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Lung Cancer

Clinical OncologyRespiratory MedicineCardio Thoracic Surgery

Lung cancer may present with the following symptoms:

  1. Difficulty breathing
  2. Frequent fatigue
  3. Loss of appetite and weight loss
  4. Persistent cough
  5. Wheezing
  6. Blood-tinged phlegm
  7. Dull or sharp chest pain when coughing or taking deep breaths
  8. Enlarged lymph nodes in the neck

Causes and risk factors

The primary risk factors for lung cancer are related to a patient's living environment and personal habits.

Smoking

Mainly caused by harmful substances in cigarettes.

  • The majority of lung cancer patients have a history of smoking, with smokers being 20 times more likely to develop lung cancer than non-smokers.
  • The risk increases with the amount and duration of smoking.
  • Non-smokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke also have a higher risk of lung cancer than the general population
Age50 Years or above
Air Pollution and Environmental Pollutants
  • Smoke from candles, kitchen fumes, etc.
  • Asbestos, a commonly used building material.
  • Excessive radon in the air.
Genetic FactorsFamily history of lung cancer
Radiation 

Diagnosis

Patients can be diagnosed with lung cancer through the following methods:

Chest X-rayX-rays can detect abnormalities in the lungs, and doctors will observe the location of any shadows or anomalies.
Sputum Examination for Cancer Cells:Sputum is examined under a microscope to check for the presence of cancer cells.
https://heal-oncology.com/cancer/lung-cancer/ 
Bronchoscopy and BiopsyAfter administering anesthesia to the patient, a doctor inserts a tube into the patient's airway to examine the bronchial mucosa and collect a small amount of live tissue for cancer cell analysis.
Computer Tomography (CT) ScanThis uses X-rays and contrast imaging to reflect the condition of the lungs. Computer analysis of the images helps the doctor determine whether cancer cells are present.
Low-Dose Lung CT Scan:This is a medical imaging technique with lower radiation exposure. It uses X-rays to pass through the body and processes images through a computer. It offers a multi-angle and clear view of the internal structures or organs, providing specified sectional or 3D images.

For lung cancer screening programs, you can visit: https://www.heal-medical.com/our-packages/body-checkup/lung-cancer-screening-plan/

Prevention

To prevent lung cancer, if you are a smoker, it is advisable to quit smoking as soon as possible. For non-smokers, it's important to avoid exposure to secondhand smoke. In daily life, you should also minimize contact with carcinogens. Common lung cancer screening tests include chest X-rays, sputum cell examination, and low-dose CT scans. Individuals with high-risk factors for lung cancer, such as smoking, can consult with healthcare professionals to assess whether they should undergo lung cancer screening. You can learn more about the "Heal Medical Lung Cancer Health Checkup Program" for lung cancer screening.

Frequently Asked Questions

While most people with lung cancer are smokers or former smokers, there are still many lung cancer patients who have never smoked. The reasons why non-smokers develop lung cancer may be related to genetics or exposure to air pollutants and radiation.
When treating lung cancer, it is crucial to determine whether the patient is suitable for targeted therapy or immunotherapy. Patients need to undergo testing on tumour samples to check for specific gene mutations or abnormal markers. Based on the test results, doctors will choose the appropriate treatment method for the patient.
Immunotherapy is a type of treatment for cancer that harnesses the body's own immune system. It works by stimulating the body's immune system to recognize and attack cancer cells, thereby treating cancer. However, it may not be suitable for all types of cancer, and it is advisable to consult with your doctor.

References

  1. Health Protection Center - Lung Cancer from from https://www.chp.gov.hk/tc/healthtopics/content/25/49.html   
  2. Hong Kong Health Treasure - Hong Kong Public Health Information and Statistics - Lung Cancer from  https://www.healthyhk.gov.hk/phisweb/zh/chart_detail/55/ 
  3. Cancer Fund - Understanding Cancer - Lung Cancer from  https://www.cancer-fund.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Lung-Cancer-Sep19C-Web.pdf
  4. Complications of Lung Cancer Surgery - Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital from https://org.vghks.gov.tw/cs/News_Content.aspx?n=9421B8044F817E10&sms=85E937390616C426&s=E36052C68FCB9405
  5. Hong Kong Cancer Society - Guidelines for the Prevention, Early Detection, and Screening of Lung Cancer from https://www.hkacs.org.hk/uploadimages/download/00141/Chi_Guideline on lung cancer prevention, detection & screening (full recommendation).pdf
  6. Hong Kong Cancer Society - Conquering Lung Cancer Treatment from https://www.hkacs.org.hk/ufiles/LUNG.pdf

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