Lung adenocarcinoma

November 12, 2012

Lung adenocarcinoma

Lung adenocarcinoma is the name given for the condition responsible for nearly 50% of lung cancers. It is the most common form of lung cancer in those under 45 years or age and is most commonly found in women and non-smokers.

An introduction to lung adenocarcinoma

This type of cancer falls into a category of lung cancers known as non-small cell lung cancer, which is responsible for 80% of lung cancers. Medical research has found that lung adenocarcinoma starts in the outer parts of the lungs, affecting the tissue. Evidence suggests that most patients have the cancer for quite a long time before any symptoms begin to occur. Women diagnosed with lung cancer are most commonly suffering from lung adenocarcinoma. It is also commonly found in non-smokers and Asian people. Where other forms of lung cancer such as squamous cell carcinoma appears to be decreasing lung adenocarcinoma, it would appear that cases of lung adenocarcinoma are increasing.

The symptoms of lung adenocarcinoma

The symptoms that are often associated with lung cancers such as a chronic cough and coughing up blood will not necessarily occur with lung adenocarcinoma. Due to the fact that this form of cancer affects the outer areas of the lungs first, means that these symptoms often wont occur until further on in the development of the disease. Early signs and symptoms of this condition include fatigue, mild shortness of breath and an achy feeling in the back, shoulders or chest. Where these symptoms are commonly associated with a number of illnesses it is common for them to get overlooked and not considered to be signs of anything serious.

Diagnosing lung adenocarcinoma

The first signs of this form of cancer often wont be spotted until x-rays are taken showing evidence of abnormalities to the outer lungs. This will then be followed up with further tests including a CT Scan, sputum cytology, bronchoscopy, and a PET scan. PET scans have been developed to identify growing tumours. These tests focus on the chest and lungs but depending on the results further tests may be required to identify whether or not the cancer has spread.

Causes of lung adenocarcinoma

Although smoking remains to be the leading cause of lung cancer, many cases of lung adenocarcinoma are occurring in individuals who have never smoked. In these cases the primary cause is though to be exposure to radon in the home. However as a multi-factorial disease, in most cases a number of factors would have to come together triggering the development of this form of cancer in certain people.

Treating lung adenocarcinoma

The treatment recommended will vary on each individual and a number of factors, primarily the advancement of the cancer when it is caught. Treatment options include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapies or a combination of a number of these treatments. Prognosis naturally depends on the stage at which the cancer is caught. Unfortunately as it is hard to recognise the early stages of lung adenocarcinoma it is often fairly advanced by the time treatment can be started. Only approximately 15% of patients survive for another 5 years once lung cancer has been diagnosed.

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