Lung Cancer is a cancer which grows from cells in the lung. Cancer can also spread to the lung from other parts of the body.
Lung Cancer develops as a result of permanent changes to cells lining the bronchial airways. The inhalation of tobacco smoke is the most common cause of these changes. Another less common cause of Lung Cancer is the inhalation of/contact with certain substances found in some workplaces such as asbestos, radiation, arsenic, chromates, nickel, chloromethyl ethers, mustard gas and coke-oven emissions.
Signs and symptoms
Lung Cancer may cause no noticeable symptoms in its early stages. As the cancer grows, it can cause symptoms such as:
- Blood-stained phlegm.
- Chest pain.
- Weight loss.
Always consult your Doctor for diagnosis and advice. In no way is this information intended to replace the advice of a medical practitioner.
Diagnosis of Lung Cancer can involve a chest x-ray, biopsy (a sample of tissue from the area), a sample of coughed-up sputum, a CT scan, a bone scan and bronchoscopy, where a camera is passed into the lungs.
Treatment of Lung Cancer may involve surgery, radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy.
Smoking is the main cause of Lung Cancer in 90% of Lung Cancer cases involving men and 70% of Lung Cancer cases involving women. The more you smoke and the longer you smoke, the greater your risk of developing Lung Cancer. When you give up smoking, the risk of Lung Cancer decreases each year as normal cells replace abnormal cells that have been affected by smoking. When you give up smoking, you also greatly reduce your risk of developing other smoking-related diseases such as heart disease, stroke, emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
- A diet high in flavonoids such as quercetin (found in apples and onions) and naringin (found in white grapefruit) is thought to help reduce the risks of developing Lung Cancer.
- Eat a variety of nutritious foods, in particular, fresh fruit and vegetables. A diet high in vegetables, fruit and other plant foods is thought to lower cancer risks.
Always consult your Doctor before taking any dietary supplements for advice on possible side effects or drug interactions. This is particularly important during cancer therapy, as many chemotherapy drugs act by blocking the effects of certain vitamins.
- Flavonoids such as quercetin are thought to possess cancer-fighting properties and may reduce the spread of cancer cells
- Antioxidants have been suggested to scavenge free radicals, and prevent their interactions with cellular DNA which can result in cancer. Dietary antioxidants include Vitamin C, Vitamin E, glutathione, selenium and various polyphenols and carotenoids.
- Phytosterols (plant sterols) may offer protection against Lung Cancer. It is believed they boost the immune system and interfere with the growth of cancerous tumours.