Lung cancer symptoms, early signs, treatment,prevention

Update: December 2018

Lung cancer – the most common localization
oncological process, characterized by quite hidden
the course and early appearance of metastases. Incidence rate
lung cancer depends on the area of ​​residence, degree of industrialization,
climatic and working conditions, gender, age,
genetic predisposition and other factors. Celebrated
a gradual increase in the number of sick people from year to year. Since before
So far, the main cause of
oncological process, based on statistics, factors are selected
risk leading to illness. Among them in the first place are those
which affect the quality of inhaled air:

  • Pollution of the atmosphere, long stay in conditions
    dust, the most dangerous is dust of asbestos, bismuth,
    arsenic, dust and vapors of production resins, organic
    (grain) dust.
  • Smoking – today’s cigarette burns out when burned
    almost all of the above substances, as well as ammonia.
    Nicotine smoke constricts the bronchi and blood vessels, dries
    bronchial mucosa, significantly impairs cleansing and
    protective function of the respiratory system. Smoker consuming 20
    cigarettes daily for more than 20 years – included in the greatest risk group
    cancer development.

There is a certain amount of tobacco tar in tobacco smoke,
comprising a mass of substances that cause cancer in animals and
person Studies in rabbits have shown that
smear the ear of the animal several times with such tar and he
develops cancer after a certain time.

Second place is occupied by risk factors that worsen the condition
bronchi and lung tissue:

  • viral infections;
  • chronic inflammatory processes of the respiratory system;
  • residual changes in the lungs after illness

Marked genetic predisposition of some ethnic groups
to lung cancer processes.

  • Statistics show that among urban residents oncology
    lung is found several times more often than rural ones (in the heat of
    Formaldehyde is released into the air in the burning of urban asphalt and
    mass of other harmful substances, powerful electromagnetic field
    megacities reduces human immunity).
  • The highest mortality from lung cancer in men is recorded
    in the UK, Scotland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, among women
    higher mortality in Hong Kong and Scotland. In countries like
    Brazil, Syria, El Salvador – the lowest percentage of cancer
    lungs in the population.
  • Men suffer from lung cancer twice as often as women can
    make an assumption about a direct connection with the fact that most
    workers in hazardous industries and smokers – men.
  • The incidence is much higher in geographic areas with high
    natural background radiation, or radioactive contamination

Types of lung cancer

Doctors use several classifications of lung cancer.
The international classification reflects the stage, the size of the tumor,
involvement of the lymph nodes in the process and the presence or absence of
metastasis. She is used to write final diagnoses.
The pathological classification explains the course of certain
processes, it allocates central and peripheral cancer.

  • Central cancer

    Рак lungs симптомы

    рис.1 Central cancer lungs. Click to enlarge

Central cancer называют так потому, что онкологический процесс
affects the large bronchi (Fig. 1). The tumor grows inside the bronchus or
along its wall, gradually narrowing and then completely overlapping

Part of the lung (lobe, segment) that was left without access
air decays, atelectasis is formed, in which
secondary inflammation develops, leading in the later stages to
lung tissue disintegration.

The tumor itself, germinating through the walls of the affected bronchus,
causes inflammation of nearby tissues and lymph nodes,
representing a dense conglomerate (Fig. 1).

The prognosis of central cancer depends on the time of detection.
diseases, the earlier a diagnosis is made, the more favorable

  • Peripheral cancer

    Peripheral cancer легкого

    рис.2 Peripheral cancer легкого

It affects the small bronchi, the tumor grows out, can fill
alveoli – pneumonia-like cancer, or form enough
large nodes (Fig. 2).

The cunning is that for a long time from 2 to 5 years,
the disease does not manifest itself, and it is almost impossible
to discover.

But at the same time at any moment under the influence of external
adverse factors may cause expansive growth
tumors, it can reach significant in a short time

These factors include viral and bacterial pneumonia,
physiotherapeutic procedures, frequent visits to saunas, steam rooms,
sauna, prolonged exposure to the sun, reduced immunity and

Symptoms of lung cancer in men do not differ from those in women.
With peripheral cancer, in the early stages there is not any manifestation
in the later stages of the symptoms differ little from those characteristic
central cancer.

Lung Cancer Symptoms

The early, first symptoms of lung cancer are not specific, and usually are not
cause anxiety, these include:

  • unmotivated fatigue
  • loss of appetite
  • slight weight loss may occur
  • cough
  • специфические симптомы cough с «ржавой» мокротой, одышка,
    hemoptysis join in later stages
  • pain syndrome indicates inclusion in the process
    nearby organs and tissues

Symptoms in the initial stages are scarce or absent altogether.
This is due to the fact that the lungs are deprived of painful nerve endings, and
compensatory capabilities are so advanced that only 25%
normally functioning lung tissue can provide the body
with oxygen. Tumor growth is a long, long process
taking from 4 to 10 years.

There are 3 phases of lung cancer:

  • Biological period – the time from the appearance of tumors to
    first signs during X-ray examination
  • Asymptomatic period – no symptoms, only radiological
    signs of cancer
  • Clinical period – the appearance of symptoms of the disease

At stage 1-2 of the oncological process, is it biological or
asymptomatic cancer period when a person does not feel upset
health Medical care during this period is drawn
few patients, so timely early
diagnosis of the first stages is extremely difficult.

In stages 2-3 of lung cancer, certain
syndromes, that is, the “mask” of other ailments and diseases.

  • First, the oncological process is manifested by a simple decrease
    a person’s vital tone, he quickly begins to tire of
    simple daily household activities, loses interest in what is happening
    events, reduced performance, there is a weakness, a person
    can say “how tired I am of everything”, “I’m tired of everything.”
  • Then, as the disease progresses, the cancer can
    disguise as frequent bronchitis, ARVI, catarrh of the respiratory tract,
    pneumonia (see signs of pneumonia in adults, signs of bronchitis in
    adults, obstructive bronchitis in adults)
  • The patient may occasionally just increase the temperature
    body, then recover and rise again to subfebrile
    numbers Receive antipyretic, NSAIDs or traditional treatments on
    some time stop sickness, but the repetition of this state
    in a few months makes people follow their
    health, consult a doctor.

Кашель — в начале cough бывает как подкашливание, он редкий и
dry (see causes dry cough without temperature), no sputum (with
central cancer). Then he starts to bother the person more strongly,
becomes a constant, overcrowded, due to the involvement of large
bronchi (main or lobar) in the blastomatous process.

Dyspnea, abnormal heartbeat, respiratory failure,
angina chest pains are manifestations of advanced cancer
lungs, as extensive sections of the lungs begin to fall out of
the process of respiration, reduced vascular bed of a small circle
circulatory, anatomical compression can also occur
mediastinal structures.

When blood appears in the sputum, the person immediately turns to
the doctor, blood streaks or hemoptysis occurs due to lesion
walls of bronchus, destruction of blood vessels and mucous membrane
bronchi. Unfortunately, this cancer symptom indicates far
зашедшую стадию  — 3 или 4.

Chest pain is on the side where the tumor is localized,
again at the last stages of the oncological process. And
the neoplasm may be perceived as intercostal variants
neuralgia (see symptoms of intercostal neuralgia).

The intensity of the pain may be different and depends on the involvement
in the process of the pleura, as well as the pain intensifies with the progression
tumor growth, when intercostal nerves are added to the process,
hilar fascia. With the involvement of the ribs in the tumor process,
especially with their destruction, pains become especially painful,
non-supervised analgesics.

Another symptom for advanced lung cancer –
this is a difficulty in moving food through the esophagus, that is, a “mask”
tumors of the esophagus, as metastases in the lymph nodes about
the esophagus squeezes it, disrupting the easy passage of food.

Sometimes it is the extrapulmonary symptoms of oncology that talk about grade 4
lung cancer when metastases to other organs and tissues (kidneys, bones,
brain, etc.) violate the functions of the corresponding organ.
Therefore, patients can contact an orthopedist, a neurologist,
ophthalmologist, cardiologist and others. specialists with various complaints
on deterioration of health, not knowing about the true reason


How is lung cancer determined? Up to 60% of cancer lesions
lungs are detected during prophylactic fluorography, at different
stages of development. The roentgenogram (fig. 1.) is received during
routine medical examination, despite such a large pathological
the patient had no complaints of health.

  • At stage 1, only 5-15% of patients with cancer are recorded.
  • By 2 – 20-35%
  • At stage 3 -50-75%
  • 4 – more than 10%


Prophylactic fluorography is recommended to do 1 time in two
of the year. But given the long-term x-ray of the negative phase and the possibility
expansive tumor growth is safer to undergo this procedure

  • Radiography

Первым методом диагностики рака lungs является рентгенография
chest organs. It is carried out in two mutually perpendicular

When a pathological focus is first identified, the patient is prescribed
курс лечения пневмонии (воспаления lungs), после окончания
which, conduct a control study.

Unless marked improvements are noted on radiographs.
differential diagnosis, usually between tuberculosis and
oncological processes.

In fig. 3 patient has x-ray signs of old
tuberculous process and education in the upper right field
visually similar to peripheral cancer. In such cases, exactly
To determine the difference between tuberculoma and cancer can only
using histological examination.

Phthisiatricians and oncologists strongly recommend such
formations are removed surgically with subsequent histological
research. Unfortunately, in practice this can be combined.

  • CT scan

It allows you to more accurately determine the size of the tumor, its localization,
the presence of small lesions that are not visible on a conventional radiograph,
sizes of intrathoracic lymph nodes and a number of other useful for
attending physician information. But the diagnosis with absolute precision
put does not allow. Absolute accuracy is possible only when
histological examination.

  • Biopsy

Biopsy тканей патологического очага, самая точная диагностика,
but it carries a number of dangers. Malignant tumor after
such intervention can give expansive growth, there is
slight risk of pathological cells entering the bloodstream
с последующим развитием metastasis. Therefore, going for a biopsy
it is desirable to be ready for surgery to remove the tumor if
the result will be.

  • Bronchoscopy

Для диагностики central рака применяют бронхоскопию и
bronchography, this is an x-ray examination of the bronchial
tree with contrast. It allows you to determine the patency of the bronchi
and identify the tumor.

  • Examination of tuberculosis in a tuberculosis dispensary
    for differential diagnosis.
  • Blood test for markers

Лечение рака lungs и прогноз

rice 4.

Early treatment is operational. After clarifying
histological examination of the removed material, necessarily
conduct antitumor treatment, radiation and chemotherapy for
relapse prevention.

If the tumor is as large as in fig. 4 (small dot with
left side between the 4th and 5th edge), removed in time, held
appropriate treatment, and in the period to 5 years there was no recurrence,
the patient is considered completely healthy.

For tumors as large as Figure 1 and 2, surgical
treatment is not carried out. Apply only radiation and chemotherapy.
Some tumors respond well to this treatment and are reduced in
size, which significantly prolongs the life of the patient.

Сколько живут с раком lungs? Oncology development without treatment
always fatal. 48% of patients not treated
treatment for any reason, die in the first year after
diagnosis, only 1% live to 5 years, 3 years live
only 3% of untreated patients.



In addition to protection from external adverse factors, especially
вредного производства с асбестом, мышьяком  и пр., отказа от
smoking, the entire adult population needs to go through
рентгенологическое обследование lungs annually.

This will allow timely diagnosis of the disease and
timely cure him completely.

A normal radiograph of OGK looks like in fig. 5. In time
профилактического обследования в lungs можно обнаружить метастазы
опухолей других органов, которые в lungs появляются в первую

This is due to enhanced blood circulation and a developed network.
lymphatic vessels, and may be the only sign of
oncology in other organs.

Even people who have never smoked when working on harmful
industrial plants using chromium, nickel, asbestos,
радон, смолу, мышьяк – риск развития рака lungs очень высок.
Prevention рака lungs заключается:

  • maintaining a healthy lifestyle
  • smoking cessation and reducing the effect of passive smoking
  • alcohol rejection – alcohol abuse significantly
    increases the risk of cancer
  • numerous studies show that abundance of fruit
    (especially apples) and vegetables in the daily diet reduce the risk
    онкологии, рака lungs в том числе.

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