Non-small cell lung cancer
Compared with other types of cancer, three-quarters of lung cancers are only diagnosed after they have already spread in the body!
And the worst part of it is that patients end up being diagnosed only when they are already exhibiting symptoms, which generally look like simple coughs, pneumonia, or even just shortness of breath, and they are not early stage ones.
These symptoms, as non-threatening as they seem to be, end up being a sign that cancer has made its way into your bloodstream or lymph system. The most common type of lung cancer is the non-small cell one, also known as NSCL for short.
Despite being the most common form of lung cancer, NSCL is very difficult to detect in the early stages as it often does not cause patients to have any symptoms and it does not appear on normal chest X-rays. Other types of screening can be used to detect it, such as CT scans or positron emission tomography (PET), but the rest of the detection procedures can actually be quite invasive.
In later stages, doctors end up taking cancer cells from the fluid that builds up around the lungs, from lung secretions, or from biopsy, in order to be able to diagnose the patient. Unfortunately, by this time in the late stage, despite getting the confirmation, the chances of survival are very low.
This is why it is crucial to be able to spot any signs of NSCL in its early stages. So, anyone who has a long history of smoking or who works in an occupation that exposes them to fine particles in the air should see a specialist and discuss the possibility of a CT screening.
Or even just talk to them about the risk they have exposed themselves to. It’s better to ask a question than to suffer later!