Lung cancer refers to the abnormal growth (uncontrolled growth of cells) of cells in one or both lungs. The abnormal cells do not function like normal lung cells and also result in unhealthy lung tissue. The uncontrolled growth of cells in one or both lung can result in tumours and prevent the lung(s) from functioning properly (affects the amount of oxygen supply to the body).

There are different types and stages of lung cancer, such as non- small lung cancer and small lung cancer.


Symptoms related to the chest:

  • Coughing, especially if its intense
  • Pain in the chest
  • Shortness of breath
  • Changes in the voice
  • Coughing up blood
  • Coughing up mucus or a mixture of blood and mucus.
  • Recurring lung problems, such as bronchitis

Other symptoms

  • Blood clots
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Head aches
  • Joint or bone pain
  • Weakness
  • Bleeding
  • Swelling
  • Memory loss

There are other symptoms that are not listed above.

Diagnosing Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is diagnose by taking piece of the lung tissue and examining it under a microscope. This is done in order to identify any cancer cells; the process is called a biopsy.

Treatment of Lung Cancer

  • Chemotherapy -: Medicine that fight against cancer.
  • Radiation therapy-: Utilize high energy radiation to destroy cancer cells.
  • Photodynamic therapy -: Utilize high energy light to destroy cancer cells, by activating special medicine injected inside the patient by the doctor.
  • Laser surgery -: Utilize high-energy beam of light to destroy cancer tumours

Doctors can also remove a lung or a part of the cancer affected lung to prevent the spread of the cancer.

World Health Organization Facts

Lung cancer – the big one

As noted at the outset, the paper describing the association between tobacco use and lung cancer stands as a classic in public health. On average, smokers increase their risk of lung cancer between 5 and 10-fold and in developed countries, smoking is responsible for upwards of 80% of all lung cancer. Using American data, 24% of men who smoke can expect to developing cancer during their expected life time.

Recently, the spread of tobacco use to developing countries has led to papers describing similar patterns there. Thus, in a report from India, roughly two-thirds of all patients with lung cancer were smokers, using either cigarettes and/or bidis, hand-rolled tobacco. Among 54 female patients, only 5% were smokers, reflecting both the low prevalence of tobacco use among women and the cancer-causing effects of environmental tobacco smoke.

In a study of 1 000 000 deaths in China, lung cancer risk was two to four times higher among men who smoked compared to men who did not smoke and this association was generally consistent over both rural and urban areas.

Lung cancer remains a disease with a dismal prognosis. Although one-year all-stage survival is reported to have increased from 32% in 1973 to 41% in 1994, five-year survival has remained unchanged at 14%. Early detection has been promoted as a potentially valuable intervention but its cost-effectiveness puts it beyond the reach of all but the most wealthy health care systems, and even then, pales in comparison to the cost-effectiveness of comprehensive programs and policies to reduce tobacco consumption.

WHO Cancer Data

Stages of Lung Cancer


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