Lung cancer is quite common in India. It is caused by uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in one or both lungs. These cells can interfere with the lung's function of providing oxygen to the whole body (via blood). Abnormal cells in lungs can also lead to the formation of a tumour. Read below to know some of the top symptoms and risk factors of lung cancer and what you can do about them.
The top five risk factors that can increase lung cancer:
1. Smoking: The number of cigarettes you smoke each day along with the number of years you have smoked increases your risk of lung cancer. You can lower your risk of developing lung cancer by quitting at the earliest.
3. Exposure to second-hand smoke/passive smoking: Your risk of lung cancer increases if you're exposed to second-hand smoke (even if you don't smoke).
4. Exposure to mineral carcinogens like asbestos:Carcinogens are substances, which are capable of causing cancer in a living tissue. Exposure to asbestos and substances at workplace (like arsenic, nickel and chromium) can increase your chance of developing lung cancer (especially if you're a smoker).
5. Exposure to radioactive gas: Also know as radon gas, this is produced by the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water, eventually becoming a part of the air you breathe. Unsafe levels of radon gas can assemble in any building, including homes. People in jobs that involve being close to industrial waste or fumes may be at risk of lung cancer.
Apart from being aware of the risk factors, it is also important that you are aware of the first signs and symptoms of lung cancer. The earlier you diagnose lung cancer, the better and easier it is to treat it. Take note of the following first signs of lung cancer.
First signs of lung cancer:
- It may be a sign of lung cancer if you have a cough that gets worse/does not go away
- In case you're coughing up rust-coloured sputum or blood, get a blood test done as it may be a sign of lung cancer.
- Another sign of lung cancer is feeling shortness of breath. If you feel for a long period of time, you must get checked for lung cancer.
- If your throat is feeling hoarse, it may be one of the first signs of lung cancer.
- Lung cancer can make you feel weak or tired.
- In case infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia keep coming back, it may be a symptom of lung cancer.
- Severe chest pain or chest pain that is getting worse with time can also be a sign of lung cancer.
- Lung cancer may also cause unintentional weight loss and loss of appetite.
Thus, lung cancer shows symptoms that you might tend to ignore. Make sure you take the aforementioned symptoms seriously and go for lung cancer diagnosis. Lung cancer can be fatal, especially if it reaches an advanced stage. But, if diagnosed at an early stage, it can be treated and even be cured.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information