer Treatment and Prevention
There are many treatment options for lung cancer from surgery (ideal for Stage I or II patients where the cancer hasn’t spread), radiation (the use of high-energy rays which will help to destroy or shrink the cancer cells in the lungs) and chemotherapy (the use of strong chemicals to damage the cancer cells division process).
Some doctors may choose a combination of treatment options and therapies, however, being aware of how to manage lung cancer is an important titbit to know. You should be aware of pain management which can be aided with the use of pain medication and relaxation techniques, physical therapy, hot/cold packs and massage to name a few. Shortness of breath is a common symptom with lung cancer patients that can be managed through the likes of breathing techniques and exercises such as pursed lip breathing, oxygen therapy with the help of home or portable oxygen concentrators based on your oxygen prescription, and with the management of fluid in your lungs.
It is also important to change your lifestyle, the first being smoking cessation if you are a smoker. Exercise, a balance diet and getting your flu vaccines annually can greatly help with managing your lung cancer too.
Don’t wait too long until it’s too late. Be aware and get yourself checked for signs of lung cancer, especially if you have symptoms that point to the possibility of lung cancer.