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Lung cancer - มะเร็งปอด

Lung cancer warning signs

Lung cancer, one of the leading causes of death in the world and among Thai people, is the 1st most common cancer in men and the 3rd most common cancer in women. Most lung cancer patients do not have(manifest) symptoms in the early stages, but there are signs that indicate the disease when the cancer has grown. However, lung cancer can be cured/treated if it is detected at an early stage.

What causes lung cancer?

Lung cancer is caused by rapid and uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells. This causes abnormal cell masses that can be detected when they are large and spread to different areas of the body. They are divided into 2 types:

  • Small Cell Lung Cancer: Cells grow and spread rapidly, causing rapid death of patients. It is found in 10 – 25% of cases.
  • Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: It spreads more slowly and can be cured by surgery. If detected at an early stage, it is found in about 75-90% of cases.

Stages of lung cancer

There are 2 stages of small cell lung cancer.

  • Stage 1: Limited stage: Cancer cells are found in one lung and only one lymph node.

  • Stage 2: Extensive Stage: Cancer cells spread outside the chest cavity or to other organs of the body.

There are 4 stages of non-small cell lung cancer.

  • Stage 1 is the stage when certain nodules are found in the lungs. In this early stage, patients often do not show abnormalities.
  • Stage 2 cancer is found to have spread into the lymph nodes at the bronchioles. Stages 1 and 2 can be treated by surgical removal of the lump.
  • Stage 3: The cancer has spread to other lung lobes or has spread to lymph nodes in the middle of the chest cavity or further away from that side of the chest cavity.
  • Stage 4 is when the cancer spreads to other organs of the body, such as lymph nodes in the neck, liver, bones, adrenal glands and brain, etc.
มะเร็งปอด - lung cancer

Risk factors for lung cancer

  1. Smoking : this is the main factor that causes lung cancer is 80-90% of lung cancer, and other types of cancer Smokers have a 10-fold greater risk of developing lung cancer than non-smokers.
  2. Second-hand smoke : Even if you don’t smoke, exposure to second-hand smoke from inhalation will produce toxic residues that can cause cancer.
  3. Working in industries with carcinogens : exposure to carcinogens such as chromium, asbestos, radon, and nickel, etc.
  4. Toxic Particulate Matter Environment : Studies have shown that PM2.5 dust increases the risk of lung cancer by 1-1.4 times.
  5. Genetics : Although lung cancer is not directly inherited, it has been found that if there is a family history of a frequent lung infection, lung cancer at a young age, family members are also at higher risk.

Symptoms of Lung Cancer

Generally speaking, when lung cancer is in its early stages, patients do not usually show symptoms, but when the disease progresses, they usually develop symptoms such as:

  • Chronic cough with blood in the sputum.
  • Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath.
  • Wheezing.
  • Constant chest pain.
  • Hoarse voice.
  • Tiring easily, frequent fatigue.
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss, may have difficulty swallowing food.
  • Have bumps or lumps on the skin.

Precautions against developing cancer :

  1. Stop smoking, and avoid being close to smokers
  2. Avoid being in areas with high air pollution, including PM 2.5 pollutants.
  3. Always have an annual health check.
  4. Exercise and eat nutritious food.
Precautions against developing cancer - การป้องกัน มะเร็งปอด

Are you engaging in these risks?

  • Heavy smoker, aged 50 years or older.
  • Have stopped smoking, but only within the last 15 years.
  • Living with family members who smoke.
  • There is a chance of exposure to second-hand smoke.
  • Working closely with chemicals or carcinogens.
  • Prolonged exposure to dust, smoke or air pollution.
  • Have a close relative with a history of lung cancer.

If you are in such a risk group, you should get screened for lung cancer and have regular check-ups.

Blood tests to check for lung cancer risk

  1. CYFRA 21-1
  2. NSE
  3. CEA

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