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It’s November Now! Lung Cancer Awareness Month
Every November is the Lung Cancer awareness month to mourn for the people who passed due to lung cancer and remind us that Lung Cancer is not something minor.
Do you know...
Lung cancer mainly occurs in older adults and mostly those above 65 years old.1 The age-standardised incidence rate of lung cancer increases rapidly from the age of 45 years and is the highest in the 60-74 age group. 2
In Malaysia, lung cancer is one of the most common cancers, which account for about 10% of all malignancies. The lifetime risk for Malaysian men is about 1 in 55, whereby the risk is highest among Chinese (1 in 43), followed by Malays (1 in 62) and Indians (1 in 103). For women, the risk is about 1 in 135. According to the pie chart below, almost 90% of lung cancer patients in Malaysia are diagnosed with stage III or IV disease. 2
Let's briefly go through our lung structures!
The lungs are a pair of spongy organs filled with air and located on either side of the chest. The trachea carries inhaled air from the mouth or nose through the tubes (bronchi) into the lungs. As you can see from the diagram above, the tubes (bronchi) then divide into even smaller tube branches (bronchioles) and finally end in the smallest alveoli (alveoli). This is where gas exchange takes place, mainly oxygen and carbon dioxide. The inhaled air is densely enriched with oxygen, which is absorbed into the blood. In turn, carbon dioxide is removed from the blood and exhaled. 3
What is Lung cancer?
Cancer is a disease or condition in which the cells in the body are out of control. When the uncontrolled cells (cancer) grow and start in the lungs, it is called lung cancer. Cancer cells can spread to the lymph nodes or other organs in the body, such as the brain and vice versa. When cancer cells spread from one organ to another, they are called metastases. 4
Lung cancer is usually divided into two main types, small cell and non-small cell (including adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma). These 2 groups of lung cancer are different. They grow differently and are treated differently. In general, non-small cell lung cancer is more common than small cell lung cancer.
Not sure how to differentiate the types of lung cancers? Stay tuned on our upcoming articles or TALK TO US NOW at DOC2US app!
According to the Mayo Clinic, people who smoke have the greatest risk of developing lung cancer, although people who have never smoked can also get lung cancer. The risk of getting lung cancer increases with the length of time you have smoked and the number of cigarettes you have smoked. If you have stopped smoking but have smoked for many years, you can still greatly reduce your risk of getting lung cancer. 5
Want to know more about the risk of lung cancer? Stay tuned on our upcoming articles or TALK TO US NOW at DOC2US app!
What are the signs and symptoms of lung cancer? 6
In the early stages of lung cancer, there are typically no signs or symptoms, but most of the people with the disease will eventually develop symptoms such as:
A persistent cough or cough that gets worse or does not go away.
Coughing up blood
Shortness of breath
Feeling very tired
Pain when breathing or coughing
Unsure of the symptoms of lung cancer? TALK TO US NOW at DOC2US app!
A WORD FROM DOC2US
If you have any questions related to lung cancer, you can consult our professional doctors and healthcare professionals on DOC2US. DOC2US is a mobile application that allows you to talk to a doctor or any healthcare professionals via text chat at any time and from anywhere. For better communication, you can even send our online doctor images or voice messages related to your medical inquiry.
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Note: DOC2US is not for medical emergencies. In the event of urgent medical conditions, please call 999.
Disclaimer: As a service to our users and general public, DOC2US provides health education contents. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
American Cancer Society. Key Statistics for Lung Cancer. Available from: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/lung-cancer/about/key-statistics.html
Journal of Thoracic Oncology.Lung Cancer in Malaysia. Available from: https://www.jto.org/article/S1556-0864(19)33639-1/fulltext#secsectitle0010
WebMD. Picture of the Lungs. Available from: https://www.webmd.com/lung/picture-of-the-lungs
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. What is Lung Cancer? Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/lung/basic_info/what-is-lung-cancer.htm
Mayo Clinic. Lung Cancer. Available from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/lung-cancer/symptoms-causes/syc-20374620
NHS. UK. Lung cancer: Symptoms. Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/lung-cancer/
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