Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Lung Cancer

Lung Cancer: What is it

​Lung cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in one or both lungs. Normal lung tissue consists of cells programmed to reproduce and develop into healthy, well formed lungs. In lung cancer, abnormal cells reproduce rapidly and disrupt natural programming. Tumours then form and block healthy lung tissues, making it difficult for the lung to function properly.

There are two general types of lung cancer – small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. Lung cancer can also spread to lymph nodes or other tissues in the chest, including the other lung, and other organs such as the bones, brain and liver.

Risk Factors of Lung Cancer

  1. Cigarette smoking is the main cause of lung cancer and is responsible for more than 90 per cent of lung cancers.
  2. Constant exposure to cigarette smoke, including passive smoking, also increases the risk of lung cancer.
  3. Exposure to certain workplace chemicals increases the risk of lung cancer e.g. asbestos, coal gas, chromium, nickel, arsenic, vinyl chloride and mustard gas.

Signs and Symptoms of Lung Cancer

  1. Persistent cough that worsens over time
  2. Shortness of breath and wheezing
  3. Production of bloodstained sputum or phlegm
  4. Chest pain
  5. Sudden and unexplained weight loss
  6. Loss of appetite
  7. General weakness and tiredness
  8. Recurrent chest infections and fever

These symptoms may be caused by a number of problems and may not indicate the presence of cancer, but if any of the above symptoms persists or is bothering you, do consult your doctor for advice.

Screening for Lung Cancer

Population screening for lung cancer is currently not recommended.

Treatment for Lung Cancer

Treatment options for lung cancer range from surgery, radiation therapy to chemotherapy.

Specialist Services

Specialist services are available at the following institutions:

  • National Cancer Centre Singapore
    Tel: 6436 8088

  • Singapore General Hospital
    Tel: 6321 4377