Cough lasting more than 3 weeks can be a sign of lung cancer
Pointing out that deaths due to lung cancer have increased due to tobacco use, stone, soil, radon gas naturally found in cement, and prolongation of the average human lifespan, Chest Diseases Specialist Assoc. Dr. Benan Caglayan; Reminding that early diagnosis significantly increases the success of treatment, he gives the following information: “In case of cough lasting more than 3 weeks, adding sputum to the cough, spitting blood together or a change in the severity of the cough, the patient should consult a physician without delay. Apart from this, individuals who smoke over the age of 40 should have regular health checks.
Sharing up-to-date information about lung cancer symptoms, causes and treatment methods, Assoc. Dr. Benan Çağlayan gave the following information: Tobacco use is the most important risk factor for lung cancer, which ranks first in cancer-related deaths in men. The incidence of lung cancer, which is much less common in non-tobacco users, is expected to decrease with success in the fight against smoking. The incidence of lung cancer is higher in individuals who smoke in the environment they do not smoke, that is, called passive smokers, compared to individuals who have never smoked and who do not smoke.
Factors other than smoking, genetic predisposition, exposure to radon gas, some metal vapors, which are naturally found in stone, soil and cement, which are encountered in daily life and especially used as house-building materials, and asbestos, which is an important public health problem in certain regions of our country, also cause lung cancer. possible risky situations. Early diagnosis of lung cancer saves lives. As in all cancers, early diagnosis is of vital importance in lung cancer. Surgical and other treatments applied in cancer cases diagnosed at an early stage yield satisfactory results.
What should be considered for early diagnosis?
Symptoms of lung cancer may include coughing, sputum production, coughing up blood, shortness of breath, back or chest pain, weight loss, hoarseness. Since the majority of patients with lung cancer are smokers, complaints such as coughing, sputum production and wheezing are usually attributed to smoking by the patient. This results in neglect of disease symptoms and delayed diagnosis.
In order not to cause a delay, the patient should consult a physician without delay in the presence of a cough lasting more than 3 weeks, in case the character of the pre-existing cough changes (such as adding sputum to the cough, coughing up blood together or a change in the severity of the cough). Apart from this, individuals over the age of 40 who smoke should have regular health checks.
How is the diagnosis of lung cancer made?
- In the presence of clinical suspicion, chest X-ray and computed tomography of the lung are examined by the physician’s decision.
- When necessary, the diagnosis is reached by performing a biopsy with the endoscopic method called bronchoscopy applied to the bronchus.
- For areas that cannot be reached by bronchoscopy, the specialist physician will recommend different biopsy methods.
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How is the treatment of lung cancer?
Lung cancer is divided into two main groups. These groups are small cell cancer and non-small cell cancer. It is very important to make this distinction with biopsy. Because the treatment methods differ in these two groups. Another factor affecting the treatment method is to accurately determine the stage of the disease after diagnosis. The stage of the disease; The location of the actual tumor in the lung is determined by factors such as the size of the tumor, spread to the lymph nodes in the chest, and spread to extrapulmonary organs.
There are different interventions and different imaging methods to determine the stage. For example, the endobronchial ultrasonography method, called EBUS for short, is known as a groundbreaking method in recent years. With this method, the bronchi are entered bronchoscopically, the lymph nodes are seen by ultrasonography from here, and a sample is taken from the lymph nodes and examined.
In addition to staging, this method can also be used for diagnostic purposes in many cases. As a result of all these procedures, the treatment method is decided by considering factors such as the type of lung cancer, the stage of the disease and the performance of the patient. This treatment may be surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy. In many patients, a combination of these modalities is preferred.
Today, with the increase in early diagnosis possibilities, the development of surgical techniques with the advancing technology, the use of superior devices in the field of radiotherapy, the use of more effective drugs in chemotherapy applications, and beyond that, the use of targeted treatment opportunities according to the genetic characteristics of cancer cells, the treatment of lung cancer has become more complex than before. surprising results can be obtained.
Hoarseness and drooping eyelids may be a sign of lung cancer
However, beyond all the information above, considering the fact that the most important point is to be protected from cancer, the fight against tobacco use is the most important milestone in mankind’s fight against this disease.