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Health Tips
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HelloDox Care

Lung cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the lungs. Your lungs are two spongy organs in your chest that take in oxygen when you inhale and release carbon dioxide when you exhale.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, among both men and women. Lung cancer claims more lives each year than do colon, prostate, ovarian and breast cancers combined.

People who smoke have the greatest risk of lung cancer, though lung cancer can also occur in people who have never smoked. The risk of lung cancer increases with the length of time and number of cigarettes you've smoked. If you quit smoking, even after smoking for many years, you can significantly reduce your chances of developing lung cancer.

Lung cancer typically doesn't cause signs and symptoms in its earliest stages. Signs and symptoms of lung cancer typically occur only when the disease is advanced.

Signs and symptoms of lung cancer may include:

A new cough that doesn't go away
Coughing up blood, even a small amount
Shortness of breath
Chest pain
Losing weight without trying
Bone pain
When to see a doctor
Make an appointment with your doctor if you have any persistent signs or symptoms that worry you.

If you smoke and have been unable to quit, make an appointment with your doctor. Your doctor can recommend strategies for quitting smoking, such as counseling, medications and nicotine replacement products.

Smoking causes the majority of lung cancers — both in smokers and in people exposed to secondhand smoke. But lung cancer also occurs in people who never smoked and in those who never had prolonged exposure to secondhand smoke. In these cases, there may be no clear cause of lung cancer.

How smoking causes lung cancer
Doctors believe smoking causes lung cancer by damaging the cells that line the lungs. When you inhale cigarette smoke, which is full of cancer-causing substances (carcinogens), changes in the lung tissue begin almost immediately.

At first your body may be able to repair this damage. But with each repeated exposure, normal cells that line your lungs are increasingly damaged. Over time, the damage causes cells to act abnormally and eventually cancer may develop.

Types of lung cancer
Doctors divide lung cancer into two major types based on the appearance of lung cancer cells under the microscope. Your doctor makes treatment decisions based on which major type of lung cancer you have.

The two general types of lung cancer include:

Small cell lung cancer. Small cell lung cancer occurs almost exclusively in heavy smokers and is less common than non-small cell lung cancer.
Non-small cell lung cancer. Non-small cell lung cancer is an umbrella term for several types of lung cancers that behave in a similar way. Non-small cell lung cancers include squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma and large cell carcinoma.
Risk factors
A number of factors may increase your risk of lung cancer. Some risk factors can be controlled, for instance, by quitting smoking. And other factors can't be controlled, such as your family history.

Risk factors for lung cancer include:

Smoking. Your risk of lung cancer increases with the number of cigarettes you smoke each day and the number of years you have smoked. Quitting at any age can significantly lower your risk of developing lung cancer.
Exposure to secondhand smoke. Even if you don't smoke, your risk of lung cancer increases if you're exposed to secondhand smoke.
Exposure to radon gas. Radon is produced by the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water that eventually becomes part of the air you breathe. Unsafe levels of radon can accumulate in any building, including homes.
Exposure to asbestos and other carcinogens. Workplace exposure to asbestos and other substances known to cause cancer — such as arsenic, chromium and nickel — also can increase your risk of developing lung cancer, especially if you're a smoker.
Family history of lung cancer. People with a parent, sibling or child with lung cancer have an increased risk of the disease.
Lung cancer can cause complications, such as:

Shortness of breath. People with lung cancer can experience shortness of breath if cancer grows to block the major airways. Lung cancer can also cause fluid to accumulate around the lungs, making it harder for the affected lung to expand fully when you inhale.
Coughing up blood. Lung cancer can cause bleeding in the airway, which can cause you to cough up blood (hemoptysis). Sometimes bleeding can become severe. Treatments are available to control bleeding.
Pain. Advanced lung cancer that spreads to the lining of a lung or to another area of the body, such as a bone, can cause pain. Tell your doctor if you experience pain, as many treatments are available to control pain.
Fluid in the chest (pleural effusion). Lung cancer can cause fluid to accumulate in the space that surrounds the affected lung in the chest cavity (pleural space).

Fluid accumulating in the chest can cause shortness of breath. Treatments are available to drain the fluid from your chest and reduce the risk that pleural effusion will occur again.

Cancer that spreads to other parts of the body (metastasis). Lung cancer often spreads (metastasizes) to other parts of the body, such as the brain and the bones.

Cancer that spreads can cause pain, nausea, headaches, or other signs and symptoms depending on what organ is affected. Once lung cancer has spread beyond the lungs, it's generally not curable. Treatments are available to decrease signs and symptoms and to help you live longer.

There's no sure way to prevent lung cancer, but you can reduce your risk if you:

Don't smoke. If you've never smoked, don't start. Talk to your children about not smoking so that they can understand how to avoid this major risk factor for lung cancer. Begin conversations about the dangers of smoking with your children early so that they know how to react to peer pressure.
Stop smoking. Stop smoking now. Quitting reduces your risk of lung cancer, even if you've smoked for years. Talk to your doctor about strategies and stop-smoking aids that can help you quit. Options include nicotine replacement products, medications and support groups.
Avoid secondhand smoke. If you live or work with a smoker, urge him or her to quit. At the very least, ask him or her to smoke outside. Avoid areas where people smoke, such as bars and restaurants, and seek out smoke-free options.
Test your home for radon. Have the radon levels in your home checked, especially if you live in an area where radon is known to be a problem. High radon levels can be remedied to make your home safer. For information on radon testing, contact your local department of public health or a local chapter of the American Lung Association.
Avoid carcinogens at work. Take precautions to protect yourself from exposure to toxic chemicals at work. Follow your employer's precautions. For instance, if you're given a face mask for protection, always wear it. Ask your doctor what more you can do to protect yourself at work. Your risk of lung damage from workplace carcinogens increases if you smoke.
Eat a diet full of fruits and vegetables. Choose a healthy diet with a variety of fruits and vegetables. Food sources of vitamins and nutrients are best. Avoid taking large doses of vitamins in pill form, as they may be harmful. For instance, researchers hoping to reduce the risk of lung cancer in heavy smokers gave them beta carotene supplements. Results showed the supplements actually increased the risk of cancer in smokers.
Exercise most days of the week. If you don't exercise regularly, start out slowly. Try to exercise most days of the week.

We may share a unique love-hate relationship with chilli, but it is becoming quite a hot topic of discussion in the world of health and nutrition. Besides lifting the spice quotient of your food, chillies also happen to have immense medicinal value. If the findings of a latest study are to be believed the compound responsible for chilli's heat could help slow the spread of lung cancer. Lung cancer is dubbed as the leading cause of cancer death for both men and women.

The scientists revealed, that the compound may help curb the spreading of cancer. Most cancer-related deaths take place due to cancer spreading to distant sites, a process called metastasis.

"Lung cancer and other cancers commonly metastasise to secondary locations like the brain, liver or bone, making them difficult to treat," said one of the study authors Jamie Friedman from Marshall University in the US.

"Our study suggests the natural compound capsaicin from chilli peppers could represent a novel therapy to combat metastasis in lung cancer patients," said Friedman, a doctoral candidate who performed the research in the laboratory of Piyali Dasgupta at Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine.

For the study, the scientists studied three lines of cultured human non-small cell lung cancer cells, researchers observed capsaicin inhibited invasion which happens to be the first step of the metastatic process.

The findings showed that mice with metastatic cancer that consumed capsaicin showed smaller areas of metastatic cancer cells in the lung compared with mice not receiving the treatment.

The findings were presented during the 2019 Experimental Biology meeting being held from April 6-9 in Orlando, Florida.

The experiments also suggested that capsaicin tends to suppresses lung cancer metastasis by inhibiting activation of the protein Src. This particular protein plays a crucial role in the signalling that controls cellular processes like proliferation, differentiation, motility and adhesion.

"We hope one day capsaicin can be used in combination with other chemotherapeutics to treat a variety of lung cancers," said Friedman.

Administering an antioxidant-enriched vitamin may decrease respiratory exacerbations in people with cystic fibrosis, a study suggests. Cystic fibrosis is an inherited life-threatening disorder that damages the lungs and the digestive system. The findings showed that supplementation with an oral antioxidant-enriched multi-vitamin was safe and well tolerated, and led to increased systemic antioxidant concentrations and a transient decrease in systemic inflammation. People with cystic fibrosis typically experience chronic bacterial infections, which lead to inflammation and the release of “vast amounts of reactive oxygen species in the airways,” said Scott D. Sagel, Professor at the University of Colorado in the US.

While normally the body would marshal an antioxidant defence to neutralize this oxidant stress, but cystic fibrosis is characterized by dietary antioxidant deficiencies. This contributes to an oxidant-antioxidant imbalance and more inflammation, which leads to lung damage and a progressive loss of lung function, Sagel added.

For the study, published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, the team included nearly 100 patients for a 16-week study where 53 per cent of the antioxidant-treated group experienced 28 exacerbations, compared to 68 per cent of the control group who experienced 39 exacerbations.

The results showed a 50 per cent reduced risk to the first exacerbation requiring antibiotics in those receiving the supplemental antioxidants. “Improving antioxidant status in cystic fibrosis is an important clinical goal and may have a positive effect on health,” Sagel said.

“While the antioxidant supplement did not appear to exert sustained anti-inflammatory effects, we believe its effect on time to first pulmonary exacerbation was significant and clinically meaningful,” Sagel said, adding that the improvement in antioxidant status alone may justify its use. “Developing safe and effective anti-inflammatory treatments remains a key priority of the cystic fibrosis community,” he noted.

Air pollution is known to take a toll on the lungs of even the healthiest adults. So it comes as no surprise that the effects of this pollution on the lungs of children is deemed as a grave situation, full of health hazards including the onset of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorders and conditions like asthma. Read on to find out more about the link between air pollution and its effect on the lungs of children.

- Children's Lungs: Mostly, all the organs of a child's body are considered delicate and not fully matured until the child reaches a certain age. The main and largest part of the child's lungs will usually grow only after the child has been born - much like the arms and legs. In fact, it is a medically proven fact that about 80% of the tiniest of air sacs grow after the child's birth. These are called the alveoli and they facilitate the transfer of the oxygen into the blood stream with a life sustaining function that is built into our lungs. These alveoli continue to grow until the child becomes an adult.

- Immunity and Infections: Like the lungs of the child, the immunity of the child is also still in its growth phase, and very much unlike the immunity that an adult enjoys. This makes the child more susceptible to infections that are usually carried by air pollution in today's day and age of urban living when myriad pollutants are sent into the air every single day. Also, since children play outdoors more often and spend more time breathing in this air, they are more prone to these infections and lung or respiratory ailments due to this reason. Various studies and tests have shown inflammation in the respiratory passages caused by deposits of carbon dioxide emissions in the lungs of children.

- Symptoms: Usually, the very first symptoms that show that air pollution is affecting the child's lungs can be seen when persistent coughing and wheezing sets in, without any proper reason. Also, when the child faces bronchial infections time and time again, then this points at the hazardous effects of air pollution as well.

- Respiratory problems: Apart from respiratory problems which can lead to asthmatic attacks, hay fever and allergies as well as other COPD ailments, there are other related dangers. These can happen when constant choking and obstruction of oxygen due to pollution become a regular affair. These include strokes and brain damage which can eventually also lead to a higher risk of dementia.

The government and citizens need to ensure that there is a drop in particle air pollution so as to ensure that children do not fall prey to such health problems.

फुफ्‍फुसाचा कर्करोग
फुफ्फुसाचा कर्करोग हा कर्करोगाचा एक उपप्रकार आहे. हा रोग फुफ्फुसातील अनियंत्रितपणे वाढलेल्या हानिकारक पेशींमुळे होतो. फुफ्फुसांचा कॅन्सर हा सामान्यपणे आढळणारा एक धोकादायक कॅन्सर आहे. बदलत्या लाईफस्टाईलमुळे, वातावरणातील प्रदुषित हवा, धुम्रपानाची सवय फुफ्फुसांचे आरोग्य बिघडवण्यास कारणीभूत ठरते. तरूणांमध्ये फुफ्फुसाच्या कॅन्सरचं प्रमाण कमी असले तरीही वाढत्या वयासोबत त्याचा धोका झपाट्याने वाढत आहे.

कॅन्सर या आजाराच्या नावावेही अनेकांचा थरकाप उडतो. त्यामुळे कोणालाही कुठल्याही टप्प्यावर गाठू शकणार्‍या कॅन्सरची शरीराकडून मिळणारी लक्षण वेळीच ओळखल्यास त्यावर मात करता येऊ शकते. 1 ऑगस्ट हा दिवस जागतिक स्तरावर फुफ्‍फुसाचा कर्करोग दिवस म्हणून पाळला जातो. मग भविष्यात या आजाराचा धोका कमी करण्यासाठी या लक्षणांकडे दुर्लक्ष नको.

फुफ्फुसांच्या कॅन्सरची लक्षणं -
1. क्रोनिक कफाचा
2-3 आठवड्याहून अधिक काळ जर कफ कायम राहत असेल तर तो धोक्याची घंटा आहे. सतत खोकला वाढणं त्यामधून छातीत वेदना जाणवणं याकडे दुर्लक्ष करू नका.

2. खोकताना रक्त पडणं
जर खोकताना कफामध्ये रक्त आढळल्यास ते कॅन्सरचं एक लक्षण आहे. कफाचा सामान्य रंग पिवळा, हिरवट असतो. मात्र रक्त मिश्रित कफ तांबूस रंगाचा दिसतो.

3. श्वास घेताना त्रास होणं
श्वास घेताना त्रास होणं, छाती भरून आल्यासारखं वाटणं, सतत दम लागणं हे फुफ्फुसांच्या कॅन्सरचे संकेत देतात.

4.चेहर्‍यात, आवाजात बदल जाणवणं -
आवाज जाडसर होणं, श्वास घेतानाही आवाज जाणवणं, चेहर्‍यावर सूज जाणवणं, हळूहळू सूज हात, मानेजवळही पसरते.

5. पुन्हा पुन्हा इंफेक्शन होणं -
कमवुवत झालेली रोगप्रतिकारक्षमता, शरीरात पुरेशी उर्जा असणं यामुळे आजारी पडण्याचं प्रमाण वाढतं. ब्रोन्कायटीससारखे श्वसनाचे आजार अधिक बळावतात. छातीमध्ये अनियमित प्रमाणात फ्ल्युईड साचल्याने न्युमोनिया बळावतो. कावीळ, अस्थमा यांचा त्रास वाढतो.

6. हाडांचं दुखणं -
जसाजसा कॅन्सर बळावतो तो शरीराच्या इतर भागमध्ये पसरू शकतो. यामुळे सांध्याचं दुखणं, कंबरेचं दुखणं वाढतं.

7. न्युरोलॉजिकल लक्षणं -
कॅन्सरचे सेल्स नर्व्हस सिस्टीममध्ये पोहचतात. यामध्ये डोकेदुखी, चक्कर येणं, वागणूकीत बदल जाणवणं, सुन्न होणं अशी लक्षण वाढतात.

आजाराची कारणे
- धुम्रपान करणे
- रेडॉन वायू फुफ्फुसात जाणे
- अ‍ॅजबेसटॉसची धूळ फुफ्फुसात जाणे
- विषाणूंचा प्रादुर्भाव

कर्करोगाशी लढण्याची क्षमता
छत्तीसगढ मध्ये पिकविल्या जाणाऱ्या 'गटवान' 'महाराजी' व 'लिचा' या तीन जातीच्या तांदुळात कर्करोगाशी लढण्याची क्षमता असण्याचा दावा भारतीय वैज्ञानिकांनी केला आहे.या जातीमध्ये कर्करोगाशी लढा देण्याचे आवश्यक ते वैद्यकीय गुणधर्म आहेत असे संशोधनातून आढळुन आले आहे. रायपूर येथील इंदिरा गांधी कृषी विद्यापीठ आणि भाभा अणुऊर्जा संशोधन केंद्रात या तांदळाच्या जातीवर अभ्यास करण्यात आला.
फुफ्फुस व स्तनाचा कर्करोग यामधील सामान्य पेशींना कोणत्याही प्रकारची हानी न पोहोचविता, तो बरा करण्याची क्षमता या तांदुळांमध्ये आहे असा त्याचे अभ्यासानुसार दावा करण्यात आलेला आहे.यापैकी 'लिचा' या जातीत तर, कर्करोगाच्या पेशींचा प्रचार रोखून त्या नष्ट करण्याची अत्यंत प्रभावी अशी क्षमता आहे असे आढळले.

Dr. Gauri Karve
Dr. Gauri Karve
MBBS, 6 yrs, Pune
Dr. Atul Patil
Dr. Atul Patil
MS/MD - Ayurveda, Proctologist Ayurveda, 9 yrs, Pune
Dr. sandeep shivekar
Dr. sandeep shivekar
BHMS, 10 yrs, Pune
Dr. Prashant S Mane
Dr. Prashant S Mane
BAMS, Critical Care Medicine Specialist, 10 yrs, Pune
Dr. Sachin Patil
Dr. Sachin Patil
BHMS, Family Physician Homeopath, 11 yrs, Pune