What Is Lung Cancer?
What is lung cancer? This medical condition affects the lining of the respiratory system, or lungs, and frequently manifests itself as a lump on the lung tissue. It can be malignant or benign, and most types are not treatable with surgery. However, many patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can undergo surgical procedures to remove part of their lung tissue in the effort to prolong life and improve lung function.
Lung cancer can take many years to develop, sometimes not showing symptoms until it is very advanced. Cigarette smoking is the biggest single risk factor for developing cancer in the lungs, according to the World Health Organization. Smoking constricts the airways of the lungs, making it more difficult to breathe and increasing the risk of cancer development. Additionally, many people who are exposed to secondhand smoke or any of its component parts will likely end up with some abnormal structural changes in their airways. What is alarming is that there is no age limit to being exposed to these toxic substances; anyone of any age can get them. Additionally, exposure to certain chemicals and tobacco smoke has been associated with increased risks of developing this illness as well.
Staging a patient’s lung cancer takes on an even more important meaning when it comes to prognosis. Staging lung cancer prior to diagnosis is critical to giving the doctor the best chance to make an accurate prognosis and to treat the illness effectively. Staging is done on a yearly basis. During staging, doctors evaluate the current state of the individual’s health, determining where the greatest risk lies if the cancer spreads. The stages are further divided into three categories: early, intermediate, and advanced.
What Is Staging For Injuries To The Chest? Lung cancers are not the only types of cancers that can manifest themselves in the chest area; other types of cancers of the chest can include adenocarcinomas, carcinomas, and pleural effusions. For example, adenocarcinomas are relatively rare cancers that occur in the lining of the lungs that are not malignant (malignant cells). Benign mesothelioma can also be found in the lining of the chest and it is somewhat more common than cancer of the lungs at a statistically significant rate.
What Is Staging For The Tumors Of The Chest? There is additional information regarding staging for cancers of the chest to include information on whether or not the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. In general, the more widespread the spread of a tumor, the more difficult it is to stage the cancer and the longer it may take to recover from the cancer in the other areas.
Staging a tumor prior to diagnosis helps the doctor to evaluate the severity of the tumor and the risk to the patient before proceeding with treatment. Since this type of cancer is fairly rare, a lot of testing has to be done to make an accurate diagnosis. The more widespread the cancer, the more difficult the diagnostic tests become. These tests include X-rays, CT scans, MRI’s, and tissue samples from the lung, heart, and other areas of the body. A positive diagnosis can occur with a simpler lung test called the spirometry, although more complex tests may be necessary for more specific diagnosis.