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Lung Cancer

Lung Cancer

General Promotion

Lung cancer, of which smoking is one of the main factors, ranks first in cancer-related deaths. However, when it is caught at an early stage, the chance of curing the disease increases.

Lung cancer begins when cells from structurally normal lung tissue multiply out of need and out of control, forming a mass (tumor) in the lung. The mass formed here firstly grows in its environment, and in later stages, it spreads to the surrounding tissues or distant organs (liver, bone, brain, etc.) through the circulation, causing damage.

Lung cancer is a very common cancer. It is the cause of 12-16% of all cancers and 17-28% of cancer-related deaths. Moreover, it ranks first in cancer-related deaths in both men and women.


Increased Cough

Cough, which is among the first symptoms of lung cancer, is often neglected because it is thought to be due to other causes. However, persistent cough lasting more than two weeks, increasing gradually and the cause of which cannot be determined, is the main indicator of lung cancer. In addition, the presence of blood in the sputum or the dark brown color of the sputum are also known as important symptoms in lung cancer.

Chest Pain

Again, chest pain, which can be caused by many reasons, is actually among the main symptoms of lung cancer. If chest pain increases when breathing deeply, coughing or laughing, it is necessary to consult a doctor immediately.

Shortness of breath

Breathlessness and wheezing can occur with all inspiring treatments. How important is not breathing, which is an indicator of insidious lethal effects. While tying older and overweight people according to their age, they also state that younger people expect their jobs to be directed from school. But early diagnosis will not necessarily be a vital part of life cancers.

Anorexia and Weight Loss

Especially active smokers should consult a doctor if they have anorexia. Unexplained weight loss should not be neglected, as it is among the important symptoms of lung cancer.

Hoarseness and Difficulty in Swallowing

Hoarseness and difficulty in swallowing, which are one of the symptoms of lung cancer, can be caused by many reasons, just like other symptoms. On the other hand, it is necessary to see a doctor in hoarseness that develops without a situation such as a cold. For diagnosis, the person's complaints, history and examination findings are very important.


Fatigue, constant feeling of tiredness and weakness are among the common symptoms that should not be missed in lung cancer. If fatigue, which can be caused by many reasons from iron deficiency anemia, which is very common in Turkey, to seasonal conditions, from the intense hustle and bustle of daily life to psychological problems, has begun to affect daily life negatively and respiratory complaints are accompanied, a lung scan should not be neglected.

Clubbing of Fingers

The slow and painless development of clubbing, which is caused by the swelling and rounding of the soft tissue at the tips of the fingers and toes, shows that it is caused by causes other than lung cancer. However, rapid and painful occurrence is among the symptoms of lung cancer.

Body Pain

While complaints of back and shoulder pain are frequently encountered in our country, desk workers may evaluate this as a problem mostly caused by poor posture and working at the computer for long hours. However, in case of spread of lung cancer, back pain, shoulder pain, scapula pain, arm, leg pain or severe headache if it has spread to the brain are important symptoms. Enlargement of the glands on the neck and above the collarbone indicates lung cancer in particular.

Frequent Recurring Infection

Frequent relapse and non-healing of respiratory tract infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia are also symptoms of lung cancer. It is recommended to be screened once a year, especially for people who have smoked a pack of cigarettes a day for more than 15 years or who have not been 15 years since quitting smoking.

Scientific studies; It shows that it is possible to detect lung cancer early with low-dose lung tomography in people aged 55-74 with a history of heavy smoking.

While the success rate can reach 80-90% with treatment in the early stage, called the first stage, it is essential for people who have smoked for many years to go to regular checkups even if they have no complaints.

Eyelid Falling

The absence of sweating on the same side of the face, as well as drooping of the eyelid and shrinkage of the pupil, can also indicate lung cancer. This condition is medically known as Horner's syndrome.

If you have one or more of these symptoms, consult a pulmonologist immediately. These symptoms may be indicative of other conditions, not necessarily lung cancer, but the underlying cause needs to be investigated and treated.

If your doctor suspects lung cancer, he will diagnose it with advanced examination methods. If lung cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, the chance of cure is 85-90%.

Reducing the Risk of Lung Cancer

Cigarette, cigar, pipe (tobacco) smoking is the most important proven risk factor for lung cancer today.

The risk is 20 times higher for those who have smoked a pack of cigarettes a day for 30 years compared to non-smokers. The risk is also increased in those who are under the age of 20 to start smoking, passive smokers who are exposed to cigarette smoke even though they do not smoke, and those who smoke pipes and cigars. Although the risk decreases 5 years after quitting smoking, it does not go away completely.

In addition, air pollution, pre-existing lung disease, and having a family history of lung cancer increase the risk.

Diagnostic Methods

Many methods are used for diagnosis. Because this cancer rarely causes symptoms before it spreads to nearby lymph nodes or other organs, only about 15 percent of patients can be diagnosed early. Early diagnosis is often made by chance, during examinations for another disease.

Some of the methods used in the diagnosis of lung cancer today are as follows:

  • Radiological examinations (Lung X-ray, Computed Tomography, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, PET/CT) in addition to sputum sample examination,
  • Endoscopic evaluation of the bronchi (bronchoscopy),
  • Bronchoscopic or chest wall biopsy,
  • Mediastinoscopy and video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery for evaluation of lymph nodes in the mediastinum.

Usually a Sequence Like This Is Followed

In patients who apply with a physician due to their complaints or for other reasons such as general health screening, biopsy is planned by determining how to approach the masses detected as a result of CT, according to the findings obtained as a result of the examination or by chest X-ray that can be taken within the scope of the screening.

A lung biopsy is performed by applying bronchoscopy to the patient. bronchoscopy; His lung is reached with a thin bendable tube and a piece is taken with a needle.

The diagnosis of cancer is finalized as a result of the pathological examination of this biopsy sample. After the diagnosis of cancer, methods such as PET/CT can be used to determine the extent of the disease.

Treatment Methods

The most important factors in determining the treatment in lung cancer are the type and stage of the cancer. In suitable patients, the lung or lung section where the cancer is located can be removed by surgical methods. Chemotherapy can be applied to patients who are considered unsuitable for surgery.

In addition to these, new treatments such as smart drugs and immunotherapy are among some new treatment methods that can be used if cancer cells have certain characteristics.

Ways to Prevent Lung Cancer

  • To stay away from cancer-causing substances such as cigarettes and alcohol,
  • Thinking positively and staying away from stress,
  • Avoiding radiation,
  • Tar, gasoline, dyestuffs, asbestos etc. taking care not to inhale substances,
  • To stay away from air pollution,
  • Maintaining a healthy diet.