Lung cancer is considered to be the most deadly cancer. More people die from lung cancer each year than from breast, colorectal and prostate cancer combined. About 1 in 13 men and 1 in 16 women are treated for lung cancer at some point in their life. Unfortunately, more than two-thirds of all lung cancer patients are diagnosed at a late stage when tumors are present in more than one site in the body. Despite recent advances, five-year survival rates for lung cancer are still poor when compared with other common cancers. More than half of the people with lung cancer die within one year of being diagnosed if not treated appropriately; hence, lung cancer is considered the most deadly cancer.
What are the common causes of cancer?
Cancer arises from the cancer cells which are abnormal cells that grow in an uncontrolled and aggressive manner. It is a multistage process that generally progresses from a precancerous lesion to aggressive cancer.
Below are few common causes of cancer:
- Genetic mutation
- Family history
- Exposure to ultraviolet and ionizing radiation on multiple occasions
- Exposure to carcinogens (cancer-causing substances), for example, asbestos, components of tobacco smoke, aflatoxin (a food contaminant) and arsenic
- Infections from certain viruses (human papillomavirus and hepatitis B virus) are also considered a trigger for developing cancers.
- Unhealthy diet (processed red meat and low-fiber high-fat food) and lack of physical activity
Can an individual survive from cancer?
If identified early, cancer is more likely to respond to effective treatment and can result in a greater probability of surviving. Significant improvements can be made in the lives of cancer patients by detecting cancer early and avoiding delays in care. Early screening aims to identify individuals with abnormalities suggestive of specific cancer or precancer who have not developed any symptoms and can be referred promptly for diagnosis and treatment. For example, a 50-year patient who is a heavy smoker should have regular checkups and if necessary, should undergo computed tomography (CT) scan of the lung every six months to detect any early symptom of lung cancer.
How is cancer treated?
The important goal of cancer treatment is to achieve maximum cure and allow the person to live a normal life. If a cure is not possible, treatments may be used to shrink the cells or slow the growth of cancer to allow patient to live symptom free for as long as possible.
Common cancer treatments include:
Primary treatment: Primary treatment is used to remove cancer from your body or kill all the cancer cells.
- Surgery is primary cancer treatment for the most types of cancers.
- Patient may also receive radiation therapy or chemotherapy if cancer cells are sensitive to these treatments.
Adjuvant treatment: The goal of adjuvant therapy is to kill any cancer cell that may remain after primary treatment. It is aimed to reduce the chance of recurrence.
- Common adjuvant therapies include chemotherapy, radiation therapy and hormone therapy.
- Neoadjuvant therapy is similar, but it is used before the primary treatment to make the primary treatment easier or more effective.
Palliative treatment: Palliative treatments relieve side effects of treatment and make the pain and cancer symptoms bearable. Surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and hormone therapy can all be used as palliative treatment. Palliative treatment can be used at the same time as other treatments. They are more important in inoperable cancers.
What are the advancements in cancer treatment?
Apart from the above common treatments, patients may also be treated with advanced treatments which include:
- Immunotherapy to treat cancer: Immunotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that helps the immune system to recognize the cancer cells and destroy them.
- Targeted therapy: Targeted therapy is a type of cancer treatment that targets the specific proteins found only on cancer cells. It slows down the cancer multiplication. These cells do not affect normal cells and hence have fewer side effects.
- Stem cell transplant: Stem cell transplants are procedures that use stem cells to regenerate diseased or compromised organs.
Latest Cancer News
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Top Which Is the Deadliest Cancer? Related Articles
Akynzeo (netupitant and palonosetron)Akynzeo is a prescription medicine called an “antiemetic.” Akynzeo is used in combination with the medicine dexamethasone in people to help prevent the nausea and vomiting that happens right away or later with certain anticancer medicines (chemotherapy). Serious side effects of Akynzeo include allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) and serotonin syndrome when used with other medicines such as antidepressants and anti-migraine medicines, which can lead to death.
Arzerra (ofatumumab)Arzerra (ofatumumab) Injection is a monoclonal antibody used to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Common side effects of Arzerra include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, tiredness, swelling of hands/ankles/feet, trouble sleeping, skin rash, or cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, and sore throat. Arzerra decreases bone marrow function, which can cause anemia.
Breast Cancer QuizThis Breast Cancer Quiz features signs, symptoms, facts, causes, common forms, terms, risk factors, statistics, and more. Increase your awareness of breast cancer now!
Cancer 101 SlideshowLearn the basics about cancer including types, causes, how it spreads, symptoms and signs, stages and treatment options. Read about the common type of cancers.
Cancer QuizTake this quiz to learn the causes of cancer. Get the facts about the causes, symptoms, and treatments for the world's most common cancers.
Fentora (fentanyl citrate)Fentora (fentanyl citrate) is a strong prescription pain medicine that contains an opioid (narcotic) that is used to manage breakthrough pain in adults with cancer who are already routinely taking other opioid pain medicines around-the-clock for cancer pain. Serious side effects of Fentora include fatal respiratory depression, medication errors, and abuse potential (because it contains Fentanyl).
Gavreto (pralsetinib)Gavreto is a prescription medicine used to treat adults with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that has spread to other parts of the body (metastatic), and is caused by abnormal rearranged during transfection (RET) genes.
How Long a Person Can Live With Multiple Myeloma?Since 2000, the percentage of patients living five years after diagnosis has been on the rise. With improved treatment, survival results are likely to be better. According to the American Cancer Society, the median survival rates are 62 months for Stage I, 42 months for Stage II, and 29 months for Stage III.
Is Multiple Myeloma Cancer Curable?There is no cure for multiple myeloma. Treatment for multiple myeloma can only reduce the severity of its symptoms and extend the patient’s survival by a few months or two to three years. The best treatment for multiple myeloma varies from patient to patient and is often a combination of various therapies, including immunomodulators, steroids, chemotherapy drugs, bisphosphonate therapy, blood or platelet transfusions, plasmapheresis (filtering the blood), radiation therapy, surgery, and bone marrow transplant.
Lung Cancer Myths/FactsLearn about lung cancer myths and facts. Explore how cigar smoke, menthol, and pollution can increase your risk of lung cancer and learn what to avoid.
Lung Cancer SlideshowLearn about lung cancer early warning signs, symptoms and treatments. What causes stage IV lung cancer? Get more information on small cell lung cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, and the diagnosis of lung cancer stages.
Neulasta (pegfilgrastim)Neulasta (pegfilgrastim) is a colony-stimulating factor, a man-made form of a protein that stimulates the growth of white blood cells, used to decrease the incidence of infection, by treating neutropenia, a lack of certain white blood cells caused by receiving cancer chemotherapy. Common side effects of Neulasta include bone pain, pain in your arms or legs, or injection site reactions (bruising, swelling, pain, redness, or a hard lump).
Pregnancy (Week by Week, Trimesters)Signs and symptoms of pregnancy vary by stage (trimester). The earliest pregnancy symptom is typically a missed period, but others include breast swelling and tenderness, nausea and sometimes vomiting, fatigue, and bloating. Second trimester symptoms include backache, weight gain, itching, and possible stretch marks. Third trimester symptoms are additional weight gain, heartburn, hemorrhoids, swelling of the ankles, fingers, and face, breast tenderness, and trouble sleeping. Eating a healthy diet, getting a moderate amount of exercise, also are recommended for a healthy pregnancy. Information about the week by week growth of your baby in the womb are provided.
Skin Cancer QuizWhat causes skin cancer? Take our Skin Cancer Quiz to learn about the risks, symptoms, causes, and treatments for this common skin condition that affects millions of people worldwide.
Skin Cancer PictureExcessive exposure to sunlight is the main cause of skin cancer. See a picture of Skin Cancer and learn more about the health topic.
Targeted Therapy: What Is Oncogenic Addiction in Cancer Cells?Targeted therapy for cancers with oncogenic addiction aims to stop the mutated "oncogene" that fuels the tumor. Research indicates that cancer cells may rely more heavily on oncogenic mutations that originally gave rise to the particular cancer, rather than other reasons for their growth. Such cancers have an oncogenic addiction because they mainly depend on that oncogene’s continued activity for survival.
Targeted Therapy: What Is Replicative Immortality in Cancer?Some targeted cancer therapies aim to stop replicative immortality in malignant tumor cells. Normal human cells can grow and divide only a limited number of times, and undergo planned death (apoptosis) when they become old, damaged, or no longer needed. Cancer cells, due to genetic mutations which enable them to progress through the cell cycle despite DNA damage, replicate infinitely and evade apoptosis. They achieve replicative immortality (until the host dies).
Targeted Therapy: What Is Apoptosis in Cancer Cells?Cancer cells grow and proliferate endlessly. Targeted therapy to stimulate cell death or apoptosis can help keep tumors in check. Normal cells have a finite cell cycle of growth, division and differentiation. The final stage in the cell cycle is apoptosis, or programmed cell death, when they are infected, old, damaged or simply no longer needed.
Targeted Therapy: What Is the Function of A Tumor Suppressor Gene?Tumor suppressor genes encode proteins to modulate the process of cell growth and replication. Mutations which inactivate the tumor suppressor genes enable cancer cells to grow, unrestrained. Some targeted therapies aim to reactivate these genes, thus suppressing the tumor.
Targeted Therapy: What Are The 10 Hallmarks of Cancer?Targeted cancer therapy is a specialized treatment for certain cancers with medications that target the proteins and cell-signaling pathways in the cancer cells which drive their growth and proliferation. Targeted therapies also aim to stop some of the other mechanisms in the tumor microenvironment which the cancer cells enslave to foster their growth and metastasis.
What Is the #1 Cause of Pancreatic Cancer?Pancreatic cancer occurs when cells begin to grow uncontrollably and form tumors within the pancreas. The exact cause of pancreatic cancer is unknown. However, doctors have identified some risk factors that increase your chances of developing pancreatic cancer. These include being over 45 years old, male gender, African American race, cigarette smoking, alcohol abuse, regular consumption of high dietary fats, obesity, type 2 diabetes, chronic pancreatitis, family history of pancreatic cancer, and heavy exposure to certain chemicals used in the dry cleaning and metalworking industries.
Female Cancer SymptomsCancer symptoms can surprise women if they don't know what to watch out for. 15 cancer symptoms women ignore such as weight loss, bloating, breast changes, unusual bleeding, skin changes, difficulty swallowing, indigestion, and more. Learn possible clues to finding and detecting cancer early.
Ziextenzo (pegfilgrastim-bmez)Ziextenzo (pegfilgrastim-bmez) is a man-made form of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (GCSF). G-CSF is a substance produced by the body. It stimulates the growth of neutrophils, a type of white blood cell important in the body’s fight against infection. Serious side effects of Ziextenzo include spleen rupture, Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), serious allergic reactions, sickle cell crises, kidney injury, increased white blood cell count (leukocytosis), Capillary Leak Syndrome, and inflammation of the aorta (aortitis).