Terminal lung cancer results from a virulent, untreatable type of lung cancer than has resisted any treatment and is seen to be incurable and inoperable. Lung cancer itself is an uncontrolled growth of cells in the lung tissues. The cancer is the most common type in both men and women.
Lung cancer symptoms are quite specific. The disease attacks the tissues of the lung, and may metastasize and invade surrounding tissue beyond the lungs. Symptoms arising from this include bleeding, trouble breathing and heavy coughing. A patient may soon lose a lot of weight due to difficulty eating and swallowing and loss of appetite. About 90% of people diagnosed with lung cancer display these and other symptoms, while the remaining 10% are diagnosed following routine chest radiographs.
The causes of lung cancer are well-researched, particularly because of the incidence of smoking-caused lung cancer. Carcinogens – contained in tobacco smoke and many other sources, viral infections, and types of radiation may cause changes within the DNA of the lung tissue. Cancer may develop from these changes due to damaged tissue.
The most common cause of cancer of lung is smoking, particularly cigarettes. The United States sees 90% of lung cancer in men develop from smoking and 85% in women. The overall lifetime risk of developing lung cancer is far high (17.2% for men, 11.6% in women) among smokers than non-smokers (around 1.35% for both sexes).
Other causes include radon gas from natural sources, asbestos and, potentially, certain viruses.
Cancer of lung is primarily categorized into one of two types:
Non-small cell lung carcinoma(NSCLC), and
Small cell lung carcinoma (SCLC).
In both cases, lung cancer stages range from 0 to 4, with sub-stages in-between defined by the size of tumors, metastasis rates and lung obstruction.
Patients suffering stage 4 lung cancer have tumors that cannot be removed through surgery. This may be because it has spread outside of the lungs. Stage 4 lung cancer has a similar prognosis for both NSCLC and SCLC. The outlook is poor for the patient, with survival chances decreasing from 6% for two years survival, to 1% for five years.
Stage 4 lung cancer treatment is not capable of treating or curing the cancer. The main treatments available are those to enhance quality of life, reduce pain and symptoms, and try to extend the patient’s life as much as possible. Caring for a patient with stage 4 lung cancer will be hard and trying. The cancer has likely reached stage 4 through a series of previous painful stages and probably heavy doses of chemo and surgery. Whether or not stage 4 was a likely prospect, having it suddenly become a diagnosis will be awful on a patient and their cares. It may be a good idea to seek out palliative care assistance when a prognosis of terminal lung cancer is given.