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Let your lungs live
Know more about the causes and symptoms of Lung Cancer

What is Lung Cancer?

Lung Cancer starts in the cells that line the bronchi and parts of the lung such as the bronchioles or alveoli.

There are two main types of primary Lung Cancer:

  • Small-Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC): This type is described from the small size of the cells that it is composed of when viewed under a microscope. Found in about 10 to 15 percent of people.
  • Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC): Includes most other types of Lung Cancer and is found in the remaining 85 to 90 percent of people. There are subcategories of NSCLC, the most common of which are adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and large cell carcinoma.
Anatomy of the lungs

The lungs form part of our respiratory (breathing) system, which includes:

  • Nose and mouth
  • Trachea (windpipe)
  • Bronchi (tubes that go to each lung)
  • Lungs


Anatomy of the respiratory system

The trachea, bronchi and lungs. As we breathe in, air passes from our nose or mouth, through the trachea, bronchi and bronchioles, before it reaches tiny air sacs called alveoli – this is where oxygen from the air passes into the bloodstream.

What are the symptoms of Lung Cancer?

The most common symptoms of Lung Cancer are:

  • Coughing blood (Coughing up blood is called hemoptysis, and this requires medical evaluation if it occurs.)
  • Persistent cough
  • Hoarseness or lowering of the voice
  • Difficulty breathing/breathlessness
  • Chest infection that won’t go away or keeps coming back
  • Chest or shoulder pain that won’t go away
  • Wheezing (a whistling sound when you breathe)
  • Headache and swelling of the face, arms or neck
Other non-specific symptoms may include:

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Feeling extremely tired
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite

You should see your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms. However, it is important to remember that these symptoms are common in people who do not have lung cancer as well; they may also be caused by other conditions.

What causes Lung Cancer?
Tobacco Smoke

Cigarette smoking is the most common cause of lung cancer. In India, it is responsible for 70% of cases in men and 30% of cases in women (IPSOS data). The number of years that a person has been a smoker is more important than the number of cigarettes smoked per day; therefore, giving up smoking at any age can reduce the risk of developing lung cancer more than cutting down on the number of cigarettes smoked per day.

Passive smoking

Passive smoking, also referred to as ‘second-hand smoke’ or ‘environmental tobacco smoke’, can be hazardous to adults and children. Secondhand smoke contains the same toxic substances as directly inhaled smoke. Secondhand smoke is an important cause of death from both lung cancer and heart disease.


Radon in homes and workplaces is recognized as an important risk factor for lung cancer. Radon is a radioactive gas that occurs naturally in the ground. Radon leaks out of the ground and into houses or buildings, where it is then inhaled. You cannot see or smell radon.

Genetic susceptibility

Some people are more likely to develop Lung Cancer based on their genetic makeup. Having a family history of Lung Cancer, or other types of cancer, increases the risk of developing lung cancer. In people who are genetically predisposed to Lung Cancer, smoking further increases the risk.

Household and environmental pollutants

Asbestos and Arsenic exposure increases risk factors for the development of Lung cancer. It has also been suggested that indoor air pollution from the use of coal-fuelled stoves may be a factor.

Preventive Measures:
Avoid smoking

Don’t start smoking if you haven’t already. Talk to your peers about smoking being the major cause of lung cancer. Begin conversations about the dangers of smoking with your loved ones.

Stop smoking

If you’ve cultivated a habit of smoking, then now is the time to reduce. Quitting cigarettes lowers the 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. Nicotine replacement products, medications, and support groups are a good way to start.

Avoid second-hand smoke

If you spend time with a smoker, urge him or her to quit. At the very least, ask him or her not to smoke around you. Avoid areas where people smoke, such as bars and restaurants, and seek out smoke-free places/points for healthier lungs.

Avoid carcinogens at work

Exposure to toxic chemicals at work can also add to the risk of Lung Cancer. Use safety equipment such as a face mask for protection in case the workspace has chemicals involved. Furthermore, the risk of lung damage from workplace carcinogens increases if you smoke.

Exercise most days of the week

If exercising isn’t a part of your everyday schedule, then start out slowly. Try staying active most days of the week.


Lung Cancer Profiles

PDL1 Test

Identification of neoplasms expressing programmed cell death 1-ligand 1

Lung Cancer Targeted Therapy Panel

Identifying lung tumors that may respond to targeted therapies by assessing multiple gene targets simultaneously in EGFR, ALK and ROS1.
Diagnosis and management of patients with lung cancer.

Expanded Lung Cancer Panel

Identifying lung tumors that may respond to targeted therapies by assessing multiple gene targets simultaneously in ROS1, RET, and MET genes.
Diagnosis and management of patients with lung cancer

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