Aside from skin cancer, lung cancer is the most frequently diagnosed type of cancer in both men and women. In fact, 14% of all newly diagnosed cancer cases are lung cancer. Unfortunately, symptoms in the early stages are usually not noticeable. Because of this, lung cancer is often not diagnosed until the later stages. The American Cancer Society estimates that 155,870 people will die from lung cancer in 2017. Since lung cancer is so common, knowing what causes it and the symptoms to look for could mean earlier, and possibly more successful, treatment.
The number one cause of lung cancer is cigarette smoke. Cigarette smoke can cause lung cancer in both smokers and non-smokers who inhale second-hand smoke. However, those who smoke are more likely to get cancer than those who do not. Cigarette smoke is full of carcinogens, which are substances that cause cancer. Smoking causes the tissue in the lungs to change. When a person first starts smoking, their body can fix damaged tissue, but eventually there is too much damage and cells can begin to act abnormally and may cause cancer.
Although cigarette smoke is the leading cause of lung cancer, people who have never smoked can get cancer. There are other substances that can cause lung cancer, such as asbestos and radon gas. A family history of lung cancer also puts a person at a higher risk.
Symptoms of lung cancer may be experienced in the chest or in other parts of the body, depending on whether or not the cancer has spread. Lung cancer commonly spreads to the bones, brain, lymph nodes, liver, and adrenal glands. Symptoms of lung cancer include:
- Persistent coughing.
- Difficulty breathing.
- A cough that produces blood.
- Shoulder, chest, or back pain not caused by coughing.
- Vocal changes, such as hoarseness.
- Weight loss.
- Pain in the bones.
- Swelling in the neck or face.
- Blood clots.
- Feeling tired.
- Broken bones that are not caused by injury.
If your parent is at risk for or has been diagnosed with lung cancer, hiring a senior care provider to care for your parent at home can help. A senior care provider can help encourage your parent to stop smoking or help limit their exposure to second-hand smoke and other lung irritants. If your parent has been diagnosed, a senior care provider can remind your parent to take medications on time and assist with tasks that may become too difficult, such as cleaning and cooking. A senior care provider can also ease your mind about your parent’s safety and well-being while you’re working or spending time with your family.
If you or an aging loved one are in need of senior care services in Palm City, FL or the surrounding areas, contact the caring professionals at Treasure Coast Home Health Care. Call today at 772-872-6983.
We are licensed by the Agency for Healthcare Administration in Florida. As a licensed nurse registry, we refer private duty caregivers to clients in need of personal care services and assistance with every day activities. We are providers of medical and non-medical health care services.
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