Managing Patients with Lung Cancer

Posted On Nov 03, 2022

Dr. Poonam Patil

Consultant - Medical Oncology

Manipal Hospitals-Old airport Road, Bengaluru

Cancer care hospital in Bangalore

Lung cancer, also known as bronchogenic carcinoma, is a malignant tumor that originates in the lungs. It is a leading cause of cancer death in both men and women, killing more people each year than colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined. Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) are the two most common types of lung cancer.

Causes & Risk Factors of Lung Cancer

Smoking is by far the most important risk factor for lung cancer. In fact, smoking is responsible for about 90% of all lung cancers. The risk of lung cancer increases with the amount of tobacco smoked and the length of time that a person has been smoking. 

Other common causes of lung cancer include:

  • Family history

People with a family history of lung cancer are at increased risk of the disease.

  • Personal history of cancer

People who have previously been diagnosed with another type of cancer or have undergone radiation therapy are at increased risk of developing lung cancer.

  • Exposure to secondhand smoke

People who do not smoke themselves but are regularly exposed to secondhand smoke (from other people smoking around them) have an increased risk of lung cancer.

  • Occupational exposure

People who are exposed to certain chemicals or other substances at work (such as asbestos, radon, arsenic, uranium, or diesel exhaust) have an increased risk of lung cancer.

Signs and Symptoms of Lung Cancer

The symptoms of lung cancer can vary depending on how cancer spreads. The most common symptom is a cough that does not go away. Other symptoms may include shortness of breath, chest pain, hoarseness, wheezing, and weight loss. However, these symptoms can also be caused by other, less serious conditions. If cancer spreads to the brain, it can cause headaches, seizures, or changes in behavior. If it spreads to the bones, it can cause pain or fractures. If it spreads to the liver, it can cause jaundice. Thus, it is better to do a routine check-up every once in a while to diagnose early if anything pops up suddenly.

If you are experiencing any of the above-mentioned symptoms, please book an appointment with an oncologist in Bangalore at Manipal Hospital Old Airport Road.

Managing Patients with Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is usually suspected with a chest X-ray or CT scan.  A biopsy, in which a small sample of tissue is removed and examined under a microscope, is needed to confirm the diagnosis.

The best way to treat lung cancer patients will vary depending on the individual's specific situation, the stage of cancer, the type of cancer, and the overall health of the patient. Treatment options include either surgery, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, chemotherapy, oral targeted therapy alone, or all in combination.

Surgery is an option when cancer has not spread too deep within your body. Non-small-cell lung cancer is typically best treated in this manner. Your doctor will remove the tumor and the surrounding tissue from the lung or the lung itself. Following surgery, you may require radiation or chemotherapy or targeted tablets.

Lung cancer is a serious disease with a very poor prognosis. Less than 20% of all people diagnosed with lung cancer are still alive five years after their diagnosis. However, the prognosis is much better for people who are diagnosed at an early stage. Visit Our oncology hospital in Old airport Road, Bangalore for the diagnosis tests.

It goes without saying that biotechnology is revolutionizing healthcare, and modern medicine is dedicated to discovering new targets that could be manipulated with a potent drug to stop the spread of cancer cells. In a rare occurrence, Mrs. Suman (name changed), who presented with cough, weight loss, and breathlessness was diagnosed with Adenocarcinoma with lung and liver metastases. She had no history of alcohol or tobacco abuse. She was put on chemotherapy which aided her recovery but unfortunately, she had a symptomatic recurrence 2 years later. This case is unique as her tumor was submitted for the “next generation sequencing” test. Her mTOR pathway mutation was discovered by the reports, and she was given Tab Everolimus while being informed of its typical side effects. She showed great improvement and complete cancer remission after 5 months.  She remains in remission to date, approximately 10 years after her diagnosis of stage IV lung cancer.

Dr. Poonam Patil

Consultant - Medical Oncology

Manipal Hospitals, Old Airport Road, Bangalore