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Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC): Symptoms, diagnosis and treatment

  • Posted on- Oct 15, 2015
  • 399 Views

Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the most common form of lung cancer. It normally develops and spreads more slowly than small cell lung cancer. There are three common types of Non-small cell lung cancer (i) Adenocarcinomas- found in an outer area of the lung, (ii) Squamous cell carcinomas- found in the center of the lung next to an air tube and (iii) Large cell carcinomas- can occur in any part of the lung and vicious that previous two.

Though serious, treatment can sometimes cure non-small cell lung cancer or stop it from getting worse. People who smoke relentlessly are susceptible to this type of cancer. Even though doctors are not aware of the causes of this disease, other things may contribute towards non-small cell lung cancer, including:

  • Radioactive gas found naturally in soil and rocks
  • Asbestos
  • Mineral and metal dust
  • Air pollution
  • Radiation treatment to your chest or breast
  • HIV/AIDS

Symptoms of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)

You may not notice any signs of non-small cell lung cancer initially. When the cancer advances, it may have the following symptoms:

Tests and diagnosis for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)

Your doctor will ask for your medical history following up with a physical examination. Post that, he may order some tests and procedures to diagnose non-small cell lung cancer:

Available treatments for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)

There are different types of available treatments for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) of which surgery is the most common. The treatment depends on factors such as kind of cancer you have and where it is. The surgery may be performed to remove:
  • One of the lobes of the lung
  • Only a small part of the lung
  • The entire lung

Some patients require Chemotherapy which uses anti-cancer medications to kill cancer cells and stop new cells from growing. Chemotherapy may given in a pill form or injected into the vein.

Radiation therapy along with chemotherapy is provided to patients when surgery is not possible. Radiation therapy uses powerful X-rays or other forms of radiation to kill cancer cells.

The outlook of the treatment depends on patient to patient. Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) grows slowly but in some cases can turn aggressive causing rapid death. Chemotherapy has been shown to prolong life and improve the quality of life in some patients with Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).