The World Health Organization (WHO) places lung cancer in the top 10 diseases that cause the highest death.
People who are at risk for this disease will experience a number of symptoms, such as a cough that doesn't go away, coughing up blood, and shortness of breath.
In addition, these symptoms can also be followed by chest pain, hoarseness, weight loss, and headaches.
Unfortunately, there are still many people who are not aware of the danger so they don't change their lifestyle.
Causes of lung cancer
A number of factors can increase the risk of lung cancer. Several factors can be controlled, for example by quitting smoking.
However, other factors cannot be controlled, such as family history. Lung cancer risk factors include:
The biggest trigger factor for lung cancer is smoking, which is not only experienced by active smokers but also by passive smokers.
Doctors believe smoking causes lung cancer by damaging the cells lining the respiratory organs.
When you inhale cigarette smoke which is full of cancer-causing substances or carcinogens, changes in lung tissue can occur.
Initially the body may be able to repair this damage. But with each repeated exposure, the normal cells lining the lungs get damaged more and more.
Over time, the damage causes cells to act abnormally and eventually cancer can develop.
2. Radiation therapy
If a person has undergone radiation therapy to the chest, there is a possibility that the risk of developing lung cancer may increase.
3. Exposure to radon gas
Radon is produced by the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water and eventually becomes part of the air humans breathe.
Unsafe levels of radon can accumulate in any building, including homes.
4. Exposure to asbestos and other carcinogens
Exposure to asbestos in the workplace and other substances are known to cause cancer because they contain arsenic, chromium and nickel.
These ingredients can increase the risk of developing lung cancer, especially if the person is a smoker.
5. Family history
Parents, siblings, or children with lung cancer have an increased risk of developing the disease.
Complications caused by lung cancer
Lung cancer is classified as a dangerous disease, one of which is because it triggers a number of complications, for example:
1. Shortness of breath
People with lung cancer may experience shortness of breath if the cancer has progressed and blocked the main airways.
Lung cancer can also cause fluid to build up around the lungs, making it more difficult for these organs to fully expand when you inhale.
2. Coughing up blood
Lung cancer can cause bleeding in the airways which can result in coughing up blood (hemoptysis).
Advanced lung cancer that has spread to the lining of the lungs or to other areas of the body, such as the bones, can cause pain.
4. Fluid in the chest (pleural effusion)
Lung cancer can cause fluid to build up in the space surrounding the affected lung in the chest cavity (pleural space).
Fluid that accumulates in the chest can cause shortness of breath.
If treated, people with lung cancer can get help to drain fluid from the chest and reduce the risk of a pleural effusion occurring again.
Lung cancer often spreads (metastasizes) to other parts of the body, such as the brain and bones.
Cancer can cause pain, nausea, headaches, or other signs and symptoms depending on the organs affected.
Once lung cancer has spread beyond the lungs, it generally cannot be cured.