Friday, October 25, 2013

Micrometastatic Lung Cancer Symptoms

Micrometastatic lung cancer simply means that the cancerous cells have been shed from the original tumor and have spread to another part of the body, like the brain. These can't be seen with imaging like MRI test and PET or CT scans. According to Dr. P. Postmus, radiotherapy has been standard treatments for patients exhibiting this advancement, but the combination of chemo and radiotherapy may soon become the standard treatment due to the brighter outlook of recovery.


Symptoms of lung cancer that was caused by the micrometastatic cancerous cells include high white blood cell counts. Many patients do not realize they have cancer due to a lack of symptoms. Some do develop symptoms such as a cough, and a cough that does not go away or gets worse. Coughing blood and chest pain that is dull and aching as well as shortness of breath even when no activity has been completed are also symptoms. Wheezing or hoarseness as well as bronchitis and pneumonia can also be signs and symptoms of micrometastatic lung cancer. The actual symptoms experienced will solely depend on the location and the size of the tumor.


Smoking is considered the most important cause of lung cancer in the world. Considering that smoke has more than 4,000 chemicals that are known to be carcinogens, it is no wonder this correlation has been made. Smokers who quit reduce their chance of cancer 15 years after quitting compared to the chance of a person who has never smoked. Passive or secondhand smoke makes up about 3,000 lung cancer victims yearly, and air pollution from vehicles are also very highly responsible for lung cancers of all kinds. Asbestos exposure increases the risk of lung cancer by 9 times over any other type of exposure. Tuberculosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, also creates a larger risk for lung cancer, as well as radon exposure. Arsenic, chromium, nickel and ethers as well as hydrocarbon exposure on a regular basis will also raise the risk of lung cancer.


Normally the diagnosis is made long before symptoms are recognized. CT and PET scans can be done to find the original tumor that the micrometastatic cells branched off from. The only actual way of diagnosing this condition is through blood testing with an oncologist and X-rays of the suspected area. PET and CT scans cannot pick up the micrometastatic tumors or cells, and this is why this disease is so often overlooked and undiagnosed.


According to the American Association of Cancer Research, chemotherapy and radiation therapy are known to be the two most widely used treatments. Chemo and radiation lead to a cure in a small amount of patients, and this simply shrinks the tumor and helps to prolong life spans for those patients with end stage cancer. These treatments are also known for relieving symptoms of cancer, and the inoperable tumors are treated this way to help extend life. The brain can be treated even if there is no tumor using PCI or prophylactic cranial irradiation to help keep a tumor from forming when micrometastatic tumors are found.

Side Effects from Treatments

Many patients suffer from severe side effects from chemo and radiation therapies. Every patient is different, and side effects will differ as well. Hair loss, weight loss, lack of energy, nausea and dizziness are the most common side effects from these combined treatments. Others include fever, tenderness of site, lethargy and dehydration or lack of appetite.

Tags: lung cancer, risk lung, risk lung cancer, side effects, cancerous cells, effects from, Many patients