Prognosis depends on type and stage
The Big C…unfortunately in this day and age we all know what this euphemism means and we all know someone who has been touched by cancer, which could very well even be you. Hearing the word can immediately put you in an immediate state of anxiety and fear, especially when it is a diagnosis of lung cancer that you are given. However, discovering which type of lung cancer is important in terms of prognosis and treatment.
Three Types of Lung Cancer
For the most part, lung cancer falls into three different types with each one having a different prognosis and course of treatment.
- Non-small cell lung cancer: This type of lung cancer is the most common and has a number of subtypes that fall under this category, which are squamous cell, adenocarcinoma and large cell carcinoma. Approximately 85 percent of lung cancer will be diagnosed with this type.
- Small cell lung cancer: This form of lung cancer spreads rapidly and is also known as oat cell cancer and accounts for between 10 to 15 percent of lung cancer.
- Lung carcinoid tumor: This form of cancer grows slowly and rarely spreads. Less than 5 percent of all lung cancer will be diagnosed with this type.
Besides knowing what type of lung cancer has been diagnosed, it is also important to learn the stage. This piece of information will determine the best course of treatment for your particular form of cancer. Treatment can include only one of the following or a combination based on type and stage of lung cancer: surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, local treatments such as radiofrequency ablation and other drug therapies.
Prevention is Key
Although not all lung cancers can be prevented, a good key to prevention is quitting smoking, be it cigarettes or cigars. Even if you stop smoking, it is also important to not breathe second smoke. Try to avoid situations and stay away from locations that tend to be frequented by smokers.
Another substance that few realize can cause lung cancer is radon. It is important to know whether or not your home might be leaking radon gas. It is an easy and inexpensive to test.
Working in an asbestos environment can also lead to lung cancer, in addition to some other chemical substances. Fortunately, the government put legislation in place that protects workers and their health.
No matter what your state of health, and whether or not you are at a higher risk for developing lung cancer, or any type for that matter, it is always smart to follow a healthy diet and exercise.