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Lung Cancer

What to know about lung cancer

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Lung cancer is a condition that causes uncontrollable division of cells in the lungs. This causes tumor growth which decreases a person’s breathing ability.

In 2015 218,527 people in the United States were diagnosed with lung cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Early diagnosis in the course of the disease may help a person obtain treatment as early as possible.

However, it can be difficult to identify lung cancer in its earliest stages, because the symptoms may be similar to those of a respiratory infection or there may be no symptoms at all.

We explain the nature of lung cancer in this article, how to recognize the symptoms and how doctors treat lung cancer before it becomes life-threatening.

What is lung cancer?

Lung cancer causes mutations in cells.
Lung cancer causes mutations in cells.

Cancer causes certain mutations in cells which are otherwise healthy.

The body usually programs cells to die to prevent overgrowth at a certain point in their life cycle. Cancer overrides this instruction, which causes cells to grow and multiply when not supposed to.

Overgrowth of the cells leads to tumor development and cancer’s harmful effects.

In lung cancer, this cell overgrowth pattern occurs in the lungs which are vital organs for breathing and exchanging oxygen.

Doctors usually identify two forms of lung cancer, small and non-small cells, based on how microscopically they look. An individual has a greater risk of developing non-small cell lung cancer than small cells.

Although anyone may develop lung cancer, cigarette smoking and smoke exposure can increase a person’s likelihood of developing the condition. A person with a history of exposure to inhaled chemicals or other toxins can develop lung cancer.

Even if this exposure to chemicals and other contaminants was long ago, it can cause cancer-causing changes in lung cells.

Symptoms

Symptoms do not always occur in people with lung cancer until the condition has reached a later stage.

Some people, however, may notice symptoms that they may think are related to a less serious, acute disease.

Examples of these symptoms include:

  • appetite loss
  • changes to a person’s voice, such as hoarseness
  • frequent chest infections, such as bronchitis or pneumonia
  • lingering cough that may start to get worse
  • shortness of breath
  • unexplained headaches
  • weight loss
  • wheezing

An individual may also experience more serious lung cancer-related symptoms. These include severe pain to the chest or bone, or blood coughing.

Diagnosis

If a doctor detects a suspected lesion on a scan for lung cancer, or a person has symptoms that may suggest lung cancer, there are several diagnostic tests available to validate the next steps.

Examples of these include:

Imaging studies: Computed tomography ( CT) and positron emission tomography ( PET) scans might reveal areas of lung tissue with cancer. Bone scans may also show cancerous growths. Doctors may also use these scans to track treatment progress or after a course of treatment to ensure that cancer has not returned.

Imaging can help display a lung tumor or track the progress of treatment.
Imaging can help display a lung tumor or track the progress of treatment.

Tissue sampling: If a doctor in an imaging study identifies a suspicious lesion, they may recommend taking a sample of lung tissue to test for potentially cancerous cells.

There are various methods to take a sample of tissue and sometimes the process depends on the location of the lesion.

Another example is when a doctor performs a bronchoscopy with a camera at the top, which requires installing a special thin, lighted scope. It lets the doctor see the lesion and then get samples.

Less accessible lung lesions can require more invasive surgery to remove lung tissue, such as thoracoscopy or video-assisted thoracic surgery.

Laboratory testing: A physician can may prescribe sputum tests or blood tests to check for lung cancer.

A doctor can use this knowledge to assess what type of lung cancer can develop and whether the disease has become advanced.

The importance of early diagnosis

Life-saving may be the early diagnosis of lung cancer. That is because the lung cancer cells will migrate to other parts of the body before being identified in the lungs by a doctor. When this spread or metastasis has happened it will make it much more difficult to treat the disease.

A doctor will often recommend that a person get tested for lung cancer. These are accomplished using a low dose CT scanner. Not everyone is a candidate for this test but in certain individuals it will help doctors detect lung cancer earlier.

Individuals who may be eligible for lung cancer screenings are, according to the American Lung Association, the ones who:

  • are between 55 and 80 years of age
  • are a 30 pack-year history of smoking, meaning they smoked one pack per day for 30 years or two packs per day for 15 years
  • are a current smoker or smoker who has quit within the past 15 years

If a person meets all those criteria, insurance will often cover this screening. People can also also consult with their insurance provider before signing up for screening for lung cancer.

Staging

The cancer stage shows how far and extent it has spread through the body. The classification helps doctors endorse the best outcomes and guide the treatment.

Every stage determines whether or not cancer has spread, or is spreading, to nearby lymph nodes. It may also consider the number and size of the tumors.

The lymph nodes are part of the lymphatic system, which connects to the rest of the body. When cancer enters these, it may become more risky to metastasize, or further spread.

Staging for lung cancer within each stage is highly complex and detailed, with many subgroups.

Clinicians initially divide it up into classifications of small cells and non-small cells.

Staging definitions can vary but doctors usually use the tumor size and spread to direct non-small cell lung cancer in the following way:

  • Occult, or hidden: Cancer does not show on imaging scans, but cancerous cells might appear in the phlegm or mucus and may have reached other parts of the body.
  • Stage 0: The doctor finds abnormal cells only in the top layers of cells lining the airways.
  • Stage I: A tumor has developed in the lung, but is under 5 centimeters (cm) and has not spread to other parts of the body.
  • Stage II: The tumor is smaller than 5 cm and might have spread to the lymph nodes in the area of the lung, or smaller than 7 cm and spread to nearby tissues but not lymph nodes.
  • Stage III: Cancer has spread to the lymph nodes and reached other parts of the lung and surrounding area.
  • Stage IV: Cancer has spread to distant body parts, such as the bones or brain.

Small cell lung cancer has its own limited and extensive categories, in reference to whether cancer has spread inside or outside the lungs.

Treatment

Lung cancer treatments depend on the location and stage of the treatment, as well as individual overall health.

Surgery and radiation are the most common approaches to lung cancer treatment but there are other treatments available. For example , doctors often take chemotherapy to treat small cell lung cancer.

Possible therapies include:

Surgery: A doctor can operate in nearby areas where cancer may have spread to remove cancerous lung tissue and tissue. This often involves removing a lobe or large lung section in a procedure known as lobectomy.

In extreme cases, the surgeon can extract a whole lung. An individual can live without a lung, but after lung removal, being in good health before surgery helps improve outcomes.

Chemotherapy: Drugs used for this procedure are used to shrink or kill cancer cells. These medications tend to separate cells rapidly, making them suitable for cancer treatment.

Treatment with chemotherapy has a greater effect on cancers that have spread to different parts of the body and need a body-wide attack.

Chemotherapy, however, is a strong technique which can have side effects that include severe nausea which weight loss.

Radiation therapy: This technique takes advantage of high-energy radiation to destroy cancer cells. A doctor may may use radiation to shrink a tumor until it is surgically removed.

Radiation therapy is useful primarily for cancers that occur at one location and have not spread.

Targeted therapy: This is the use of specific medications specifically targeting a specific behavior in cancer cells. Examples include medicines which stop the multiplication of cancer cells.

In certain countries, diagnosis of lung cancer also involves the collaboration of medical experts. Those experts may include:

  • surgeons
  • radiation oncologists
  • specialists in lung treatment called pulmonologists
  • pulmonary therapists

Outlook

A lady smoking
Smoking is the number one cause of lung cancer, and quitting is a great way to reduce the risk.

According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer is the number one cause of death from cancer. An estimated 154,050 individuals are predicted to die in 2018 from lung cancer.

The condition brings a greater risk of death compared to combined breast , colon and prostate cancer. By not smoking it’s also entirely preventable. When diagnosed in its early stages, lung cancer is more treatable.

The outlook and prognosis for lung cancer depends on the type of cancer and the spread. People should speak to their doctor who can provide a more accurate prognosis taking into account the general health of the patient and the severity of their cancer.

Takeaway

Lung cancer is a serious and potentially deadly disease which affects the breathing capacity of a person.

Early diagnostic screening of people at high risk for lung cancer, however, can help them receive treatment in earlier and more treatable stages. The size and spread of cancer is what decides the outlook for patients.

Treatment options include surgery to remove portions or more of the lung tissue, chemotherapy and radiation therapy, as well as targeted drug treatment.

If anyone has concerns that they may be at risk for lung cancer, they will talk with their doctor.

Question:

What is the best way to prevent lung cancer?

Answer:

The best way to prevent lung cancer is not to smoke cigarettes or to quit smoking if you are a smoker.

Answers represent our medical experts’ opinions. All material is purely informational and medical advice should not be considered.

Breast Cancer

Are humans putting too much emphasis on genetic linkages in cancer research?

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genes to cancer
  • Cancer research is significantly more prevalent than study on any other scientific problem.
  • In part, maybe as a result of the relative simplicity with which scientists are able to perform genetic cancer research, practically every human gene has been shown to have a link with the illness in some manner.
  • Several of these relationships are called into doubt by a new publication, which implies that researchers should consider exploring alternative routes of exploration.

There’s a solid reason why cancer is the most frequently investigated biological or biomedical problem, and it’s not just because it’s popular. Cancer will afflict one out of every two people in the United Kingdom at some point in their life, according to the National Cancer Institute.

In contrast, according to a new review of the PubMed collection of biomedical research literature, the quest for links between genes and cancer has resulted in an oversupply of documented relationships, making fresh research even more challenging.

At this moment, nearly every human gene has been found to have some association with cancer, whether directly or indirectly.

According to the report, which appears in the journal Trends in Genetics, the PubMed library has at least one publication on each of the 17,371 human genes that have been identified. In at least one of these publications, cancer is mentioned by 87.7 percent of the authors.

Only three genes, out of the 4,186 genes that have been the topic of 100 or more PubMed papers, have been shown to have no connection with cancer.

The author of the new paper, Dr. João Pedro de Magalhães of the University of Liverpool in the U.K., writes, “An incredible 24.4% of all publications associated with genes in PubMed mention cancer.”

Dr. de Magalhes believes that the abundance of links may be due to the relative ease with which cancer research may be conducted from a genetic perspective:

“When compared to other prevalent diseases, such as heart disease or neurological disorders, cancer appears to be more straightforward to investigate, owing to the widespread availability of resources, such as cell lines.”

In other words, as compared to many other disease situations, the experimental approaches required to research cancer appear to have fewer technical restrictions.”

Why the number of links is a problem

According to Dr. de Magalhes, the large number of links reported in studies implies that virtually all genes are implicated in cancer, which is highly implausible.

Due to the fact that associations do not often imply true causal linkages, much of this research may be useless statistical noise that makes productive analysis more challenging.

The study highlights numerous ways in which the abundance of reported connections stifles useful research:

  • According to the report, it jeopardizes the integrity of grant awards since “the study of practically any human gene may be justified (e.g., in grant applications) based on current literature by its potential connection to cancer.”
  • Because there are so many gene-cancer connections reported in the literature, genome-wide research and high-throughput analysis are more likely to catch an undesirable range of gene-cancer interactions. According to the findings of the article, there is a greater than 99 percent likelihood that three or more genes would make their way into a result.
  • When there are biases in cancer research publications, they can undermine the integrity of network analysis, such as protein-protein interactions, which are influenced by the amount of studies that have been conducted on each individual protein.

According to Dr. de Magalhes, researchers should be aware of the bias toward finding gene correlations for cancer in their talks with other researchers and when evaluating their work:

“In genetics and genomics, literally everything is associated with cancer. If a gene has not been associated with cancer yet, it probably means it has not been studied enough and will most likely be associated with cancer in the future.”

Says Dr. de Magalhães, “In a scientific world where everything and every gene can be associated with cancer, the challenge is determining which are the key drivers of cancer and more promising therapeutic targets.”

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Cardiovascular / Cardiology

What are the effects of smoking on the human body?

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Cigarettes cause a variety of negative health impacts. Some of these can have life-threatening consequences.

Smoking cigarettes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), increases the chance of dying from any cause, not just those associated to tobacco use.

Cigarette smoking harms the respiratory system, circulatory system, reproductive system, skin, and eyes, as well as increasing the risk of a variety of malignancies.

We’ll look at so possible side effects of smoking cigarettes in this article.

The effect of smoke to the body

Coronary artery disease

Cigarette smoking is harmful to the heart, blood arteries, and blood cells.

Cigarette smoke contains chemicals and tar that can raise a person’s risk of atherosclerosis, or plaque buildup in the blood arteries. This buildup restricts blood flow and can result in life-threatening clots.

Smoking also raises the risk of peripheral arterial disease (PAD), a condition in which the arteries in the arms and legs constrict and impede blood flow.

According to research, there is a direct link between smoking and the development of PAD. Even former smokers are at a higher risk than individuals who have never smoked.

If you have PAD, you’re more likely to develop:

Fertility issues

Cigarette smoking can cause damage to a woman’s reproductive system, making it more difficult for her to become pregnant. It’s possible that this is due to the fact that tobacco and the other chemicals in cigarettes have an effect on hormone levels.

Men who smoke more cigarettes and for a longer period of time are more likely to develop erectile dysfunction than women who consume less cigarettes. Smoking can also have a negative impact on the quality of sperm, resulting in decreased fertility.

Pregnancy problems

Cigarette smoking can raise the chance of ectopic pregnancy and diminish the weight of the baby at birth.
Cigarette smoking can raise the chance of ectopic pregnancy and diminish the weight of the baby at birth.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking can have a negative impact on pregnancy and the developing foetus in a variety of ways, including:

  • increasing the risk of ectopic pregnancy
  • reducing the baby’s birth weight
  • increasing the risk of preterm delivery
  • damaging the fetus’s lungs, brain, and central nervous system
  • increasing the risk of sudden infant death syndrome
  • contributing to congenital abnormalities, such as cleft lip or cleft palate

Damage to the lungs

Cigarette smoking has a negative impact on lung health because it exposes a person to not only nicotine but also a range of other substances through their breathing.

A significant increase in the risk of getting lung cancer is attributed to the use of tobacco products. Men are at 25 times greater risk than women, and women are at 25.7 times more risk than men.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking is responsible for around 9 out of every 10 lung cancer.

Cigarette smoking also increases the likelihood of getting and dying from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (COPD). In fact, according to the American Lung Association, smoking is responsible for 80 percent of COPD deaths.

Cigarettes have also been connected to the development of emphysema and chronic bronchitis in several studies. They can also cause or intensify an asthma episode in certain people.

Type 2 diabetes risk

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, those who smoke regularly have a 30–40 percent greater chance of acquiring type 2 diabetes than those who do not.

Additionally, smoking might make managing one’s diabetes more difficult for those who suffer from the disease.

Damaged immune system

Cigarette smoking has been shown to damage a person’s immune system, making them more susceptible to illnesses.

Additionally, it has the potential to produce extra inflammation in the body.

Vision problems

Cigarette smoking can cause eye problems, such as an increased risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, among other things.

There are several other eyesight impairments associated with smoking, including:

Poor oral hygiene

People who smoke have a twofold increased chance of developing gum disease. The danger increases in direct proportion to the amount of cigarettes that a person smokes.

Symptoms of gum disease include:

  • swollen and tender gums
  • bleeding when brushing
  • loose teeth
  • sensitive teeth

A person’s ability to taste and smell things properly can be impaired when they smoke tobacco. It can also discolour the teeth, turning them yellow or brown.

Unhealthy skin and hair

The skin and hair of a person who smokes tobacco can be negatively affected. It is possible for someone who smokes to have skin that is prematurely aged and wrinkled. They also have a higher risk of skin cancer, “particularly on the lips,” than the general population.

When you smoke, your hair and skin may begin to smell like tobacco. It can also have a negative impact on hair loss and balding.

Risk of other cancers

In addition to the well-documented association between smoking cigarettes and lung cancer, smoking cigarettes can also increase the risk of developing other types of cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society, cigarette smoking is a contributing factor in 20–30 percent of pancreatic cancer cases.

Individuals who smoke have a three-fold increased risk of developing bladder cancer compared to those who do not smoke.

Cigarette smoking increases a person’s risk of developing stomach cancer by a factor of two. Tobacco use is particularly associated with stomach cancers that develop near the oesophagus.

Cigarettes can also raise the likelihood of developing:

  • mouth cancer
  • laryngeal cancer
  • throat cancer
  • esophageal cancer
  • kidney cancer
  • cervical cancer
  • liver cancer
  • colon cancer
  • acute myeloid leukemia

Secondhand smoke

Secondhand smoke
It has been shown that secondhand smoke can raise the risk of colds, make asthma symptoms worse, and harm the heart and blood vessels.

The negative consequences of smoking cigarettes do not only affect those who smoke cigarettes. Secondhand smoking can have serious health consequences for family members, friends, and employees who are exposed to it.

The following are some of the consequences of secondhand smoking exposure:

  • increasing the risk of colds and ear infections
  • making asthma worse
  • raising blood pressure
  • damaging the heart
  • reducing levels of high-density lipoprotein, or “good,” cholesterol

Stopping smoking

While quitting smoking can be difficult, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that there are currently more people who used to smoke than there are people who currently smoke.

The benefits of quitting smoking begin to accrue as soon as a person quits. Clearer skin, better oral health, more stable hormones, a stronger immune system, and a lower risk of developing several types of cancer are just a few of the benefits.

Other advantages of stopping smoking include the following:

  • After 20 minutes–12 hours: Heart rate and carbon monoxide in the blood drop to normal levels.
  • After 1 year: The risk of a heart attack is much lower, as is blood pressure. Coughing and upper respiratory problems begin to improve.
  • After 2–5 years: The risk of stroke drops to that of someone who does not smoke, according to the CDC.
  • After 5–15 years: The risk of mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder cancer is reduced by half.
  • After 10 years: The risk of lung cancer and bladder cancer is half that of someone who currently smokes.
  • After 15 years: The risk of heart disease is similar to that of someone who never smoked.

Nicotine is an addictive chemical that can produce withdrawal symptoms if a person stops taking it for an extended period of time. Cravings, increased hunger, and irritability are just a few of the signs and symptoms. Cravings and other adverse effects are often alleviated with time.

The assistance of a doctor or other healthcare expert can assist a smoker in taking positive steps towards quitting.

Here are some straightforward methods to help you quit smoking.

Sources

  • https://www.cancer.org/cancer/basal-and-squamous-cell-skin-cancer/causes-risks-prevention/risk-factors.html
  • https://www.lung.org/stop-smoking/i-want-to-quit/benefits-of-quitting.html
  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324644
  • https://smokefree.gov/quit-smoking/why-you-should-quit/benefits-of-quitting
  • https://www.cancer.org/cancer/bladder-cancer/causes-risks-prevention/risk-factors.html
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK310413/
  • https://journalofethics.ama-assn.org/sites/journalofethics.ama-assn.org/files/2018-05/cprl1-1101.pdf
  • https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/health_effects/effects_cig_smoking/index.htm
  • https://www.lung.org/stop-smoking/smoking-facts/health-effects-of-smoking.html
  • https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/tobacco-and-cancer/health-risks-of-smoking-tobacco.html
  • https://heart.bmj.com/content/100/5/414
  • https://www.cancer.org/cancer/pancreatic-cancer/causes-risks-prevention/risk-factors.html
  • https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/cessation/quitting/index.htm
  • https://medlineplus.gov/smoking.html
  • https://www.heartfoundation.org.au/your-heart/know-your-risks/smoking-and-your-heart
  • https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/smoking-and-your-heart
  • https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips/diseases/periodontal-gum-disease.html
  • https://www.cancer.org/cancer/stomach-cancer/causes-risks-prevention/risk-factors.html
  • http://www.quitnow.gov.au/internet/quitnow/publishing.nsf/content/warnings-emphysema
  • https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cervical-cancer/causes-risks-prevention/risk-factors.html

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Cancer / Oncology

What to know about pneumonia and lung cancer

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Lung cancer and pneumonia also arise in the lungs and have many similar symptoms. Lung cancer, too, can increase pneumonia risk by weakening the immune system.

Pneumonia is a lung infection that leads to trouble breathing and lung fluid. The pneumonia may be caused by various viruses, bacteria , and fungi.

Lung cancer arises as a result of overgrowth of lung cells, which may form tumors. Lung cancer is the second most common form of cancer in the United States, and the leading cause of death from cancer, according to the American Cancer Society ( ACS).

In this article we look at the link between pneumonia and lung cancer and their effects on the body.

What is the link?

Old man coughing
Coughing is a symptom of both pneumonia and lung cancer.

Lung cancer rarely causes symptoms until its later stages. Yet pneumonia may develop as a lung cancer complication.

Individuals with a weakened immune system are especially vulnerable to developing pneumonia. For this reason, 50–70% of people with lung cancer develop serious infections of the lung during their illness, such as pneumonia.

In fact, the aggressive treatments used by physicians to treat lung cancer also significantly impair immune function. That means people may be less able to prevent the entry of infectious agents into their bodies. They may also have more difficulty fighting infections and may not respond well to medicines.

Infections pose a significant health risk for these individuals. Infection is actually the second most common cause of death in people with lung cancer outside of the tumors.

A weaker immune system also accounts for the significant impact that pneumonia has on very young people and older adults.

More information on lung cancer can be found here.

Differences in symptoms

Lung cancer is not always symptom inducing. When it does, however, they usually occur when the cancer has entered an advanced stage.

Many signs of the lung cancer and pneumonia overlap. Usually pneumonia symptoms are more severe immediately. By general, lung cancer progresses more gradually and does not cause symptoms until it reaches an advanced stage.

Overlapping symptoms include:

  • Coughing: This tends to be more persistent in people with lung cancer. It will usually last for several weeks and get progressively worse.
  • Phlegm: This is generally dark red, brown, yellow, or green.
  • Shortness of breath: This is more persistent in people with lung cancer than those with pneumonia. However, people with pneumonia experience more acute breathlessness that may progress more quickly without treatment.
  • Stabbing chest pains: These get worse during a breath or a cough.
  • Tiredness: People with lung cancer commonly feel more fatigue than those with pneumonia.
  • Loss of appetite: People with lung cancer tend to experience loss of appetite, which may result in weight loss.
  • Wheezing: This is rare in both lung cancer and pneumonia.

Other symptoms include:

  • fever
  • rapid heartbeat
  • hot and cold flushes
  • headaches
  • nausea or vomiting
  • joint or muscle aches
  • confusion
  • coughing up blood
  • higher
  • persistent chest infections

A doctor does not necessarily use specific signs to differentiate between pneumonia and lung cancer. They should be more focused on how rapidly symptoms progress and the timing of their onset.

Lung cancer symptoms

Shoulder pain in ladies
A person with lung cancer may experience shoulder pain.

Common symptoms that occur only in people with lung cancer include:

Less common symptoms include:

  • swelling in the face or neck
  • long lasting shoulder or neck pain
  • difficulty swallowing
  • hoarseness
  • changes in the shape of the fingertips

Find out more about lung cancer here.

Risk factors

Any individual can develop pneumonia as well as lung cancer. Nonetheless, other factors make certain health problems more likely to occur.

Another risk factor for pneumonia is lung cancer itself. Receiving chemotherapy for lung cancer treatment can also increase a person’s risk of pneumonia by reducing immune function.

Smoking tobacco is an significant risk factor for developing lung cancer , especially over an extended period of time. It also contributes to the risk of developing pneumonia.

Other risk factors for lung cancer include:

  • exposure to carcinogenic chemicals, such as radon, asbestos, and uranium
  • a family history of lung cancer
  • previous radiation therapy to the chest
  • air pollution, which some researchers suggest is responsible for 5% of global lung cancer deaths

The following factors can increase the risk of pneumonia:

  • chronic lung diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or cystic fibrosis (CF)
  • chronic illnesses in other parts of the body, such as diabetes and heart disease
  • a repressed immune system, which may occur due to chemotherapy treatment for cancer, HIV, organ transplants, or using steroid medications over a long period
  • recent respiratory infection with a virus, such as flu
  • staying in a hospital, especially when using a ventilator
  • drug and alcohol abuse, which can increase the risk of a specific type known as aspiration pneumonia

Want to quit smoking? Learn more here.

Diagnosis and treatment

A female doctor in office with patient
To diagnose pneumonia, a doctor may carry out a physical examination.

A doctor can perform a physical exam when diagnosing pneumonia to check for swollen glands, excessive respiration or high temperature.

The diagnosis is also confirmed by a doctor using an X-ray to demonstrate fluid build-up in the lungs.

Treatment can vary depending on a person ‘s form of pneumonia, and overall health. Some people at home can treat pneumonia with plenty of fluids, medication and rest.

Patients with more serious pneumonia can need to stay at hospital to receive fluids and antibiotics intravenous (IV). They can need oxygen therapy or breathing aid, too.

A doctor has greater difficulty in diagnosing lung cancer. An X-ray in the chest may provide some information, but to confirm the diagnosis, a biopsy is often required.

If a doctor confirms a lung cancer diagnosis, they will ask for more testing, including a PET scan. It will help them determine the extent to which the cancer has spread.

Often, they’ll order a biopsy. A specialist takes a small sample of the tissue and sends it under a microscope for analysis.

A doctor usually extends a tiny tube through the nose or mouth into the lungs to extract the sample. Typically, they’ll use a CT scan to guide the biopsy.

The outcomes of these tests will determine the type of lung cancer, where the primary tumor is located, and the stage of the disease.

The doctor will use this knowledge to assess the most appropriate treatment plan, as well as the individual’s general health.

Treatments are intended to treat, monitor or relieve symptoms. Based on the extent of the lung cancer, the treatments available will vary from simple surgical procedures to chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

Outlook

The majority of pneumonia cases are not extreme, although the illness is dangerous.

The duration of symptoms depends on the person ‘s overall health and the type of pneumonia they have.

It can take several weeks for pneumonia to heal. Vital organs, such as the heart and brain, may not get enough oxygen without treatment. This can result in confusion, coma, heart failure or death.

Whatever the treatment, the outlook for lung cancer tends to be worse than pneumonia. If pneumonia is left untreated, however, this can lead to death.

Early diagnosis of lung cancer raises the risk of the tumors being surgically removed before they spread. That gives an person a good chance of recovery.

According to the American Lung Association, however, only 16 percent of people with lung cancer are treated before it spreads.

If the cancer spreads or metastasizes to remote organs in the body, it is less than 5 percent likely to live for 5 years. According to the American Lung Association, over half of all people with this type of cancer don’t survive for more than a year.

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