Everything you should know about Lung Cancer

Posted in , , , by Miss Kornelija Dedelaite

Cancer that begins in the lungs and spreads to other parts of the body is known as lung cancer. The cancer’s symptoms, outlook and treatment options depend on how far it has spread – what stage it is at.

In the UK, lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer-related deaths. Lung cancer might have minor early symptoms, but the earlier it is detected and treated, the better your chances are for recovery.

The main medical treatments for lung cancer include radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery. Targeted therapy and immunotherapy are two more recent forms of treatment.

What are the symptoms of Lung Cancer?

The symptoms of lung cancer vary depending on the type and stage of the cancer. Stage 1 is the earliest stage of lung cancer, but it doesn’t always show up with symptoms. When symptoms are present they can be some of the following:

  • back pain
  • a persistent or progressively worse cough
  • coughing up blood or phlegm
  • experiencing chest pain that gets worse when you laugh or take big breaths
  • hoarseness
  • wheezing
  • exhaustion and weakness
  • appetite decrease combined with weight loss
  • persistent respiratory illnesses such bronchitis or pneumonia

Later stages of lung cancer depend on where and how much the cancer has spread, but they can include the following:

  • lumps in your neck or collarbone
  • bone pain, especially in your back, ribs, or hips
  • headaches
  • dizziness
  • balance issues
  • numbness in arms or legs
  • yellowing of skin and eyes (jaundice)
  • drooping of one eyelid and shrunken pupils
  • lack of perspiration on one side of your face
  • shoulder pain
  • swelling of your face and upper body

What are the different types of Lung Cancer?

Lung cancer comes in a variety of forms. Small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) comprise the majority of lung cancer subtypes. Nonetheless, both types of cells can be seen in tumours in certain individuals.

  • Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC): Approximately 80–85% of cases are NSCLC. NSCLC comes in a variety of forms. If detected in their early stages, the majority of NSCLC types react favourably to treatment.
    • Squamous cell lung carcinoma: The cells lining your respiratory tract’s passageways are where about 30%Trusted Source of all instances of NSCLC start. We refer to this as squamous cell cancer.
    • Adenocarcinomas: These typically develop on the outside of the lungs.
    • Adenocarcinoma in situ (AIS): Your lungs’ small air sacs are where this uncommon kind of adenocarcinoma starts. Since it’s not severe, treatment might not be required right now.
      • Adenosquamous carcinoma: Squamous and mucus-producing cells coexist in this cancer’s development.
    • Large cell carcinoma: This rapidly expanding subset of non-small cell lung cancers does not fall under any other cancer subtype classification.
  • Small-cell lung cancer (SCLC): This type of lung cancer accounts for 15%–20% of all cases. Compared to NSCLC, this kind of lung cancer is more aggressive. Compared to NSCLC, SCLC is less likely to be cured, despite the fact that it frequently responds well to chemotherapy at first.
    • Mesothelioma: Exposure to asbestos has been associated with this form of lung cancer. It happens when hormone-producing (neuroendocrine) cells experience the onset of carcinoid tumours. Mesothelioma grows quickly and aggressively. Treatment has little effect on it.

How is lung cancer diagnosed?

The National Screening Committee in the United Kingdom suggests inviting those who are very susceptible to lung cancer for screening. We refer to this as targeted screening for lung cancer.

Low dose computed tomography (CT) is typically used for the screening process, but your doctor may also want to perform additional imaging tests, such an MRI, PET scan, or X-ray, which can also reveal abnormal masses in your lungs if there are any.

If these scans show something your doctor may perform other more specialised tests to determine type of cancer and other details.

What causes lung cancer?

While lung cancer can affect anybody, several risk factors significantly increase the likelihood of developing the disease.


As soon as you breathe in smoke, your lungs are harmed. Your lung cells start to act strangely after they are damaged. Lung cancer is now more likely as a result of this.

The single greatest risk factor for lung cancer is smoking. This covers pipes, cigars, and cigarettes. Thousands of hazardous chemicals are present in tobacco products.

Smoking is a contributing factor in up to 90% of cases of lung cancer. The risk of developing lung cancer is 15–30 times higher for cigarette smokers than for non-smokers, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Smoking is without a doubt the largest risk factor for lung cancer, even though not everyone who smokes develops lung cancer and not everyone who smokes gets lung cancer.

Furthermore, it doesn’t matter if you smoke to be impacted. Lung cancer risk is also increased by second-hand smoke. Approximately 34,000 non-smokers in the US pass away from second-hand smoke-related lung cancer each year.

While stopping smoking can significantly reduce the risk of lung cancer, smokers in the past are still at danger. When you stop smoking, your risk of lung cancer death reduces by half within ten years.

While smoking is currently the main risk factor, other risk factors to consider are the following:

  • Chemical exposure
  • Workplace risks
  • Air pollution
  • Previous lung disease
  • Radon gas
  • Family history of lung cancer
  • Genetic mutation
  • Previous radiation therapy

Can you prevent lung cancer?

Unfortunately, there is no way to fully prevent cancer. What you can do however, is get a comprehensive health assessment, one which looks at your lungs as part of it and will be able to tell you with certainty whether or not you have any early signs of lung cancer.

You can also make lifestyle changes that will help you reduce your risk of developing this disease:

  • Quit smoking
  • Eat a balanced, healthy diet
  • Avoid harsh chemicals
  • Exercise

Early detection is key to a successful lung cancer treatment plan. Regrettably, lung cancer symptoms are not usually present in its early stages.

The kind and stage of your cancer, along with other variables including your age at diagnosis, general health, and the degree to which your cancer reacts to treatment, will all affect your prognosis. Generally speaking, cancer responds better to treatment the earlier it is discovered.

Even if you’re in good health, it’s advisable to schedule regular check-ups with a healthcare specialist.

The Platinum Assessment provided by Echelon Health is notable for its capacity to identify a broad variety of illnesses and ailments. Their evaluation, which makes use of state-of-the-art technology, takes a comprehensive look at your health and includes:

  • Cancers such as breast cancer, lung cancer, bowel cancer, thyroid cancer, prostate cancer and more.
  • Diseases of the circulatory system including Coronary Heart Disease (CHD), cerebrovascular disease, aortic aneurysms and more.
  • Diseases of the digestive system including liver disease, Gallbladder, Biliary Tract, Pancreatic disease, Diverticular disease.

The full list of scans that are included in the Platinum Assessment is as follows:

  • Blood Test
  • ECG
  • CT Aorta
  • CT Heart
  • CT Coronary Angiogram
  • CT Chest
  • CT Abdomen
  • CT Pelvis
  • CT Virtual Colonoscopy
  • CT Bone Density
  • CT Upright Skeleton
  • MRI Brain
  • MRI Cerebral Artery Angiogram
  • MRI Carotid Artery Angiogram
  • MRI Prostate
  • Ultrasound Thyroid
  • Ultrasound Testes/Ovaries
  • Digital Mammogram
  • Full Body Mole Screen

With the Platinum Assessment, we are able to detect up to 92% and 95% of preventable causes of death among men and women respectively. If you would like more information about our assessments or would like to book an assessment don’t hesitate to call us!