Thorax & Lung Cancer- Signs and Symptoms of Thoracic Cancer, Types, Treatments & Risk Factors
Yashoda Superspeciality Hospital & Cancer Institute is one of the most well-known Thorax & Lung Cancer centres in Delhi NCR and continues the tradition of cutting-edge patient care with its multidisciplinary approach towards treating cancer. We at Yashoda Superspeciality Hospital & Cancer Institute provide you with state-of-the-art care for lung cancer. Our staff consists of the best team combining the collective wisdom of surgical oncologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and pathologists.
Our Thorax and Lung Cancer Team has tremendous experience in treating both early stages as well as complex cases of lung cancer in later stages. Our pioneering techniques have become the template for optimal treatment for lung cancer in Delhi NCR.
Our surgical oncologists use state-of-the-art diagnostics like VATS/mediastinoscopy for handling complex chest wall, mediastinal and superior sulcus tumours to quickly assess your cancer, incorporating radical CT+RT and complex reconstructive approaches.
What is Thorax & Lung Cancer?
Lung cancer is an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in one or both lungs. It is among the most common cancers of the world and usually noticed more in smokers. Lungs are two spongy organs located in the chest and are a part of the respiratory system. The lungs act as a filter for gases within the body and help in breathing in of oxygen and breathing out of carbon dioxide.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Thoracic Cancer?
Signs and symptoms of thoracic cancer include:
- Lingering or worsening cough
- Coughing up phlegm or blood
- Bad chest pain that develops when you breathe deeply, laugh or cough
- Hoarseness of voice
- Shortness of breath
- Weakness and fatigue
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
- Muscle weakness
- Fluid retention
- High blood pressure
- High blood sugar
How is Thorax Cancer Diagnosed?
To diagnose cancer and learn if cancer has spread to another part of the body, doctors conduct many tests. Thorax Cancer is regularly diagnosed using the following tests:
- Bronchoscopy with or without biopsy
- Needle Biopsies
- Sputum Cytology
- CT (Computed Tomography) scan
- PET-CT scan
What are the types of lung cancer?
Lung cancers can be classified as:
- Non-small cell lung cancer – This is the most common type of lung cancer. It can either be squamous cellcarcinoma, adenocarcinoma or large cell carcinoma.
- Small-cell lung cancer – This is not a very common type but can spread rapidly.
- Lung carcinoid tumor – This is a rare type of lung cancer which affects the neuroendocrine cells.
What are the symptoms of lung cancer?
Lung cancer may not be evident in early stages. However, in advanced stages, some of the following signs and symptoms can be present:
- Change in voice
- Tiredness and weakness
- Frequent chest infections
- A new cough that is lasting and does not subside with routine medications
- Spitting blood while coughing
- Persistence of an old cough with a change in sound, more painful or secreting thick mucus
- Pain in bones
- Shortness of breath
- Unintended weight loss
What are the causes of lung cancer?
Smoking is considered to be one of the major contributors to lung cancer. The risk of lung cancer is higher in people who smoke (active smokers) or those who are exposed to smoke (passive smokers). However, sometimes it may be seen even in people who do not smoke. Some other factors that can increase the chances of developing lung cancer include:
- Family history: Risk increases with the presence of disease in the same family
- Toxins: Long-standing exposure to cancer-causing gases and agents like radon, asbestos, etc.
- Compromised immune system: For example, people with HIV, patients on long-term use of steroids
What are the stages of lung cancer?
Like other cancers, lung cancer progresses through 4 stages. Sooner the diagnosis, better is the treatment approach and faster is the recovery.
Based on the tumor location, involvement in the lymph nodes and spreading, TNM (tumor, node and metastasis) staging of the tumor is performed. By staging the lung cancer, the doctor gets a better idea of the following:
- What is the size and location of cancer?
- Is the tumor spreading (also called as tumor metastases), if so, spread to lymph nodes?
- What is the prognosis for the patient – chances of complete recovery and survival?
How can lung cancer be prevented?
The risk of having a lung cancer can be reduced by lifestyle modifications like:
- Taking a healthy, nutritious diet
- Avoiding exposure to smoke or other carcinogenic gases
- Avoiding cigarettes and other tobacco-related products
- Doing regular exercise
What are the Possible Treatments of Lung Cancer?
The doctor will determine some treatments to remove or destroy cancer within the lungs and nearby tissues.These are the possible treatment given at Yashoda Superspeciality Hospital & Cancer Institute, Sanjay Nagar, Ghaziabad:
- Surgical process: The doctor may have to perform surgery to remove cancerous lung tissue in the lungs and the surrounding areas where cancer may have spread.
- VATS (Video-Assisted Thoracoscopy Surgery) which includes:
- Sleeve Lung Resection
- Open Surgery: This type of surgical procedure is recommended for the patient who is not fit for minimally invasive surgery.
- Radiation therapy: Involves the use of high-energy waves to kill cancer cells.
- Chemotherapy: Involves the use of chemotherapy drugs to treat cancer and prevent a recurrence.
- Targeted therapy: This therapy targets cancer’s specific genes, proteins or the tissue environment thatcontributes to cancer growth and survival.
- Immunotherapy: This therapy involves the use of medicines that prompt the body’s immune system ornatural defenses to destroy cancer.
A patient might receive a combination of hormonal therapy, chemotherapy and/or targeted therapy along with surgery or radiation. This multidisciplinary approach will help in treating the cancer cells that are left behind during other forms of treatment.
Are There Any Risk Factors Involved?
Some of the major factors that lead to thorax and lung cancer include:
- Passive Smoking: Continuous smoking increases the chances of lung cancer by 80 per cent.
- Exposure to: Radioactive gas.
- Occupational exposure and pollution: Breathing in hazardous substances such as cadmium, nickel, arsenic, chromium, some petroleum products, uranium, etc.
- Inherited genetic mutations: If the family has a medical history of lung cancer.
- Exposure to air pollution: Living in a place of excessive air pollution.
- HIV infection: Infection with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
- Radiation therapy treatment: Has a previous exposure to radiation for breast or chest.