Lung cancer - patient education

Lung cancer - patient education

Oak Valley Health's patient education pages share the skills, knowledge, and habits patients and families need to know to cope with a daily health issue. We hope this information can influence patient behaviour to improve health outcomes and provide you with a sense of control and autonomy.

Learn more about the risks, causes, and treatment of lung cancer

What is lung cancer?

Lung cancer is defined as an abnormal growth of cancerous cells that forms a mass in the lung. Lung cancer is classified into several types. The types are determined by the appearance of the tumour cells.

The two most common types are:

  • Non-small cell lung cancer
  • Small cell lung cancer
What causes lung cancer?
  • Tobacco smoking (number one cause of lung cancer)
  • Exposure to radon
What increases the risks?
  • You are male
  • Second-hand tobacco smoke
  • Radon gas
  • Uranium
  • Asbestos
  • Arsenic in drinking water
  • Air pollution
  • Medical and family history of lung cancer
  • Had lung radiation therapy in the past
  • You are 65 years of age or older
How do I know that I have lung cancer?
  • A bloody constant cough
  • Fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Bone and joint pain
  • Feeling weak
  • Swelling of face and arms
  • Paralysis
  • Droopy eyelids
How is this treated?
  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Targeted therapy
  • Radiation therapy
If you have been diagnosed with lung cancer, please contact your doctor or health care provider immediately if you are experiencing any of the following:
  • Losing weight
  • Wheezing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Bone and joint pain
  • The pain gets worse
  • You have difficulty swallowing
If you have been diagnosed with lung cancer, please get help immediately if you are experiencing any of the following:
  • Cough up blood
  • New breathing problems
  • Chest pain
  • Fever
  • Swelling
  • Paralysis in your face
  • You are confused
Where can I get more information?

Reference: Lung Cancer. (2021, June 08). Elsevier Inc: ClinicalKey for Nursing. Retrieved from here.