Non small cell lung cancer is one of the most common lung cancers, affecting millions of people worldwide. Approximately 80% of lung cancer patients are diagnosed with non small cell lung cancer.
It is proven that people who smoke frequently are prone to have a non small cell lung cancer as well as those who had undergone unsuccessful lung cancer treatments.
Since non small cell lung cancer does not have any symptom until the cancer cells have already spread in the body, it is usually discovered when the patient undergoes a chest x-ray for some other reasons.
This is why a regular visit to your doctor is a must especially once you experienced some changes in your body.
Symptoms of non small cell lung cancer
- Unusual coughing that goes on even when proper medication is taken
- Difficulty in breathing
- Nagging chest pain
- Out of breath at times
- Mucus coughed up has blood
- Weight loss for unknown reasons
- Loss of appetite
- Often feeling tired
It is advised to have yourself checked immediately when you are experiencing most of the symptoms of a non small cell lung cancer.
Although it is not certain unless diagnosed by a doctor, it is best to schedule for a regular personal check up especially for frequent smokers.
The fastest and easiest way to determine if you have a non small cell lung cancer is to undergo a chest x-ray or CT scan (computer tomography).
Upon receiving the results, non small cell lung cancer would usually be seen as a dark shaded area in the lungs. The size, shape and exact position will also be visible in the test results.
Once the patient has been diagnosed with non small cell lung cancer, the next step is identifying what kind of cancer it is. In doing such, doctors will be able to determine what kind of treatment would best correspond to the needs of one’s body to cure the disease. Treatments would also depend on the type and stage of the non small cell lung cancer.
Possible treatments to consider
In this method, a surgery will be performed to remove the cancer. The kind of surgery will depend on type, stage and the tumor location in the lungs.
In some cases, a surgical procedure cannot be performed due to the medical condition of the patient that prohibits the success of a surgery.
This type of treatment method can be very stressful to the patient as it has unpleasant side effects. Chemotherapy is usually performed to patients who are in the later stage of cancer.
3. Radiation Therapy
This is the most often used treatment for lung cancer patients. It shrinks and kills the cancer cells in the area where it subsists. But it is no guarantee that the cancer cells will not recur.
4. Photodynamic Therapy
This is a laser type of therapy used to reduce the symptoms of cancer and to treat small tumors.