Other Lung Cancers

Cancer that affects the lungs (a vital part of the respiratory system) is called lung cancer. When the cells in the lung grow abnormally and multiply uncontrollably, it paves the way for lung cancer. Lung cancer is broadly classified into non-small cell lung cancers and small cell lung cancers. Apart from these classifications, there are other forms of lung cancers. They are:

Carcinoid tumors: They are the subset of neuroendocrine tumors, that usually develop in the digestive tract or in the lungs. Carcinoid tumors develop slowly and may develop in any part of the body. Carcinoid tumors may have the following signs and symptoms:

  • Wheezing
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulties in breathing
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight gain
  • Marks on the skin which may appear in pink or purple colour
  • Breathing difficulties like shortness of breath

If any or some of these symptoms are seen persistently in an individual, it is time to go for a medical consultation. Carcinoid tumors can be treated using medications. If the tumor has spread to other parts of the body like the liver, the doctor may suggest the following treatment options:

  • Kill the cancer cells with cold or heat
  • Liver surgery
  • Stop blood supply to liver tumors

Kaposi’s sarcoma: It is a kind of lung cancer that is caused by a virus called human herpesvirus 8. This type of cancer is characterized by purple or red patches anywhere in the lungs, mouth or the skin. It is the major symptom of Kaposi’s sarcoma. In severe cases, there can be swelling in the lungs, which may spread to other parts of the body. AIDS-related Kaposi’s sarcoma is an aggressive and rare form of this type of cancer. Treatment for Kaposi’s sarcoma may depend on the type, size and location of the disease. Most of the treatments are aimed at reducing the symptoms, shrinking the tumors and preventing the condition from getting worse. Some of the treatment options include:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Topical therapy
  • Cryotherapy
  • Biological therapy
  • Surgery

Mesothelioma: This type of cancer may develop in other parts of the body like the heart, chest and abdomen apart from the lungs. The condition is linked to exposure to asbestos. It is an aggressive type of lung cancer which may affect the membrane lining of the abdomen and the linings. Mesothelioma of the lungs may show the following symptoms:

  • Breathing problems like shortness of breath
  • Chest or lower back pain
  • Cough that persists for a long
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • High body temperature and excessive sweating at night

The stage of cancer and overall health of the patient are the two main factors by which the doctor decides on the treatment. Major treatment options are:

  • Radiotherapy
  • Chemotherapy