Personal Health

Lung cancer – what you should know about the disease

Jens Büchner was as an immigrant to the TV Show “Goodbye Deutschland – The emigrants” (Vox) famous. Büchner worked on images that were taken in the last few months, health beat, and strikingly thin. At the weekend, the 49-year-old family father died in Palma de Mallorca. He succumbed to a cancer suffering. As his Manager told the “Bild”newspaper, suffered from TV Star to lung cancer that had already spread.

Büchner was not the first Time confronted with the diagnosis. Five years ago, Doctors had discovered a shadow on his lung, telling him that he was suffering from lung cancer. Shortly thereafter, the denial was followed by: It was a misdiagnosis. Further investigation could not confirm the suspicion. Now succumbed to the TV Star of the disease.

How common is lung cancer? Is it true that only smokers suffer from them? And there is a Chance to cure? The most important questions and answers to a look.

Lung cancer – what is it?

Lung cancer is a malignant Tumor, the tissue in the lungs or the lower respiratory tract, the bronchi, sits. Doctors speak of a “carcinoma” and differ depending on the location of the tumor in a lung or a bronchial carcinoma.

Some types of cancer can form metastases in the lungs. This is, strictly speaking, not lung cancer, because the place of origin of the tumor is in another Organ.

How common is lung cancer?

In Germany 53.800 people to lung cancer – including of 34,500 men and 19.300 women diseased in the year of 2014. Lung cancer is the fourth most common cancer in Germany.

In terms of gender, there is an interesting development: The incidence and mortality figures are in the men’s overall decline, while they increase for women. As this is due to the changes in Smoking behaviour of women. While in the past, especially the men attacked the Cigarette, caught up the female gender in the decades before the turn of the Millennium. Accordingly, the disease is rising. For the year 2018, the cancer registry to be expected in Germany, with 22,000 new cases among women.

What risk factors are there?

“The biggest risk factor for the development of lung cancer is tobacco smoke, from cigarette, cigar, pipe or water pipe,” writes the cancer information service, German cancer research center. Around nine out of ten men with lung cancer have contracted the disease, probably from Smoking. For women, there are six out of ten people Affected.

However, not only smokers are a danger to themselves with the Smoke. “Also passively increases the risk of Smoking.”

Some patients develop lung cancer without ever even Smoking or passive smoke have been exposed to. “It is suspected that you may have other risk factors that have triggered the disease, for example, some chemical substances, diesel exhaust, quartz or respirable dust in the workplace”, it is part of the cancer information service. Also, the radioactive noble gas Radon, the naturally occurring in some areas of Germany increased in the soil, can cause lung cancer. This may be supplemented by hereditary factors.

What are the symptoms that may indicate lung cancer?

The most Dangerous thing about lung cancer is that the disease is often detected late, and then advanced. The lung cancer may have spread, under certain circumstances, and metastases in other organs are formed, such as in the brain, the bones, the liver or the adrenal glands.

Early warning signs there are only a few. Suspect a re-occurring cough that lasts for weeks, or a chronic cough that is getting worse suddenly. Especially smokers should take these symptoms seriously and to the doctor to clarify. A sudden weight loss without diet, shortness of breath, coughing up blood, chest or bone pain, and a long-lasting fatigue and lethargy can be symptoms.

The doctor checks in this case, first, the General condition of the patient, listens to heart and lungs and scans of the neck and torso to the enlarged lymph nodes. As a further investigation, a chest x-Ray, computed tomography and ultrasound examinations are available. A Lung endoscopy (bronchoscopy) helps lung cancer to reliably identify or exclude. Here, Doctors examine hose the Inside of the lung with a Camera and take samples if necessary, small tissue. The Patient receives a local anesthetic and a sedative.

How is lung cancer treated?

The therapy depends on the type of cancer – so after that, whether it is small cell or non-small cell carcinoma.

In the case of a non-small cell cancer, the Doctors first try to remove the Tumor surgically. This is all in a good General condition of the patient, and if the remaining lung tissue is not sufficient to take over the respiratory function. Larger, more advanced tumors can be treated with chemotherapy and additional radiation. In addition, there are drugs that can intervene in the metabolism of tumor cells and the growth of the brakes.

In the case of small cell carcinoma is rare surgery. Instead, those Affected receive a chemotherapy and often an additional irradiation. “The growth of the tumor can be brakes,” writes the cancer information service.

In addition, painkillers in varying Strengths are available, the training may be for the therapy taken.

Lung cancer is curable?

The cancer was detected at an early stage, the prognosis of the patients. But even after a successful treatment the cancer may return. Regular follow-up visits to the doctor are important. As a General rule: The longer the Patient remains after removal of the tumor, complaint-free, the higher the likelihood of a permanent cure.

The lung has formed cancer metastases, the disease is often curable. In such a case, the treatment aims to slow the growth of the tumour and the symptoms of the disease lessen.

I smoke for decades. Can I reduce my lung cancer risk at all, if I stop Smoking?

Yes, a stop Smoking is worth it at any age. However, The earlier in life, the greater the positive effect. Ten years after the last cigarette the risk of certain cancers, decreases diseases, such as the mouth, trachea and esophagus cancer. The risk to develop lung cancer, decreases in comparison to people who have smoked to the half. After nearly 15 years, the risk for cardiovascular disease is approximately at the Level of a lifelong non-smoker.

Can lung cancer prevented?

Up to 90 percent of all malignant tumors are attributable to Smoking. Anyone who wants to prevent lung cancer, should refrain, therefore, consistently focused on tobacco. Also the stay in leave smoke-filled rooms should be avoided. In dealing with carcinogenic materials, the safety precautions should be adhered to exactly. This is especially true in the workplace.

In the case of lung cancer, no dog currently exists a completely secure examination for early detection. Risk prevention is therefore particularly important.

Sources: German cancer research center – cancer information service / center for cancer registry data (ZfKD) at the Robert Koch-Institut (RKI) / smoke-free – Federal centre for health education (BZgA) / lung doctors in the network, the German society for pneumology and respiratory medicine e. V.

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