09 Jul What is Lung Cancer?
This information is provided by Navneet Sharda, MD as an educational source pertaining to Lung cancer. It is not intended as a substitute for a consultation with a qualified healthcare provider.
Lung cancer is a disease of uncontrolled cell growth in tissues of the lung. A malignant tumor arising from the cells of the respiratory epithelium. By definition, tumors arising from non epithelial cells (sarcoma and lymphoma) or from mesothelial lining (mesothelioma) of the lung are excluded. This uncontrolled cell growth may lead to metastasis, invasion of adjacent tissue and infiltration beyond the lungs.
Lung cancers are generally divided into two types:
- Nonsmall cell lung cancer is more common than small cell lung cancer. The three main kinds of nonsmallcell lung cancer are named for the type of cells in the tumor:Small cell lung cancer, sometimes called oat cell cancer because the cancer cells may look like oats when viewed under a microscope, grows rapidly and quickly spreads to other organs.
- Squamous cell carcinoma,also called epidermoid carcinoma, is the most common type of lung cancer in men. It often begins in the bronchi and usually does not spread as quickly as other types of lung cancer.
- Adenocarcinoma usually begins along the outer edges of the lungs and under the lining of the bronchi. It is the most common type of lung cancer in women and in people who have never smoked.
- Large cell carcinomas are a group of cancers with large, abnormal-looking cells. These tumors usually begin along the outer edges of the lungs.
Navneet Sharda, M.D a Las Vegas oncologist discusses procedures used to diagnose lung cancer may include:
- chest x-ray-to look for any mass or spot on the lungs.
- other special x-rays-a diagnostic test which uses invisible electromagnetic energy beams to produce images of internal tissues, bones, and organs onto film; can provide more precise information about the size, shape, and position of a tumor.
- computed tomography scan (Also called a CT or CAT scan.)-a diagnostic imaging procedure that uses a combination of x-rays and computer technology to produce cross-sectional images (often called slices), both horizontally and vertically, of the body. A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans are more detailed than general x-rays.
- sputum cytology-a study of phlegm (mucus) cells under a microscope.
- needle biopsy-a needle is guided into the mass while the lungs are being viewed on a CT scan and a sample of the mass is removed and evaluated in the pathology laboratory under a microscope.
- bronchoscopy-the examination of the bronchi (the main airways of the lungs) using a flexible tube (bronchoscope). Bronchoscopy helps to evaluate and diagnose lung problems, assess blockages, obtain samples of tissue and/or fluid, and/or to help remove a foreign body.
- mediastinoscopy-a process in which a small cut is made in the neck so that a tissue sample can be taken from the lymph nodes (mediastinal nodes) along the windpipe and the major bronchial tube areas to evaluate under a microscope.
- x-rays and scans of the brain, liver, bone, and adrenal glands-to determine if the cancer has spread from where it started into other areas of the body.
Lung Cancer Symptoms and Signs
Dr. Nav Sharda– “You may not have any symptoms of lung cancer, or you may have symptoms such as a cough or shortness of breath that you might think are related to a respiratory illness.”
Symptoms of lung cancer may include:
- A new cough or a cough that does not go away. Smokers who have a chronic cough from smokingmay have a change in how severe their cough is or how much they cough.
- Chest, shoulder, or back painthat does not go away and often gets worse with deep breathing.
- Shortness of breath.
- Coughing up blood or bloody mucus.
- Swelling in the neck and face.
- Difficulty swallowing.
- Weight loss and loss of appetite.
- Increasing fatigue and weakness.
- Recurring respiratory infections, such as pneumonia.
- Clubbing of the fingers and toes. The nails appear to bulge out more than normal.
Treatment for lung cancer:
Lung cancer may be treated with surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, laser therapy, or a combination of treatments:
- Surgery- Three main types of surgery are most often used in lung cancer treatment. The choice depends on the size and location of the tumor in the lung, the extent of the cancer, the general health of the patient, and other factors.Radiation therapy- Radiation therapy is the use of high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells and to shrink tumors. Radiation may also be used with chemotherapy to treat lung cancer. There are two ways to deliver radiation therapy, including the following:chemotherapy The use of anticancer drugs to treat cancerous cells. In most cases, chemotherapy works by interfering with the cancer cell’s ability to grow or reproduce
- segmental or wedge resection – removal of only a small part of the lung.
- lobectomy – removal of an entire lobe of the lung.
- pneumonectomy – removal of an entire lung.
- external radiation (external beam therapy) – a treatment that precisely sends high levels of radiation directly to the cancer cells. The machine is controlled by the radiation therapist. Since radiation is used to kill cancer cells and to shrink tumors, special shields may be used to protect the tissue surrounding the treatment area. Radiation treatments are painless and usually last a few minutes.
- internal radiation (brachytherapy, implant radiation) – radiation is given inside the body as close to the cancer as possible. Substances that produce radiation, called radioisotopes, may be swallowed, injected, or implanted directly into the tumor. Some of the radioactive implants are called “seeds” or “capsules”. Internal radiation involves giving a higher dose of radiation in a shorter time span than with external radiation. Some internal radiation treatments stay in the body temporarily. Other internal treatments stay in the body permanently, though the radioactive substance loses its radiation within a short period of time. In some cases, both internal and external radiation therapies are used.
- Photodynamic therapy (PDT) A type of laser treatment that involves injecting photosensitizing chemicals into the bloodstream. Cells throughout the body absorb the chemicals.At the right time, when the healthy cells surrounding the tumor may already be relatively free of the chemical, the light of a laser can be focused directly on the tumor. As the cells absorb the light, a chemical reaction destroys the cancer cells .
- Targeted therapy As cancers grow, they form new blood vessels which nourish them. Research aimed at blocking the growth of these blood vessels has led to the development of medications called antiangiogenesis medications.
To schedule a consultation with Dr. Navneet Sharda call 702-547-2273 or click here.
Oncologist Dr. NavneetSharda is the medical director of Cancer Care Center. For more than a two decades Cancer Care Center has been specializing in treatment of various types of cancers like multiforme, meningioma, tonsil, tongue, laryngeal, parotid, neck, lung, breast, lymphoma, non hodgkins lymphoma, hodgkins disease, hodgkins lymphoma, skin cancer, melanoma, esophageal, gastric, pancreatic, colon, renal, kidney, ovarian, sarcoma, uterine cancer, cervical cancer, vaginal, brain, breast, vulvar cancer, bone metastasis, bone, osteosarcoma, endometrial cancercarcinoma, tumor, malignant and cancerous Cancers. We offer threapy like chemotherapy, radiotherapy, radiation therapy, radiation oncology, oncology, oncologist, immunotherapy, brachy therapy, stereotactic radio surgery, IMRT, intensity modulated radiation therapy, conformal therapy, anaplasticastrocytoma, gioblastoma.