Understanding lung cancer and its management options Health

Understanding lung cancer and its management options

Lung cancer is characterized by the rapid and aggressive growth of cancerous cells in the lungs. This is the third most common type of cancer in the country. Lung cancer is difficult to detect as it does not offer obvious symptoms in its initial stages. However, like other cancers, lung cancer treatment is easier when diagnosed in the early stages. So, one should periodically get tested for lung cancer at a healthcare center.

Common symptoms
Shortness of breath: People with lung cancer frequently feel out of breath even after simple activities like climbing up or down the stairs or cycling. The lung tumor can cause shortness of breath as the cancerous cells affect oxygen flow.
Persistent cough: The presence of a lung tumor manifests as persistent cough in patients. In the advanced stages of lung cancer, the coughing becomes increasingly hoarse. This can usually be accompanied by wheezing.

Causes and risk factors
At times, the precise cause of lung cancer cannot be identified. However, the following factors can increase the risk of developing the condition.

Exposure to asbestos: This can be a common risk factor among those who work at textile plants, mines, mills, shipyards, and places where insulation is used. Long-term asbestos exposure has been known to result in lung cancer. This is why the government has introduced regulations limiting asbestos usage in industrial and commercial products.
Previous radiation therapy: Individuals who have undergone radiation therapy to treat cancers around the chest or other diseases can be at risk of lung cancer. For example, women who undergo chest radiation therapy during mastectomy or people who are treated for Hodgkin’s disease have higher chances of getting lung cancer.
Family or personal history of lung cancer: Lung cancer cells have the tendency to resurface in the lungs months or years after treatment. So, if a person has had lung cancer in the past, they could have it again. Additionally, those with family members who had lung cancer can inherit the disease too.

Nutritional choices
Certain foods can help one manage the condition. For instance, apples and onions contain flavonoids with immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory effects. Garlic can also help prevent the growth of cancer cells by boosting the activity of certain immune cells. Broccoli contains glucosinates that reduce the impact of environmental carcinogens that cause lung cancer. One can opt for red peppers as they contain capsaicin, which reduces the risk of tumor formation in the lungs. On the other hand, one should avoid greasy, fried, and extremely spicy food as they can trigger diarrhea and nausea—two common side effects of lung cancer treatment.

Natural remedies
The following natural remedies can help one deal with lung cancer:

Massages: Massaging the chest, upper back, shoulders, and neck can relax tight muscles in those areas and help relieve tension and pain. People with lung cancer should opt for trained and experienced professionals to get a proper massage.
Aromatherapy: Inhaling certain essential oils like lavender oil, frankincense oil, jasmine oil, peppermint oil, and rosemary oil can help one deal with the condition. This can help people feel calm.

Treatment options
Doctors can recommend the following options to treat lung cancer:

Radiation therapy: This treatment procedure calls for using high-energy rays to kill cancer cells.
Surgery: Here, doctors surgically remove the cancer tissue from the lungs.