Lung cancer: Types, Symptoms and Risk factors


Lung cancer: Types, Symptoms and Risk factors

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), lung cancer is the second most common cancer among both males and females in the United States. It is also the number one cause of cancer death in the US and all over the world.

Lung cancer is defined as a type of cancer which starts in the lungs. There are three main types of lung cancer, include:

– Non-small cell lung cancer: Approximately 85 percent of lung cancers are non- small cell lung cancers, making it the most common type.

– Small cell lung cancer: Also known as oat cell cancer, this type of lung cancer usually spreads quickly in the patient’s body. It accounts for 10 – 15 percent of lung cancer cases.

– Lung carcinoid tumor: This is the least common type with the proportion being less than 5 percent. Lung carcinoid tumor is also called lung neuroendocrine tumor which grows slowly and rarely spreads.

Symptoms of lung cancer

The cancer of lung symptoms may include:

lung cancer symptoms

– Coughing which becomes worse or doesn’t go away after two or three weeks.

– Coughing up blood.

– Shortness of breath.

– Wheezing.

– Change in color or volume of sputum.

– Hoarseness.

– Tiredness, weakness, unexplained loss of weight and appetite, fever, serious headaches, and pain in the chest, shoulder, or back.

Risk factors for lung cancer

  1. Genetics

If your family members have suffered from lung cancer, you are more likely to develop the disease although you didn’t or don’t smoke.

  1. Age

As you are getting old, you may face more risks involved with cancers, including the cancer of lung. About two out of three lung cancers are diagnosed in people over the age of 65.

  1. Lifestyle

– Smoking


Cigarette smoking is obviously the most popular risk factor for the cancer of lung. Figures from the Lung Cancer Alliance Cigarette pointed out that smoking accounts for 90 percent of lung cancers in the United States. According to US Surgeon General Report 2014, women smokers are 25.7 times more likely to develop lung cancer compared to women who have never smoked. Meanwhile, male smokers are 25 times more likely to develop the risk of this disease in comparison with men who have never smoked.

In addition to cigarette, other tobacco products also lead to this serious disease. Tobacco smoke is acknowledged to contain more than 7,000 chemicals, most of which care poisonous to human’s health. Tobacco smoke damages cells in the lungs, resulting in an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells.

Your risk of the cancer of lung is in direct proportion to the number of year and cigarette you smoke.

– Second-hand smoking

secon hand smoke

Even you don’t smoke, your risk involved with lung cancer is also high due to your regular exposure to smoke from someone else’s cigarettes, cigars, or pipes. In the USA, approximately 7,300 people who never developed smoking habit die from lung cancer because of secondhand smoke every year.

– Radon

Radon is a naturally occurring gas produced by the breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water that gradually becomes part of the air you breathe. It is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), around 20,000 cases of lung cancer are caused by radon every year. Radom can seep into building foundations and into the living and working spaces. Seriously, approximately one out of every 15 homes in the U.S. is believed to have unsafe radon levels.

– Other chemicals

Several substances which can be found at some workplaces or in the air we breathe may increase our risk of developing the cancer of lung. Example of those chemicals are radiation, arsenic, nickel, and chromium.

– Beta carotene

Study has found that the consumption of food containing beta-carotene can help decrease the risk of developing this type of cancer. Beta-carotene is high in all vegetables, cruciferous vegetables (e.g., cabbages, cauliflower), tomatoes, and other vegetable-based compounds, such as indoles, lycopene, lutein, vitamin E, and selenium.



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