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Cancer develops when some cells can not be controlled by your body and they start to alter, increase in number and size and then form a lump or tumour. When tumours are cancerous they are known as malignant and may grow quite rapidly and can spread to other areas of the body.
Cancer is termed primary or secondary (metastases). Primary tumours are those that start the process off in the affected organ in this case the lungs, but secondary tumours start off from another organ but spread into another organ.
There are several types of lung cancer but the two most prevalent are, Small cell lung cancer which accounts for about 15% and Non Small cell lung cancer which accounts for about 85%.
Any one can go onto develop lung cancer but the large majority are related to smoking. The risks go up with the total number of cigarettes etc that you have smoked over time. If you stop smoking the risks lessen over time.
The symptoms of lung cancer can come on quite late in the disease so it may not be picked up until you have a scan or an X-Ray.
The symptoms include:
- Persistent cough greater than three weeks
- Feeling short of breath
- Blood in your mucus
- Weight loss
If you have any of these symptoms you should see your doctor.
If your doctor thinks you may have lung cancer you will be referred to a chest physician for further investigation.
Treatments can include