Lung cancer is an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the lungs, producing a growth called a tumour. Cancerous tumours, called malignant tumours, can spread to invade and damage nearby tissues and organs. Eventually, it may spread through the lymph channels or bloodstream to form new tumors in other parts of the body.
Presently, lung cancer is the second cause of cancer deaths in Malaysia. In fact, 95% of lung cancer patients die within 5 years of diagnosis.
90% of lung cancer is a result of cigarette smoking. The occurrence of lung cancer is also high among non-smokers who are exposed to second-hand smoke. Tobacco smoke contains some 4,000 different chemicals, of which many are extremely damaging to cells. Over time, these cells can turn cancerous. The more a person smokes, the higher the risk of getting cancer – not just lung cancer, but mouth, throat, esophagus, larynx, bladder, kidney, cervical or pancreatic cancer. There is also increasing evidence that second-hand smoke contributes to lung cancer in non-smokers.
Workers who are exposed to high levels of radon, a radioactive gas, also have an increased risk of developing lung cancer. Other occupational exposures that have been associated with lung cancer include processing of steel, nickel, chrome, coal gas and asbestos.
Lung cancer usually does not have any symptoms when it first develops. Doctors sometimes only discover lung cancer after an individual has a chest X-ray for another medical reason.
The most common symptoms are:
– Persistent cough
– Shortness of breath
– Bloodstained phlegm
– Loss of weight and appetite
– Chest pain
– Hoarseness of voice
– Repeated bouts of pneumonia or bronchitis
MAKNA (Majlis Kanser Nasional) or National Cancer Council is a not-for-profit mainly tasked to pool and utilise every effort, expertise and welfare from every faction of society to fight cancer and to reduce the pain, suffering and morbidity that cancer patients often experience.
It aims to provide curative care and preventive care, cancer research and support services to cancer patients and their families, high-risk groups and the general public in Malaysia and the region.
Together with ordinary Malaysians from all walks of life, MAKNA hopes to inspire extraordinary change and give people affected by cancer renewed hope in life.
MAKNA is registered under the Registrar of Societies Malaysia on 10 November 1994 and was officially launched on 30 March 1995. It was founded by Dato’ Mohd Farid Ariffin in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Official website: http://makna.org.my
Official Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/maknacancer
Official Twitter Page: https://twitter.com/makna_malaysia