Lung cancers are as dreadful as they sound. It seems weird that small growths in lungs (that ultimately outgrow their smallness) are not so small problem in our lives. The modern plague of cancer has riddled the world as we know it. The only ones safe from cancer are the unborn and the dead (you must be beginning to think that I am bonkers).
In this unending list of cancers, lung cancer is a particularly dreadful one. One must keep in mind that the risk factors are very constant in our surrounding, namely environmental smoke (an indelible mark progress has left on our lives), cigarette smoke (yeah, you chose it, and now you know you will be responsible for your own doom), and passive smoking (also known as Second Hand Smoking).
While lung cancer is a killer, and the prognosis remains dismal, we can always stay a step ahead of cancer and use the most intelligent brain gifted by nature to catch the cancer signs early.
Here is what we can look for:
A lung cancer mostly develops in the seventh decade of life, and causes the symptoms that most cancers cause, which you must remember: significant weight loss, lack of appetite, weakness, fever and night sweats. The same symptoms are also present in Tuberculosis, which is also rampant in our country. We should be vigilant about them.
If you are a chronic smoker, and are developing a recurrent cough or pneumonia which is not responding to any antibiotics, you and your doctor should get worried. It is a sign of a probable underlying malignancy, especially if a smoker has a superadded COPD. COPD stands for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, the details of which will bore you to death, and believe me, I will die before finishing its description. Kidding!
A person can have a cough or blood in cough. Remember those old movies in which a poor mother would cough blood and that would mean a tragic end of her sad life. Bloody cough is a sinister sign. Again, you should bear in mind that a scary, bloody cough is also common in TB of lungs. Wheezing and difficulty in breathing is also a presenting symptom.
Who wants a hoarse, rough voice? No sane person does. Also, hoarse voice is a symptom of a lung cancer, so you should take it seriously, and not wave it away like a minor problem. It happens when the tumour starts poking the nerve that supplies your voice box. So the next time you feel that your grandpa is developing a croaky voice, do take him up to a physician for a thorough check-up.
Also termed as dysphagia, a difficulty in swallowing may be a simple esophageal issue, or if you are running out of good luck, it may turn out to be a lung malignancy. Tumours that start abutting your food pipe may cause discomfort in swallowing food, and you should follow it up with a doctor.
Growing lumps at places in the body, or having bone pains, body aches and generalized weakness are all signs that your body is fighting a cancer. Listen to these cries of help.
Our lungs are an amazing construction of nature to keep our oxygen stores replenished in the most efficient way. It would be great to help our lungs work more efficiently by doing the following things:
- Quitting smoking as soon as possible.
- Being aware of lung cancer symptoms.
- Avoiding passive smoke.
Let us keep our lungs cancer free!