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The Awful Truth About Lung Disease: Lung Cancer

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Lung cancer is the worst kind of cancers in the world, causing great majority of deaths among all the various kinds of cancers. The pathophysiology of lung cancer is quite complex to understand and is affected by various factors, the most common one being smoking. Smoking and exposure to polluted environment triggers protein formation which are responsible for processes like cell formation , cell growth and differentiation and angiogenesis. Once these proteins are triggered, they continue to grow uncontrollably and leads to formation of tumours. It is classified into two types- non small cell lung cancer (nsclc) and small cell lung cancer (sclc). NSCLC is of further three kinds adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and large cell carcinoma. This classification is based on the areas where cancer cells start growing. The small cell lung cancer forms at the centre of the lung or chest while adenocarcinoma arises from secretory cells, squamous cell carcinoma arises from the squamous cells and large cell carcinoma arises from large sized, anaplastic cells.

People suffering from lung cancer usually have dyspnea and leg muscle fatigue which impairs their capability to perform exercises and in the extreme cases prevent them from carrying out their daily chores. The possible reasons for this inefficiency is limited ventilatory response, impaired gas exchange, atrophy of peripheral muscles and cardiac dysfunction. Further the development of tumour in lungs decreases the lung efficiency even more. The treatments include chemotherapy, surgery and radiotherapy. There are certain lab based exercise tests which measure the exercise capacity and ability to do physical activities of people with lung cancer. These tests include the cardiopulmonary exercise test or field based test such as 6 mile walk test and are a strong predictor of postoperative pulmonary complications. The treatments of lung cancer are quite invasive and toxic which affects the postoperative life of the patients by a great deal. Hence, to improve the quality of life of people suffering from cancer, exercise must be included in their lifestyle. Exercise training along with pulmonary rehabilitation has proven to increase the ability to do physical activity (which has decreased due to the disease) of people and also improve their medical condition. Training programs for people suffering from lung cancer include both aerobic and resistance training programmes done for 8-12 weeks with 2-3 days frequency in a week.

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