Some of the first signs of lung cancer include:
- Persistent coughing for a long period of time
- Coughing up blood
- Fatigue or general feeling of malaise
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Sudden loss of appetite or weight loss
If you or someone you love is exhibiting any of these symptoms, you should consult with a medical professional as quickly as possible. Only a professional will be able to appropriately diagnose your condition and develop an effective treatment plan.
Lung cancer is currently the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. The National Cancer Institute estimates that over 225,000 new cases of lung cancer will be diagnosed in 2020, and over 100,000 people will perish this year alone. Understanding the symptoms of lung cancer can help you and your loved ones catch this disease as early as possible, which can help improve the prognosis and chance of recovery or prolonged survival.
Types of Lung Cancer
Lung cancer is typically categorized as either small cell lung cancer or non-small cell lung cancer. There are different subcategories of lung cancer within each of these groups.
Some of the types of non-small cell lung cancers include adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and large-cell carcinoma. Many non-small cell lung cancers are associated with smoking, although they can also occur in non-smokers.
The other form of lung cancer—small cell lung cancer—is typically more responsive to chemotherapy and is classified as either “limited stage” or “extensive stage.” Small cell lung cancer can spread quickly. Therefore, surgery is less commonly used for those diagnosed with this disease.
Exposure to Asbestos
Another type of lung cancer is mesothelioma. This is a very rare type of cancer associated with exposure to dangerous substances, like asbestos, which can be found in building materials and other common goods. Mesothelioma is a cancer of the mesothelium, which is tissue that lines the lungs. The Mayo Clinic confirms that most cases of mesothelioma are related to asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma treatments are available—but for many people with mesothelioma, a cure is not possible.
Risk Factors of Lung Cancer
Lung cancer can occur genetically or for unknown reasons, but there are also proven factors that contribute to the likelihood that a person will suffer from lung cancer. These risk factors include:
- Smoking, secondhand smoke, or use of other tobacco products
- Prolonged or extreme exposure to asbestos or other known carcinogens
- Family history
- Exposure to radiation
- Air pollution
If you are exhibiting signs of lung cancer, you should seek medical attention. Only a professional can accurately diagnose your condition and help develop a treatment plan that is right for you. It is also important to understand preventative measures you can take to minimize your chance of developing lung cancer down the road.
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Treatment and Prevention
A lung cancer diagnosis can be devastating, but if it is caught in the early stages there is a path to a more positive prognosis. Treatment of lung cancer should be administered under the guidance of a medical professional who specializes in lung cancer. There are different stages of cancer and treatment options could depend on the stage of the cancer, the patient’s age, and other factors. Chemotherapy and surgery to remove cancerous tumors are two ways that cancer can be treated. There are also palliative measures taken to keep cancer victims comfortable during late stages of this disease.
While there is no perfect way to prevent cancer, following a healthy diet and exercise regimen, avoiding smoking or exposure to tobacco, and regularly monitoring your health can be effective. A health care professional can offer guidance on the specific ways you can reduce the risk of cancer.
Actions You Can Take
If you or someone you love is experiencing some of the first signs of lung cancer, the most important thing is to address the situation medically as soon as you can. Every day counts when your health is at stake, and only a doctor or trained professional can provide appropriate guidance during this time.
If you think that you or your loved one may have been exposed to a dangerous substance—like asbestos—that potentially caused your illness, there could be legal options available for you. A third party may have been partially responsible for your exposure, putting your health at risk. Depending on your specific situation, taking legal action could result in recoverable compensation. To learn more about your legal options, call (800) 217-6099 today to speak with a team member at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm.