What is Lung Cancer?
Lung cancer is one of the most common and serious types of cancer. Cancer that begins in the lungs is known as primary cancer, and cancer that begins in another part of the body before spreading to the lungs is known as secondary cancer.
There are two types of primary lung cancer- non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer. Non-small cell lung cancer is the most common type of lung cancer, whilst small cell lung cancer only accounts for 20% of all cases. Small cell lung cancer is more aggressive and usually spreads quicker.
How common is Lung Cancer?
Lung cancer is the deadliest type of cancer for both men and women. Each year, more people die of lung cancer than breast, colon, and prostate cancers combined.
Lung tumours are more common in older adults. It is rare in people under age 45. The most common age range that lung cancer is diagnosed is 70-74.
Smoking is the single biggest risk factor for lung tumours, accounting for an estimated 85-90% of cases. People who smoke more than 20 cigarettes a day are 20 times more likely to develop lung cancer than non-smokers.
What are the symptoms of Lung Cancer?
The most common initial symptoms of lung cancer include a persistent cough, unexplained weight loss, breathlessness, chest pain, coughing up blood stained phlegm. Less common symptoms include a high temperature, fatigue, difficulty swallowing, wheezing and swelling of your face.
How is Lung Cancer treated?
Lung cancer can be treated with surgery, radiotherapy, radiofrequency ablation, cryotherapy and photodynamic therapy.
Preventative measures can be taken to lower your risk of lung tumours. If you smoke, quit. It is never too late to stop smoking. Your risk of lung cancer drops dramatically the first year after you quit.
If access to Specialist Treatment centres is important, choose a policy with London Hospital coverage.