Lung cancer and smoking often, but not always, go hand in hand. As lung cancer stages advance, lung cancer symptoms include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and bloody mucus. Treatment includes surgery, chemotherapy, and/or radiation.
Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world. It is a leading cause of cancer death in men and women in the United States. Cigarette smoking causes most lung cancers. The more cigarettes you smoke per day and the earlier you started smoking, the greater your risk of lung cancer. High levels of pollution, radiation and asbestos exposure may also increase risk.
From the moment you inhale smoke into your lungs, it starts damaging your lung tissue. The lungs can repair the damage, but continued exposure to smoke makes it increasingly difficult for the lungs to keep up the repair. Once cells are damaged, they begin to behave abnormally, increasing the likelihood of developing lung cancer. Small-cell lung cancer is almost always associated with heavy smoking. When you stop smoking, you lower your risk of lung cancer over time.