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Lung cancer


Cancer is known as abnormal cell growth. Abnormal growth of lung tissues is known as lung cancer. This abnormal growth of lung tissue hinders the exchange of respiratory gases, causing difficulty in breathing. It can spread to nearby or other body parts. There are two types of lung cancers:

  • Small cell lung cancer
  • Non small cell lung cancer, which is further classified into:
    • Squamous cell carcinoma,
    • Adenocarcinoma,
    • Large cell carcinoma.

Non small lung cancer is differentiated into different stages on the basis of its spread and size of the tumor. The stages are as follows:

  • Occult or hidden: cancer is not visible in imaging tests.
  • Stage 0: abnormal cells are found on the top layer of cells lining the airways.
  • Stage 1: tumor is 4cm or less than 4cm and does not spread to other body parts.
  • Stage 2: tumor is less than 7cm or 7cm and spreads to nearby tissues and lymph nodes.
  • Stage 3: cancer spreads to other parts of the lung and nearby areas.
  • Stage 4: cancer spreads to different body parts and vital organs such as the brain.

Lung cancer is the most common type of cancer and the major cause of death.


Following are the causes of lung cancer:

  • Smoking
  • Exposure to secondhand smoke and other carcinogens (substances known to cause cancer)
  • Genetics (if someone close in your family has it, you are at risk of developing it)
Risk factors

Risk factors of lung cancer include the following:

  • Smoking,
  • Family history,
  • Asbestos
  • Carcinogens
  • Coughing
  • Recurrent respiratory infections
  • Hemoptysis (coughing up of blood)
  • Dyspnea (shortness of breath)
  • Wheezing (whistling sound made while breathing)
  • Chest pain (may radiate to shoulder, arm)
  • Fatigue that’s worse than usual
  • Pain
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite that might lead to weight loss

Initially a physical examination and detailed medical history is taken. Next, imaging (CT scan or x-ray) is recommended to detect abnormal masses or lesions in your lungs. Lab tests e.g. sputum cytology is ordered to detect cancer cells. A biopsy (tissue sample) may also be required depending upon the case.


Treatment of lung cancer depends upon the size and location of the tumor and patient’s overall health. Its treatment include:

  • Surgery,
  • Chemotherapy,
  • Radiotherapy,
  • Radiofrequency ablation,
  • Immunotherapy,
  • Palliative therapy, to manage other symptoms.
When to consult a doctor?

If one suffers from any of the symptoms mentioned above then a medical professional should be consulted right away.

Available Medicine for Lung cancer

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Etoposide 100mg



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