Lung Cancer Treatment Hospitals In India
Lung cancer is an uncontrolled and abnormal growth of cells that line the air passages in the lungs. The abnormal cells divide uncontrollably to develop several large tumors, that weaken the lungs, and hamper normal lung functions preventing oxygenation of blood.Get Quote
Types of Lung Cancer
Lung cancer is mainly of two types viz small-cell lung carcinoma (SCLC) and non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC).
Small cell lung cancer: This is a deadly type of lung cancer, that develops and spreads very fast. As the cancer cells appear to be very small when examined under the microscope, it is also called ‘oat cell cancer’. Smoking is considered as the leading cause of this type of lung cancer.
Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: It includes all other types of epithelial lung cancer other than small cell lung carcinoma, and accounts for about 85% of all lung cancers. It can be categorized into three main types.
Large Cell Carcinoma: It shows big rounded cells when viewed under a microscope and is also called ‘undifferentiated carcinoma’.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma: This is the most common type of lung cancer, that grows from cells lining the airway passage, and develops most commonly due to smoking.
Adenocarcinoma: This type grows from the mucus producing cells lining the airway.
Mesothelioma: This is an uncommon type of lung cancer that develops in people exposed to asbestos. It develops in mesothelial cells that cover the surface of the lungs.
The stages of small cell lung cancer are as follows –
Limited Stage: In this stage, the cancer is limited to one part of the lung and the surrounding lymph nodes.
Extensive stage: In this stage, the cancer has spread to different areas of the chest or body.
The stages of non-small cell lung cancer are as follows –
Stage I: In this initial stage, the cancer is restricted only to the lungs.
Stage II: In this second stage, the cancer spreads beyond the lungs into the surrounding lymph nodes.
Stage III: In this stage, also known as the ‘locally advanced disease’, the cancer spreads to the lymph nodes in the chest and lungs.
Stage IV: This is an advanced stage where cancer spreads to both the lungs, and to different parts of the body such as liver and other organs.
Lung cancer presents with symptoms such as difficulty in swallowing and breathing, wheezing, hoarseness, continuous chest pain, cough with blood-streaked mucus, frequent respiratory infections such as pneumonia or bronchitis, fever, loss of appetite, weight loss, body pain, fatigue, weakness and pain in the hand, shoulder or arm, face and neck swelling severe headaches etc.
The following tests can help diagnose lung cancer –
Tissue biopsy: In this procedure, an abnormal cell sample is removed from affected region in the lung and examined to check if cancer cells are present.
Imaging Tests: Chest X-rays are used to detect abnormal nodules, masses or lesions in the lung.
Sputum cytology: In this method, sputum is examined under the microscope to check for the presence of lung cancer cells.
Surgery: Surgical removal of the tumor is used to treat early stage lung cancer that has not metastasized. Lung cancer surgery may be palliative (removal of an open airway or obstruction that makes the patient uncomfortable) or curative (removal of all cancerous tissue in early stage patients).
Radiation therapy: In this treatment (also known as ‘radiotherapy’), high-energy gamma rays emitted from the metals like radium are used to destroy cancerous cells in lung cancer tumors. Cancer cells that have spread or metastasized, or cells that are left behind after cancer surgery are destroyed using this method.
Chemotherapy: This includes anti-cancer drugs (injected into a muscle or vein, or given by mouth) that are given in alternating cycles of treatments and rest periods to destroy lung cancer cells. Chemotherapy may be used in combination with the above therapies, as adjuvant therapy to destroy cancer cells left behind after surgery or to prevent the cancer from coming back.