What is Lung Cancer?
Lung cancer begins in your lungs and may spread to other parts of your body. It is a serious disease that can lead to complications and death. In fact, lung cancer causes the most cancer-related deaths in the USA. In this article we’ll discuss the different stages and symptoms of lung cancer, and how Chinese Medicine can help.
Lung Cancer Stages:
There are different stages of lung cancer which tell you how far the cancer has spread. Getting an early diagnosis and early treatment will give better chance of recovery. However, early diagnosis is not very common because the early stages of lung cancer don’t always cause obvious symptoms.
Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC):
- Stage 1 – The cancer is contained within your lung and has not spread further
- Stage 2 – The cancer has spread from your lung to nearby lymph nodes
- Stage 3 – The cancer has affected your lung and lymph nodes in the middle of your chest
- Stage 3A – The cancer is in your lung and lymph nodes on the same side as the original growth
- Stage 3B – The cancer has affected lymph nodes on the opposite side of the chest than the original growth, or above the collar bone
- Stage 4 – The cancer has affected both lungs, and has spread surrounding areas or distant organs
Small-Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC):
- Limited – The cancer is in the lung or lymph nodes on the same side of the chest
- Extensive – The cancer has spread to the entire lung, the lung or lymph nodes on the opposite side, the fluid surrounding the lung, bone marrow, or to distant organs
About 65% of people with SCLC are already at the extensive stage of lung cancer when they are diagnosed.
Lung Cancer Symptoms:
You may experience different symptoms depending on what stage your lung cancer is at. If you experience symptoms in the early stages of lung cancer, these could include:
- Shortness of breath
- Back pain
- Chest pain when laughing, coughing, or breathing deeply
- Coughing up phlegm or blood
- Lingering cough
- Raspy or hoarse voice
- Loss of appetite
- Frequent infections like bronchitis or pneumonia
Symptoms of lung cancer in the later stages will depend on where your cancer has spread to. Possible symptoms of late-stage lung cancer could include:
- Lumps in your collarbone or neck
- Bone pain
- Balance problems
- Shoulder pain
- Numb limbs
- Swelling of your face and upper body
If your lung cancer tumours produce a substance like hormones, you might also experience symptoms like vomiting, high blood pressure, confusion, and seizures.
Chinese Medicine: How Can We Help?
In Chinese Medicine, methods like acupuncture, moxibustion, and Chinese herbs are used to help treat many diseases including cancers. These treatments can help you heal by soothing pain, boosting your immune system, and reducing inflammation. Your Chinese Medicine practitioner can also strengthen organs such as your lungs, which may help them fight off cancer.
Chinese Medicine can also help you recover from other cancer treatments like chemotherapy. Some cancer treatments can cause side effects like nausea and vomiting, and Chinese Medicine can help soothe these symptoms.
Another important aspect of Chinese Medicine is your diet. To give yourself the best chances of recovery, try avoiding cancer-causing foods such as meat and avoid smoking. Instead, you can fuel up on many nutritious foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to give yourself the best ingredients to heal.
Overall, lung cancer is a serious disease which can lead to severe complications and death. You’ll have the best chance of recovery if you get a diagnosis and treatment when your cancer is in the early stages. However, early stages of lung cancer don’t always cause obvious symptoms. Chinese Medicine can help you treat lung cancer through natural methods like acupuncture and can also help you recover from side effects from other cancer treatments.
For more information about cancer and Chinese Medicine, please see our webpage at https://balancetcm.co.nz/cancer-clinic/.
To find out more about how Chinese Medicine can help you treat health problems, please see our webpage at https://balancetcm.co.nz/.
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Centre of Balance: Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine (n.d.). Cancer Clinic. https://balancetcm.co.nz/cancer-clinic/
Centre of Balance: Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine (n.d.). Would You Like to Experience More Energy, & Less Stress & Pain? https://balancetcm.co.nz/
Pietrangelo, A. & Behring, S. (2022, April 12). Lung Cancer: Everything You Need to Know. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/lung-cancer