Cancer of the lung is becoming very widespread today. It is increasing more rapidly than any other type of cancer.
Primary cancer of the lung, also known as bronchogenic carcinoma, begins within the lung or one of the bronchial tubes. More men die from cancer of the lung today than any other form of cancer.
Unfortunately, by the time the patient is aware of his true condition, the disease may have already progressed far beyond the early stages. This is what makes cancer of the lung so dangerous.
This disease in almost every case develops in heavy smokers. At the present rate one heavy cigarette out of every ten will die of lung cancer. Even those who smoke a few cigarettes a day run some risk of developing lung cancer too. But in men who smoke two packs a day, the rate is extremely high.
Substances like the tar that is always present in tabacco leaves, irritates the lining of the bronchial tubes. This substance has long been known to produce cancer when applied to the backs of mice and other experimental animals.
The question is, what about filters? Will these protect a person from cancer of the lung? The answer is NO. It is doubtful that any cigarette filter will ever be entirely safe. The most sensible thing is to prevent having the disease by avoiding the use of tabacco in any form.
- The earliest and most frequent symptoms of lung cancer is a chronic cough.
- Even the “cigarette cough” may be adanger signal. Any cough lasting more than three weeks should be thoroughly investigated.
- Another symptom is wheezing. The patient may notice this first when he is lying quietly in bed just before dropping off to sleep.
- Later, they may be chest pains.
- There’s night sweats as the tumour mass cuts off the normal drainage from the lungs.
- Another symptom is loss of weight, accompanied by fine streaks of blood being coughed up from the bronchial tubes.
- Some cases of the virus “pneumonia” have been shown to be due to cancer of the lung.
It is important for all smokers to have a chest x-ray at least twice yearly.
- Once the diagnosis lung cancer is made, surgery is probably the only effective method of treatment. The chest is opened very wide so that the surgeon can examine all areas. If cancer is found in only one lobe of the lung, it may be possible to remove this portion completely.
- Prevention is always preferable in conditions like this. Remember those who do not smoke are far less likely to develop cancer of the lungs.
What about smog and industrial fumes?
Contaminated atmosphere possibly does play some part, but
- it is a striking fact that almost all lung cancer victims are, or have been heavy cigarette smokers.
- None smokers who live in large cities polluted by smog do not seem to develop the disease.
- Smokers who use pipes and cigars are also more likely to develop cancer, not necessarily of the lung but in the lips, mouth or palate.
- Certainly, any lesion in the mouth should be carefully investigated, for any sore on the face or mouth lasting more than three weeks might be due to cancer.
Thus, there’s a strong casual relationship between smoking and primary cancer of the lung.
So, how can you successfully quit smoking? Hook up on my next article on quiting the smoking habit.