Lung cancer

What is lung cancer?
Lung cancer is cancer that originates in the lungs. Lung cancer mostly affects adults over the age of 45. It is rare for younger people to develop it.

There are two types of lung cancer:
Small cell lung cancer is fast-growing and aggressive. It usually starts in the bronchi (the tissues in the lung that air passes through) and can spread rapidly (metastasize) to other areas of the body. Almost all cases of small cell lung cancer are due to cigarette smoking. It is rare for non-smokers to develop it.
•  Non-small cell lung cancer is the more common type of cancer. There are several different types of non-small cell lung cancer, and each type has different kinds of cancer cells which grow and spread in different ways.

Early detection and recognition of symptoms of lung cancer is very important, as it increases chances of survival..

What causes lung cancer?
Cigarette smoking is the single leading cause of lung cancer. The more cigarettes you smoke over a sustained period of time puts you at greater risk of developing lung cancer. Smoking other types of tobacco products, such as cigars, pipes and shisha, also increases your risk of lung cancer. If you’re a smoker, the sooner you quit smoking, the better your chances are of not contracting lung cancer. Non-smokers can also develop lung cancer.

Other risk factors include:
• Exposure to passive (second-hand) smoking
• Increased exposure to asbestos or radon gas
• Increased exposure to radiation
• Highly-polluted air

Having one or more of these risk factors does not mean that a person will definitely get lung cancer but can increase their chances of developing it.

What are the symptoms of lung cancer?
It is extremely important, especially if you’re a smoker or former smoker to pay attention to your health and see a physician immediately if you experience some of these symptoms. The earlier you detect lung cancer, the greater your chances of survival:
• Persistent cough lasting several weeks
• Chest pain
• Hemoptysis (coughing up blood or blood-stained sputum)
• Shortness of breath
• Wheezing
• Stridor (a high-pitched breathing sound which indicates an obstruction of the airways)
• Hoarseness of voice
• Unexplained weight loss
• Bone pain and fever
•  For a chronic smoker, a change in the pattern of cough or the presence of blood in sputum should be evaluated by a physician immediately with a chest X-ray

How is lung cancer diagnosed?
At KHCC, a variety of diagnostic techniques are used to accurately detect and stage lung cancer including:
• CT/PET scans to identify any abnormal functioning of organs or tissues
• Endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) to get images of the lungs and the surrounding areas to see if there are any tumors. The EBUS technique can also be used to obtain a biopsy of the lung tissue
• MRI brain & bone scan whenever  indicated
• Pulmonary function tests (PFT) to monitor your breathing and evaluate how well your lungs are functioning
• Sputum cytology to examine mucus under a microscope to detect any abnormalities
• Bronchoscopy to look inside the lung’s airways
• Transthoracic needle biopsy to remove a piece of lung tissue in order to examine under a microscope for any abnormal cells

How is lung cancer treated at KHCC?
At KHCC, a team of highly specialized oncologists, surgeons and pulmonary specialists take care of lung cancer patients. Depending on the size of the tumor and stage of diagnosis, treatment options may vary. Treatment options include surgery, radiotherapy, chemoradiotherapy , chemotherapy & photodynamic  therapy. 

At KHCC, lung cancer patients receive top quality care through a multidisciplinary team of lung cancer specialists that is entirely devoted to diagnosing and treating lung cancer.
Supportive Care
The lung cancer multidisciplinary clinic works in close cooperation with other departments at KHCC so that lung cancer patients receive the most comprehensive care possible. Supportive care services at KHCC include: