Mesothelioma Causes

Mesothelioma Causes

Mesothelioma is typically thought to be a type of lung cancer whereas it is a type of cancer that targets mesothelium, the shielding membrane that protects internal organs. So what are the mesothelioma causes?

Though relatively rare with only about 2000 new diagnoses per year, mesothelioma is one of the most lethal forms of cancer, resulting in death typically within a year following diagnosis. While most people with the disease lose their lives due to respiratory failure, if the tumor spreads to the heart, they may also die due to a heart event.  

What Causes Mesothelioma?

The main cause of mesothelioma is too much exposure to asbestos, which was commonly used in a wide array of industries, from construction to automotive. The accidental inhalation of asbestos particles can result in the development of this aggressive and deadly cancer.

Nearly 80% of people with mesothelioma get the disease due to occupational exposure, and some can also be exposed to secondhand asbestos, such as residing near mines or construction. When you know there might asbestos present in the air, it is vital to wear a mask to avoid inhaling any.

Another possible cause of mesothelioma can be exposure to zeolites. Zeolites are also a type of mineral found in soil that is alike asbestos in nature.

Genetics

There is also a genetic component. Typically, cancer develops due to cellular genetic mutations that grow and replicate irregularly and uncontrollably. However, though there are genetic factors that increase the risk of this type of cancer, the genetic mutation that causes mesothelioma has not been unearthed.

Just as other types of cancer, mesothelioma is likely also a result of a combination of factors such as genetic, environmental, and lifestyle.

While mesothelioma treatment entirely depends on the stage and the overall health of the patient, treatments such as surgery and options like chemotherapy and radiation are usually only effective if caught at an early stage since this is a very aggressive type of cancer.

Featured Image: Depositphotos/© rob3000

Lung Cancer Survival Rates

Lung Cancer Survival Rates

When it comes to lung cancer survival rates, it is essential to keep in mind that they are merely estimations based on survival statistics. Many factors play a role in the composition of lung cancer survival rates such as sex, race, treatment methods, overall health, and lifestyle choices like whether they are smokers. Survival rate typically refers to the percentage of patients who are still alive 5 years after their diagnosis.

For instance, if a type of lung cancer has a 5-year survival rate of 50%, this means that approximately 50 out of 100 patients survive after five years with the disease. In the case of lung cancer, the breakdown of the subtypes is as follows:

Small Cell Lung Cancer

  • Stage I small cell lung cancer has a 5-year survival rate of about 31% while stage II is around 19%
  • The survival rate for stage 3 small cell lung cancer is around 8% Stage 4 SCLC is more difficult to treat, so the survival rate is around 2%.

Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

  • Stage IA non-small cell lung cancer has a 5-year survival rate of 49% while IIA is at around 30%.
  • The 5-year survival rate for Stage IIB NSCLC is approximately 31%. Stage IIIA has a survival rate of around 14% while IIIB is at 5%.

Bronchioloalveolar Carcinoma

This type of lung cancer has a higher 5-year survival rate than other SCLC and NSCLC – 60% survival rate in both stage III and IV.

Lung cancer stages are closely associated with the advancement of the tumor, the treatment options, and outlook regarding survival. Lung cancer is now one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths in the United States among both men and women with a gradually increasing mortality rate.

The number of people who die due to lung cancer far surpasses the total deaths caused by breast, prostate, and colon cancer combined. Lung cancer prognosis is always reliant on the stage and treatment approach as every patient’s case differs. It is vital to have a firm grasp on the disease and its treatments to prolong and improve the quality of your life.

Featured Image: Depositphotos/© sudok1

Lung Cancer Causes

Lung Cancer Causes

There are two types of lung cancer: small cell and non-small cell. About 85-90% of all lung cancer diagnoses are non-small cell. Small cell lung cancer is a little rarer and tends to be more aggressive compared to non-small cell lung cancer. Let’s take a look at the lung cancer causes.

Although there are two different types of lung cancer and different kinds of treatments are required for both of them, the causes and symptoms of both small cell and non-small cell cancer are pretty similar.

Causes of Lung Cancer

While the exact cause of lung cancer is currently unknown, there are a number of risk factors that can increase someone’s chances of developing lung cancer. Tobacco use is the biggest risk factor for lung cancer. In fact, the rate for lung cancer in male smokers is 17.2 while for male non-smokers the rate is only 1.3. It should be noted that those who are exposed to secondhand cigarette smoke also have a higher chance of getting lung cancer.

Besides tobacco use, other factors include long-term exposure to gas pollutants like radon and asbestos. For example, places like Cornwall, England, have rocks that contain high levels of radon gas. As a result, the lung cancer rates in these places are a little higher when compared to other places.

Some viruses are also suspected to be a cause of lung cancer. However, according to many researchers and doctors, there is no major virus that is the main cause of the disease. Still, viruses can speed up the production of cancer cells.

Symptoms of Lung Cancer

Some common symptoms of lung cancer include persistent coughing, coughing up blood, chest pains, shortness of breath, unintended weight loss, and/or loss of appetite. Once these symptoms appear, the person experiencing them is recommended to see a doctor as soon as possible. This is because symptoms typically only appear once the cancer is in later stages.

Treatments of Lung Cancer

Similar to all other types of cancer, there are three typical courses of lung cancer treatment: chemotherapy, radiation, and/or surgery. Common chemotherapy drugs given to patients are gefitinib and erlotinib. Typically, patients are given different combinations of the three different types of treatment. Treatment is dependent on what type of lung cancer the patient has, what stage the cancer is in, how severe the cancer is, and the overall health of the patient.

In the cases of small cell lung cancer, surgery is typically done in combination with chemotherapy to further control and stop the growth of cancer cells. In both types of cancer, once the disease has reached Stage 3, a combination of radiation and chemotherapy is typically given as treatment. This is because tumors usually cannot be removed by surgery during later stages of the cancer.

Featured Image: Depositphotos/© photographee.eu

Symptoms of Lung Cancer

Symptoms of Lung Cancer

Lung cancer usually begins with a rapid production of abnormal cancer cells in the lung tissue. If untreated, the cancer cells can metastasize. This means that the cancer has spread from the lungs to other areas of the body such as the bones, liver, brain, and breast. Although the exact cause of the disease is unknown, some studies have indicated some risk factors that can be directly linked to lung cancer. Smoking, or tobacco use, is one of these risk factors. However, it is not just smokers that have a higher chance of developing lung cancer — those who are exposed to secondhand smoke for long periods also have a higher chance of getting lung cancer. Other risk factors include long-term exposure to harmful chemicals and/or gas (such as radiation), family history, genetics, and overconsumption of alcohol. So what are the symptoms of lung cancer?

Sadly, lung cancer results in more deaths when compared to other types of cancer in the United States. This may be because symptoms of the disease typically do not appear until the cancer has reached later stages. Still, knowing the common symptoms of lung cancer can help patients receive diagnoses before the disease becomes untreatable.

Signs and Symptoms of Lung Cancer

Common symptoms of lung cancer include a persistent cough, coughing up blood, shortness of breath, headache, unintentional weight loss, chest pain, and/or wheezing. When these symptoms appear, it typically means that a tumor or multiple tumors have already formed in the lungs. As such, those who are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above should contact a doctor and set up an appointment immediately. At the appointment, the doctor will typically take some tests, like X-rays and CT scans, to see if there is a problem. If a mass shows up on the X-ray and/or CT scan results, the doctor will then take more extensive tests in order to make a final diagnosis. If the mass turns out to be a cancerous tumor, doctors will also take more tests to determine what stage the lung cancer is in. If these tests are being conducted on those who smoke, doctors may recommend for them to quit smoking immediately during this time.

Treatment for Lung Cancer

Treatment is usually dependent on the patient’s health, the stage of the cancer, and the severity of the cancer. However, those who have lung cancer typically undergo surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and/or differing combinations of the three treatments. Supportive care and other medications can be used as treatment as well.

Surgery includes the removal of the tumor and other affected tissues in the lungs. However, healthy lung tissues are often removed during this process. Surgery is a highly risky treatment due to factors like infection and bleeding. Both therapy and lots of rest are needed if the patient does receive surgery as a treatment. If surgery is not an option, many patients will undergo chemotherapy.

Chemotherapy is a common form of treatment for all types of cancers, including lung cancer. It is typically given intravenously (through an I.V.) or orally. Another popular type of treatment for any type of cancer, including lung cancer, is radiation therapy. This treatment includes using beams to destroy the cancer cells in the body. It is a very tiring type of treatment, as the beams used are basically radiation — as the name would suggest.

Many types of treatments for lung cancer can be very taxing both physically and emotionally for the patient. When this occurs, things like yoga, acupuncture, meditation, massages, and/or hypnosis can help the patient relax and feel better from the side effects of treatment.

Featured Image: Depositphotos/© belchonock

Lung Cancer Overview: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

Lung Cancer

Lung cancer occurs when there is an abnormal growth of cancer cells that begins in the tissues of the lungs. Symptoms typically do not appear until the disease has progressed into later stages. Some common symptoms include weight loss, persistent coughing (at times coughing up blood), and shortness of breath. There is currently no cure. However, a number of treatments are available to help prolong and improve the patient’s life.

Symptoms of Lung Cancer

Symptoms include hoarseness, sudden weight loss, loss of appetite, chest pains, abdomen pain, shortness of breath, and persistent coughing. The patient may also experience more infections, wheezing, and/or fatigue. Tumors can be spotted through x-rays and/or CT scans.

As mentioned, symptoms usually don’t show up until the cancer is in later stages. As such, not a lot of people know they have lung cancer or get diagnosed until it is too late.

Causes of Lung Cancer

Although there is no known exact cause of lung cancer, researchers and doctors believe that there are three factors that significantly increase a person’s chances of developing the disease. One of the main factors is smoking. Second-hand smoking can also lead to lung cancer in some people. Another risk factor is an infection that can weaken the immune system, like HIV. The third main factor is radiation, radon gas, and/or asbestos. If a person is exposed to these things for a prolonged period of time, their chances of developing lung cancer increases.

Treatments of Lung Cancer

Treatment is usually dependent on what stage the disease is in and how severe the cancer is. The stage and severity of the cancer are usually known after conducting a series of tests such as CT scans and positron emission tomography.

There are three major types of treatments a patient can undergo: chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and surgery. Surgery is typically the course of treatment. However,  chemotherapy is a common form of treatment for those who cannot go undergo surgery.

Featured Image: Depositphotos/© garagestock

Life Expectancy with Lung Cancer

Life Expectancy with Lung Cancer

Lung cancer occurs when abnormal cancer cells begin to grow from the lungs. so what is life expectancy with lung cancer? Symptoms of lung cancer typically do not appear until the disease has progressed to its later stages. As such, it is usually too late for patients to make a full recovery when they are diagnosed. Lung cancer results in more death in the United States when compared to other cancers. However, thanks to research and technological advancements, many of those with lung cancer are able to live a prolonged life. With early diagnosis, chances of remission from lung cancer is quite high.

Types of Lung Cancer

Lung cancer can be split into two main types: small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) and nonsmall-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). About 20% of all lung cancer diagnoses are SCLCs. SCLC is more aggressive than NSCLC and grows at a much faster rate. As such, it is more likely for this type of lung cancer to metastasize. Metastasizing cancer occurs when the cancer cell has spread to other areas in the body from the place it originated from. Smoking cigarettes is one of the more definite causes of SCLC. 99% of all those who have developed SCLC are/were smokers.

NSCLC is the more common type of lung cancer. About 80% of all lung cancer diagnoses are NSCLC. NSCLC can be further classified into three different types of cancer depending on where the cancer cells began to grow. These three types of NSCLC are:

  • Adenocarcinomas

Cancer begins in the lining of the alveoli.

  • Squamous cell carcinomas

Cancer begins in the squamous cells.

  • Large cell carcinomas

Cancer begins in the large cells.

Life Expectancy with Lung Cancer

Life expectancy is typically dependent on what stage the lung cancer is at and how early the disease was diagnosed. For Stage 1 lung cancer, the five-year survival rate is a promising 60-80%. Recent studies even suggest that the five-year survival rate can be as high as 90% or more. For Stage 2 lung cancer, the five-year survival rate is around 40-50%. For Stage 3 lung cancer, the five-year survival rate varies — it is usually dependent on the type of lung cancer the patient has, the age of the patient, the patient’s gender, other health issues, and how effective the treatment is. Average life expectancy of someone who has stage 3 NSCLC is around 13 to 15 months. However, about 50% of those diagnosed with stage 3 NSCLC have gone into remission and survived. For Stage 4 lung cancer, the five-year survival rate is less than 10%. Average life expectancy is around 8 months for those who have Stage 4 lung cancer.

Early detection is very important if one wishes to survive lung cancer. As such, annual physical checkups are highly suggested. Additionally, if a person has a cough that won’t leave and/or is coughing up blood, see a doctor as soon as possible.

Featured Image: Depositphotos/© liukov

Small-Cell Lung Cancer: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatments

Small-Cell Lung Cancer

Small-cell lung cancer is one of the two types of lung cancer. About 10% to 15% of all patients diagnosed with lung cancer are diagnosed with small-cell lung cancer. In general, the biggest risk of all types of lung cancer is smoking. Not only are smokers at a higher risk of developing lung cancer, but those that have prolonged or constant exposure to tobacco smoke also have a higher risk of getting the disease. Other risk factors for lung cancer include genes, family history, having HIV, and/or prolonged exposure to radiation, asbestos, nickel, radon, polluted air, and/or other irritants that can be inhaled.

All types of lung cancer typically begin with abnormal cancer cells being produced within the lining of the airways and air sacs in the lungs. Research currently suggest that these cancer cells turn into true cancer once new vessels are made within the lungs to further fuel the growth of the cancer cells and tumor. This is where small-cell lung cancer and nonsmall-cell lung cancer differentiates. Once the new vessels are made, small-cell lung cancer becomes noticeable through x-ray and thus can be diagnosed. After this stage, there is a higher chance that the cancer will metastasize. Metastasizing cancer means that the cancer has spread to another part of the body besides the place it originated from.

Symptoms of Small-Cell Lung Cancer

In its earlier stages, lung cancer, in general, does not show any symptoms. When symptoms do appear, it usually means that the lung cancer has progressed to its later stages. There is a higher chance that the disease cannot be treated during these stages.

A number of common lung cancer symptoms like persistent coughing and chest pain are similar to symptoms of diseases such as chronic bronchitis, chronic pneumonia, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Below are some more symptoms of lung cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.

  • A cough that won’t go away
  • Sputum that is rust-colored being coughed up
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain that worsens when the patient coughs, laughs, or takes deep breaths
  • Hoarseness
  • Losing weight without trying and/or loss of appetite
  • Fatigue and/or tiredness
  • Often getting infections like bronchitis or pneumonia
  • Wheezing

Diagnosing Small-Cell Lung Cancer

To reach a diagnosis, doctors will typically conduct a number of tests on the patient. A chest x-ray, CT scan, and sputum cytology are usually the very first tests done if the doctor suspects that someone may have lung cancer. If the x-ray and/or CT scan shows something like a mass on the lung, a biopsy of the lung will be done. The doctor may also use a bronchoscopy to check if the trachea and/or major bronchi have changed.

Surgery can also be done to diagnose lung cancer. There are a number of surgeries that can be done. During these surgeries, non-central parts of the lung, lymph nodes, and/or organs, tissues, and fluids around the lungs are checked.

Treating Small-Cell Lung Cancer

Although there is currently no cure for small-cell lung cancer, a number of treatments are available to prolong the patient’s life. There are also a lot of clinical trials for all stages of small-cell lung cancer that patients can participate in. Clinical trials can be found on the website of the National Cancer Institute.

Featured Image: Depositphotos/© Rawpixel

Treatments for Lung Cancer

Lung Cancer

Lung cancer occurs when abnormal cancer cells begin to develop in the lining of the air passages in the lung. There are two main types of lung cancer: small cell and non-small cell. Doctors will typically study the cells before diagnosing the patient with the type of lung cancer they have.

Lung cancer results in death more frequently when compared to patients who have other types of cancer. However, lung cancer is extremely preventable and can be treated. Treatment for lung cancer is typically dependent on the extent of the cancer and what type it is.

Causes of Lung Cancer

Although doctors and researchers have no definitive answer when it comes to the exact cause of lung cancer, many of those who are diagnosed with the illness have a history of smoking or prolonged exposure to cigarette smoke. About 90% of all lung cancer cases are a result of smoking tobacco, and around 3,000 people in the United States die annually as a result of secondhand smoke. As such, if a person smokes, they have a very high risk.

Besides tobacco, other factors that could increase a person’s risk include air pollution and prolonged exposure to asbestos fibers and radon gas. Like other types of cancer, doctors and researchers believe that genetics and/or family history can also increase one’s risk

Symptoms of Lung Cancer

Lung cancer symptoms typically do not surface until the cancer has progressed past the early stages of the illness. Many of those who get diagnosed in the early stages are diagnosed on accident. Unintentional diagnosis often occurs when the patient needs a chest x-ray for some other health condition or reason.

Symptoms typically only surface once a tumor forms in the lungs or the blood and/or hormones have been infected. Coughing, chest pain, and shortness of breath are just some of the common symptoms of lung cancer. For smokers and former smokers, if you have developed a new cough, it may be beneficial to visit a doctor. For non-smokers, if you have a cough that does not go away for months and little to no other flu symptoms, you should also visit a doctor as soon as possible. Additionally, see a doctor straight away if you begin to cough up blood on a regular basis. Usually, at this point, the cancer has reached later stages.

While chest pain is not typically experienced by everyone, those who do experience it describes it as a dull, achy pain that does not go away. If you feel this, along with coughing that does not leave and shortness of breath, see a doctor immediately.

Treatments for Lung Cancer

Treatment is typically dependent on what kind of lung cancer the patient has — small cell or non-small cell. A number of other factors like the stage of the illness, the extent and severity of the illness, as well as other health conditions are also considered. Here are some treatments available;

  • Surgery

This treatment includes the removal of parts of the lung that has been affected by the cancer. Besides the affected lung tissues, however, surgeons also often have to remove some healthy lung tissues. If the cancer is severe and has spread throughout the lung, surgeons may perform a pneumonectomy. In a pneumonectomy, the entirety of a lung is removed.

Although it can be pretty effective, a lot of risks are involved in getting lung surgery. As such, this treatment might not be the best option.

  • Chemotherapy

This treatment is typically used to treat non-small cell lung cancer. In this treatment, the drugs are given intravenously (through an I.V.) or orally. Chemotherapy is usually the first course of treatment for those with lung cancer. The treatment typically takes about a month. However, since side effects of the treatment can be physically taxing, patients who are not in great health may not be recommended chemotherapy.

  • Radiation Therapy

This treatment includes high-powered energy beams that are used to destroy cancer cells. Radiation therapy is typically done as a treatment along with chemotherapy. The combination of radiation therapy and chemotherapy is usually done when the lung cancer cannot be treated via surgery.

Featured Image: Depositphotos/© alexraths