Lung cancer is a condition in which cells grow uncontrollably inside the lungs (an organ that works to spread oxygen into the blood when breathing in and exhaling carbon dioxide when sighing).

Based on the WHO cancer profile report, lung cancer is the leading contributor to cancer incidence in men in Indonesia, followed by colorectal, prostate, liver and nasopharyngeal cancers, and is the fifth case contributor to women after breast, cervical, colorectal , ovaries. Lung cancer was the first cause of death in cancer in males (21.8%), and the second leading cause of death (9.1%) of cancer in women after breast cancer (21.4%).

In the early stages, lung cancer does not cause any symptoms. The symptoms will only appear when the development of cancer has reached a certain stage. Here are the main symptoms that will be experienced lung cancer patients, including:

  • The cough is sustained and worsens, until it ends up coughing up blood
  • Experiencing shortness of breath and pain in the chest.
  • Experiencing fatigue for no reason.
  • Swelling of the face or neck.
  • Headache Bone pain, can be on the shoulders, arms or hands.
  • Weight loss.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • The voice becomes husky.
  • Difficulty swallowing or pain when swallowing something.
  • Changes in the shape of the finger, ie the fingertips become convex.

Early detection of cancer can improve the success of the treatment process. Here are some tests that can be done to confirm the diagnosis of cancer.

  • Sputum examination. Sputum that we remove when cough can be examined in the laboratory with a microscope. Sometimes this check can be used to see if there are cancer cells in the lungs.
  • Imaging test. The first diagnosis for lung cancer usually uses X-rays. X-ray imaging of the lungs can show an existing tumor. If an X-ray is suspected of having lung cancer, further tests need to be done to confirm it.
  • A CT scan can show a small abnormal that can not be seen with X-rays. By utilizing CT scan, clearer and more detailed imagery can be obtained.
  • PET-CT Scanbisa shows the location of active cancer cells. This imaging is usually done if the results of a CT scan show there is a cancer cell at an early stage.
  • Biopsy or tissue sampling of the lungs. This procedure is performed after an imaging test and shows that there is a cancer cell on the chest. The doctor will take a sample of tissue cells from within the lungs.

The main cause of lung cancer is smoking, both in active smokers and in passive smokers. But people who do not smoke or exposed to cigarette smoke also can suffer from lung cancer. Some of the causes of lung cancer will be described further below.

Active Smokers and Passive Smokers

Approximately 80-90 percent of lung cancer cases are caused by smoking habits. So active smokers become the most risky group. Cigarette smoke is inhaled, containing more than 60 toxic substances that can trigger the development of cancer. These toxic substances are known as carcinogenic. For example nicotine used in insecticides and tar used in the manufacture of road asphalt.

Initially, this damage can be repaired by the body. But the repetition and sustainability of smoking causes damage to the lung tissue continues to grow. Damage is what causes the cells to react abnormally until finally emerged cancer cells.

Passive smokers are people exposed to cigarette smoke but do not smoke directly. Although not smoking directly, passive smokers remain at risk for lung cancer. The risk of passive smokers exposed to lung cancer increases at least 20 percent compared to people who are not exposed to cigarette smoke exposure.

Lung cancer is one type of cancer that can be prevented. Here are some ways you can do:

  • Do not smoke and avoid becoming a passive smoker. The main way to prevent lung cancer is by not smoking. Avoid also be a passive smoker if your environment is filled with active smokers. Especially for active smokers, quit smoking right now. Although it has been years of smoking, this step will still be useful and can reduce the risk of lung cancer.
  • Healthy menu choices. Get used to eating low-fat and high-fiber foods. Fruit and vegetables should be the main menu everyday. Avoid consuming too many vitamins in the form of pills or tablets because such drugs can have side effects.
  • Exercise regularly. Try to exercise regularly. For those who rarely exercise, start this routine gradually. For adults it is recommended to exercise for at least 2-3 hours a week.

Source: Alodokter and National Guidelines for Medical Services – Lung Cancer