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Lung Cancer

 Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is a common type of cancer that originates in the lungs. This form of cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths among both men and women in the United States. More people die as a result of lung cancer each year than the deaths caused by colon, prostate, breast and ovarian cancers combined. The greatest cause of lung cancer results from smoking, though many people develop lung cancer from other sources. There are rarely any signs or symptoms of lung cancer in its early stages. However, when the disease advances, some possible symptoms may include constant coughing, coughing up blood, shortness of breath, chest pain, wheezing and headaches. Prognosis for a full recovery depends on how advanced the cancer is in the lungs or if the cancer has spread.

About Lung Cancer Surgery

Lung cancer is a disease that begins in the lungs and spreads to the bronchi tubes, leading to symptoms such as a cough, chest pain, a loss of appetite, weight loss and, in severe stages of lung cancer, coughing up blood. Treating lung cancer is possible with chemotherapy, radiation and, for some patients, surgical procedures. Lung cancer surgery is available for suitable candidates whose lung cancer is visible and large enough to remove during a procedure.

Thoracotomy, or lung surgery for lung cancer

Lung surgery involves removing all or a specific part of the lung varying with the location of the cancer and its visibility. Lung surgery ranges from a wedge resection (segmentectomy) to a lobectomy and pneumonectomy. After lung surgery is complete, a chest tube is implemented to help drain blood and fluid from the chest to assist with breathing.

Descriptions of the types of lung surgeries

A segmentectomy involves removing a piece of the lung that is wedge-shaped, keeping the surrounding tissue healthy. Pneumonectomy removes an entire lung and is only an option when the lung cancer in a patient has severely progressed, as the removal of one lung greatly lowers overall lung function. A lobectomy removes an entire lobe from the lung infected with cancer, allowing the lungs to continuously function after the procedure is complete.

For those with lung cancer in any stage, it is possible to find treatments including surgery. If the cancer is visible and in an accessible location in the lung during the procedure, the prognosis is good. Even if the surgery fails to cure the patient, it is sure to prolong that patient's life.

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