Lung Cancer Types
Lung cancer is a disease often associated with smoking or other inhalation damage. Currently, there is an increase in certain types of lung cancer happening to non-smokers. This increase is being seen more in women than men, and it is happening to younger women in their 30s and 40s. We are not sure what is triggering this type of lung cancer, but it seems to be linked to certain genetic changes in the ALK gene. This is a more complicated type of lung cancer than what is seen in older men and women with a history of smoking.
Both smokers and non-smokers can experience benefits from using natural therapies with their cancer treatments.
Lung Cancer Risk Factors
More common risk factors for certain types of lung cancer include:
- Radiation exposure
- Lung scars
- Married to a smoker and exposed to secondhand smoke
- Environmental exposures: asbestos, nickel, arsenic, chromium
Lung Cancer Symptoms
Symptoms that people experience with the different types of lung cancer can often go undetected because they can look like a common cold or flu. Some of the symptoms can include:
- New or changing cough
- Weight loss
- Chest wall pain
- Unresolving pneumonia
Lung Cancer Diagnosis
If your doctor suspects lung cancer, usually the first step is to get a chest x-ray. If a tumor is seen on the x-ray, a CT (or CAT) scan is ordered. This will allow your doctor to see the tumor more clearly and have a better idea of its size and location.
Lung Cancer Metastasis
Unlike most cancer types, lung cancer spreads through the bloodstream instead of the lymph system. It commonly spreads to the brain, bone, liver, and adrenal glands. That is why you might have a brain MRI or abdominal CT scan before starting treatment.