At Australian Cancer Research Foundation, thanks to the generosity of our donors, we support research into all types of cancer. This month, we share some important information on Lung Cancer.
Lung cancer develops when cells in the lung grow abnormally to form a tumour.
Air that is breathed in the lungs flows through tubes called bronchi, which branch into smaller airways called bronchioles. These branches end in tiny sacs, called alveoli, where oxygen and carbon dioxide is exchanged.
Although lung cancer can develop in any part of the lung, most lung cancers begin in the cells that line these air passages (the bronchi) and the airway branches (alveoli or bronchioles) in the lung.
It is important to note that not all patients who develop lung cancer are smokers
Signs and symptoms of lung cancer vary depending on whether the lung cancer has spread to other parts of the body, the size of the tumour, and how much the tumour is affecting other organs in the body.
Lung cancer sometimes may not produce any signs and symptoms in the early stages or may appear in patients when the disease is already advanced.
The most common signs and symptoms of early lung cancer are:
The earlier lung cancer is detected, the more likely it is that treatment can successfully remove the cancer and prevent it from recurring.
Lung cancer is considered ‘advanced’ when it has spread from where it originally appeared in the lung.
Signs and symptoms of lung cancer vary depending on whether the lung cancer has spread to other parts of the body, the size of the tumour and how much the tumour is affecting other organs in the body.
Diagnostic tests and procedures to detect lung cancer include physical examination, chest x-rays, imaging scans of the chest, bronchoscopy, mediastinoscopy and video-assisted thoracoscopy.
Laboratory tests may be ordered if symptoms suggest the existence of lung cancer tumours. This includes assessment of tissue samples, removing fluid from lungs, sputum (mucous coughed up from the lungs) or blood in urine.
The sooner testing can be carried out, the stronger the chance is for recovery. If you suspect you may have lung cancer, speak to a medical professional as soon as possible.
With new methods of kinder and more effective treatments being developed by scientists, there is no ‘one size fits all’ standard for lung cancer treatment. Every individual is unique and may respond to treatment in different ways.
At Australian Cancer Research Foundation, we help provide scientists with the technology and infrastructure needed to help find better ways to prevent, detect and treat cancer. Donate today and help us achieve our shared goal of a world without this devastating disease.