Lung cancer (Carcinoma of the Bronchus) is now the commonest form of malignant growth in the world, especially in Britain. It is commoner in men than in women and is the cause of nearly half the deaths from cancer in males. The evidence that Cigarette smoking is responsible for the great increase in lung cancer is incontrovertible and indeed it has been estimated that 90% of deaths from lung cancer in men results from cigarette smoking. Carcinoma of the bronchus has some clinical manifestations which include the following: a cough is the commonest presenting symptom (persistent and purulent sputum may be produced), Wheezing may be present due to bronchial obstruction, chest pain may be caused by plunisy or by the growth invading the ribs or the intercostals nerves and Hoarseness of the voice may be due to pressure on the recurrent laryngeal nerve which controls the vocal chords.
Diagnosis of this condition includes; tomography (X-rays focused on the plane) may give a clearer idea of the extent of the growth. Loss of weight and energy, particularly if associated with cough and sputum, must always arouse suspicion of lung cancer, particularly in cigarette smokers.
Examination of the chest may review further evidence and the presence of enlarged glands or clubbing of the fingers may also lead to suspicion of the diagnosis. Bronchoscopy that is the bronchoscope allows the inspection of the main air passages. X-ray of the chest provides the diagnosis in most cases. A shadow in the lung associated with enlargement of the hilar glands suggests a bronchial carcinoma with lymphatic spread to glands.
Under the treatment of lung cancer, the following and among are recommended; surgical resection of the tumours is the best treatment, usually pneumonectomy (removal of an entire lung) or lobectomy (revomal of a lobe), Radiotherapy is also best used to relief symptoms such as chest pain, cytotoxic drugs which include intravenous nitrogen mustard and oral cyclophosphanide and in many cases, symptomatic treatment and relief of pain is all that can be achieved.
This condition is a distressing disorder with a poor prognosis. Since it is largely caused by cigarette smoking, nurses and doctors should do all they can to discourage this dangerous habit. All health workers (doctors and nurses) should educate the public on smoking and the long-term effects. With all these measures put in place, as far as I am concern, I think lung cancer could be prevented.