Lung cancer is more common in smokers however, rarely it occurs in non-smokers too. It can usually be picked up on a chest X-ray therefore anyone with any worrying symptoms can be referred on for this test.
The most common symptoms experienced by people with lung cancer include cough, coughing up blood, pain on deep inspiration, hoarseness of voice, shortness of breath. These symptoms can be common in other types of non cancerous lung conditions as well including chest infections, lung fibrosis, COPD etc. Common symptoms with any type of cancer include unintentional weight loss, loss of appetite, feeling tired or weak
Smoking is a well identified cause of certain types of lung cancers. Passive smoking, chewing tobacco and pipe smoking are also among the biggest risk factors for lung cancer. Lung cancer can rarely manifest in non smokers as well. Certain types of radiation, such as radon and environmental risk factors include asbestos, arsenic, coal fumes and silica. People should be aware of any occupational risks when working in any environment that is predisposed to these risk factors.
The most common types of treatment options include chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Other forms of treatment include surgery, radiofrequency ablation and biologic therapy. Treatment will be tailored to each individual based on the type of lung cancer, the stage when the cancer was diagnosed and the progression of the disease.
Smoking is the single largest contributing factor to lung cancer. Lung cancer can often present quite late, and therefore the biggest preventative measure is to stop smoking or to not take up smoking. Lung cancer is the second most common type of cancer alongside prostate and second to breast cancer. Lung cancer is rare in younger people, and most commonly diagnosed in people over the age of 70. Any presenting symptoms or concerns should be discussed with a medical practitioner.