When abnormal cells grow uncontrollably in the lung tissue causing tumor(s) which are malignant, we have a condition called lung cancer. Tumors could also be benign and thus not usually life threatening. Carcinoma of the lungs usually starts in the epithelial tissues of the lung and can be of two types - small cell lung carcinoma and non-small cell lung carcinoma. What type will affect the treatment path to be followed. Here are some basic yet key questions you could ask your doctor that could make a critical difference in your treatment and management of the condition:
1. Besides the blood-stained cough and shortness of breath, what other symptoms am I likely to experience?
It is a sad fact that symptoms of lung cancer appear only at the later stages of the disease and also depend upon the size and location of the tumor in the lung. However, it is possible that a patient will experience one or more of the following symptoms:
• Chest pain
• Hoarseness of voice
• Change in the chronic cough
• A persistent cough
• Shoulder pain
• Bone pain
• Unexplained weight loss
• Loss of appetite
• Difficulty swallowing
• Clubbing of fingernails
• Blurred vision
• Weakness or loss of sensation in parts of the body
2. What could be the cause and risk factors of my lung cancer?
Causes and risk factors for lung cancer could be any of the following:
• Exposure to second-hand smoke
• Excessive alcohol
• Exposure to Asbestos fiber
• Exposure to Radon gas
• Lung diseases
• Prior history of lung cancers
• Air pollution
• Certain viruses
• Age and race
3. What does metastasis mean?
When the cancer starts to spread by abnormal cell division thereby increasing the total number of cancer cells at that location, metastasis is said to have occurred. These cancer cells posses the ability to infiltrate surrounding normal tissues in the local area, forming a new tumor(s). Metastasis can be local (in the original area of first occurrence) or distant (spread to another organ).
4. What is staging?
Staging is important for doctors to be able to select a treatment option and a prognosis for you. It simply means, finding out which stage your cancer is at. If the spread of metastasis has begun and if it has, to which organ has the cancer spread? Small cell lung carcinoma is either Limited Stage (confined to one half of the chest and within the scope of a single radiotherapy field) or Extensive Stage. For non-small cell lung carcinoma, Stage 1A indicates a very good prognosis and Stage 4 points to a very bad prognosis.
ALL INFORMATION GIVEN IN THIS ADVOCACY SHEET IS TO BE CHECKED WITH YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE IMPLEMENTING THEM OR TAKING THEM AS STANDARD OR VERIFIED.
Mamta Singh is a published author of the books Migraines for the Informed Woman (Publisher: Rupa & Co.), the upcoming Rev Up Your Life! (Publisher: Hay House India) and Mentor Your Mind (Publisher: Sterling Publishers). She is also a seasoned business, creative and academic writer. She is a certified fitness instructor, personal trainer & sports nutritionist through IFA, Florida USA. Mamta is an NCFE-certified Holistic Health Therapist SAC Dip U.K. She is the lead writer and holds Expert Author status in many well-received health, fitness and nutrition sites. She runs her own popular blogs on migraines in women and holistic health. Mamta holds a double Master's Degree in Commerce and Business. She is a registered practitioner with the UN recognised Art of Living Foundation. Link: http://www.migrainingjenny.wordpress.com and http://www.footstrike.wordpress.com