Thoracic cancer- what you need to know.

What we commonly call as chest, the region between the neck and the abdomen is the thorax. Thorax includes the chest cavity enclosed by the ribs, the breast bone, vertebrae and the organs of circulation and respiration. Any cancer occurring in this region is known as thoracic cancer.

The most common thoracic cancer is lung cancer. Most of you will be aware that persistent cough, shortness of breath, wheezing, hoarseness, fatigue, loss of weight and appetite. Other types of cancers of the thorax may exhibit similar symptoms. Patients with thymus cancer would have symptoms similar to lung cancer. Esophageal cancer patients may additionally have difficulty in swallowing and extensive heartburn.

Thoracic cancer symptoms may not be seen in the initial stages. Early accurate diagnosis and staging is vital for effective treatment. Scans such as PET scans and CT scans will help diagnose thoracic cancers. Treatment would include medical, surgical and radiation therapies.

Smoking is the single largest cause of lung cancer. Never smoking is the best. Quitting smoking is the next best. Your risk of developing lung cancer reduces from the moment you quit smoking.

The next day I made it a point to visit my doctor who ordered some tests. The results confirmed my fears. I had breast cancer. My treatment began soon and as with all cancer treatments, I had some bad days. Through it all however, my doctor’s words helped me keep my faith.

Stop smoking, get enough exercise, adopt a healthy diet and lifestyle and reduce your risk of developing cancer.