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Lung Cancer, Chief Gani, And You - Health - Nairaland

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Lung Cancer, Chief Gani, And You by doctorvic: 6:01pm On Sep 15, 2009

September, 5, 2009, Vanguard Nigerian Newspaper reads: Fire-eating lawyer and Nigeria’s foremost human rights activist, Chief Ganiyu Oyesola Fawehinmi is dead. The news of the death of the Human Rights crusader hit the Nigerian nation early this morning.
According to some Nigerian medical experts , In the case of Chief Gani Fawehinmi, he was initially undergoing asthma treatment because he was coughing before his condition was eventually diagnosed to be lung cancer. “Since they were treating him for asthma, this did not allow him to go early for definite assessment of his ailment”. Because of the early need for diagnosing lung cancer, people that cough require to be screened to be sure that the cough is not a symptom of lung cancer or even tuberculosis.

Lung cancer remains the greatest killer of all cancer worldwide and its course may be brutally short. According to the WHO, in 2004, 7.4 million people died of cancer worldwide, the greater majority attributed to lung cancer.
The rate of occurrence of lung cancer has been reported to have a striking parallel to the incidence of cigarette smoking in any nation. And a heavy smoker consuming more than 20 cigarettes per day has a 30 to 40 times higher risk of developing the illness.
The risk is increased by early age of commencement of smoking and the duration of smoking. Other identified risk factors include second-hand smoking, air pollution and exposure to chemicals like arsenic, randon gas (radiation) and the notorious asbestos.
THE LUNGS: The lungs are a pair of cone-shaped organs that are situated inside the chest. The lungs bring oxygen into the body and take out carbon dioxide, which is a waste product of the cells of the body. Tubes called bronchi make up the inside of the lungs. Your lungs have an extensive network of blood and lymph vessels. Cancer cells may grow into these vessels and be carried by the blood or lymph and be deposited elsewhere in the body. Cancer can spread from the lungs to almost any site in the body. Most commonly it spreads to the brain, bone, bone marrow and liver. Lung cancer takes many years to develop. It is the second most common cancer in women.

Symptoms that suggest lung cancer include:
[1]dyspnea (shortness of breath)
[2]hemoptysis (coughing up blood)
[3]chronic coughing or change in regular coughing pattern
[5]chest pain or pain in the abdomen
[6]cachexia (weight loss), fatigue, and loss of appetite
[7]dysphonia (hoarse voice)
[8]clubbing of the fingernails (uncommon)
[9]dysphagia (difficulty swallowing).
[10]If the cancer grows in the airway, it may obstruct airflow, causing breathing difficulties. This can lead to accumulation of secretions behind the blockage, predisposing the patient to pneumonia. Many lung cancers have a rich blood supply. The surface of the cancer may be fragile, leading to bleeding from the cancer into the airway. This blood may subsequently be coughed up.
[11]Depending on the type of tumor, so-called paraneoplastic phenomena may initially attract attention to the disease. In lung cancer, these phenomena may include Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome (muscle weakness due to auto-antibodies), hypercalcemia, or syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone (SIADH). Tumors in the top (apex) of the lung, known as Pancoast tumors,may invade the local part of the sympathetic nervous system, leading to changed sweating patterns and eye muscle problems (a combination known as Horner's syndrome) as well as muscle weakness in the hands due to invasion of the brachial plexus.
[12]Many of the symptoms of lung cancer (bone pain, fever, and weight loss) are nonspecific; in the elderly, these may be attributed to comorbid illness. In many patients, the cancer has already spread beyond the original site by the time they have symptoms and seek medical attention. Common sites of metastasis include the brain, bone, adrenal glands, contralateral (opposite) lung, liver, pericardium, and kidneys. About 10% of people with lung cancer do not have symptoms at diagnosis; these cancers are incidentally found on routine Chest X-Ray.

Performing a Chest X-Ray is the first step if a patient reports symptoms that may be suggestive of lung cancer. This may reveal an obvious mass, widening of the mediastinum (suggestive of spread to lymph nodes there), atelectasis (collapse), consolidation (pneumonia), or pleural effusion. If there are no radiographic findings but the suspicion is high (such as a heavy smoker with blood-stained sputum), bronchoscopy and/or a CT scan may provide the necessary information. Bronchoscopy or CT-guided biopsy is often used to identify the tumor type.

A chest x-ray is usually the first test performed to evaluate any concerns based on a careful history and physical. This may show a mass in the lungs or enlarged lymph nodes. Sometimes the chest x-ray is normal, and further tests are needed look for a suspected lung cancer. Even if a mass is found, these are not always cancerous and further studies are needed.

A full blood count is generally taken at the start of any investigation into possible disease, including lung cancer. Changes in the number of red and/or white blood cells help doctors understand if the body is reacting/responding to a disease. Various different naturally occurring substances, such as proteins, antibodies, and the bodies own chemicals may differ from the normal range when cancer is present.
Complete blood count (CBC). This test determines the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets within the blood.

There's no sure way to prevent lung cancer, but you can reduce your risk if you:
· [1]Don't smoke. If you've never smoked, don't start. Talk to your children about not smoking, so they can understand how to avoid this major risk factor for lung cancer. Many current smokers began smoking in their teens. Begin conversations about the dangers of smoking with your children early, so they know how to react to peer pressure.
· [2]Stop smoking. Stop smoking now. Quitting reduces your 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. Options include nicotine replacement products, medications and support groups.
· [3]Avoid secondhand smoke. If you live or work with a smoker, urge him or her to quit. At the very least, ask him or her to smoke outside. Avoid areas where people smoke, such as bars and restaurants, and seek out smoke-free options.
· [4]Test your home for radon. Have the radon levels in your home checked, especially if you live in an area where radon is known to be a problem. High radon levels can be remedied to make your home safer. For information on radon testing, contact your local department of public health or a local chapter of the American Lung Association.
· [5]Avoid carcinogens at work. Take precautions to protect yourself from exposure to toxic chemicals at work. In the United States, your employer must tell you if you're exposed to dangerous chemicals in your workplace. Follow your employer's precautions. For instance, if you're given a face mask for protection, always wear it. Ask your doctor what more you can do to protect yourself at work. Your risk of lung damage from these carcinogens increases if you smoke.
· [6]Eat a diet full of fruits and vegetables. Choose a healthy diet with a variety of fruits and vegetables. Food sources of vitamins and nutrients are best. Avoid taking large doses of vitamins in pill form, as there may be unknown harms. For instance, researchers hoping to reduce the risk of lung cancer in heavy smokers gave them beta carotene supplements. Results showed the supplements actually increased the risk of cancer in smokers.
· [7]Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all. Limit yourself to one drink a day if you're a woman or two drinks a day if you're a man. Anyone age 65 and older should drink no more than one drink a day.
· [8]Exercise. Aim to achieve at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week. Check with your doctor first if you aren't already exercising regularly. Start out slowly and continue adding more activity. Biking, swimming and walking are good choices. Add exercise throughout your day — park farther away from work and walk the rest of the way or take the stairs rather than the elevator.

Treatment for lung cancer depends on the cancer's specific cell type, how far it has spread, and the patient's performance status. Common treatments include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.

JOAS MEDICAL DIAGNOSTIX Ikotun Lagos Nigeria , offers Chest X-Ray with full Consultant Radiologist Interpretation. We also offer accurate Full Blood Count tests for accurate accessment of Lung Cancer. For any routine check up or anxiety/confirmation of Lung Cancer or any Chest conditions, contact JOAS MEDICAL DIAGNOSTIX Ikotun lagos Nigeria.

Dr. Victor Efughi
Consultant Clinical Specialist Sonographer

For FREE Consultation and FREE Counseling. Also for Quality and Accurate Medical Diagnostic Tests ContactJOAS MEDICAL DIAGNOSTIX

We are located at

JOAS HOUSE, 2, Okesuna Street, Opposite Synagogue Church Busstop, Bolorunpelu, Ikotun, Lagos, Nigeria, WestAfrica.





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