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Adenosquamous Carcinoma of the Lungs - Causes, Symptoms, and Management

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Adenosquamous carcinoma is a type of lung cancer. Read the article below to learn about the causes, diagnosis, and treatment.

Written by

Dr. Saberitha

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Rajesh Gulati

Published At October 5, 2022
Reviewed AtOctober 5, 2022

Introduction

Adenosquamous carcinoma is classified under non-small cell lung carcinoma. It is the second most common cancer. The cancer cells originate from the alveolar (air sacs) lining of the lungs. It spreads to the outer lining of the lungs. The severity of adenosquamous carcinoma depends on the tumor size, the origin of cancer cells, and metastasis (invasion) to other tissue.

What Are the Various Symptoms of Adenosquamous Carcinoma?

The tumor does not show any symptoms at the earlier stages. As the disease progresses, the following symptoms are present;

  • Cough - The symptoms of cough extend from weeks to months. If it lasts for more than eight weeks, it is suggestive of lung cancer. It is due to the irritation in the upper respiratory tract by cancer cells.

  • Sputum With Blood - The mucus gets mixed with the blood and is expelled out during cough. Few people have streaks of bloodstains in the mucus. It appears rust-colored.

  • Breathing Difficulty - The patient strains to breathe normally. There is a shortness of breath, and the patient experiences a tightened sense in the chest. The patient is not satisfied with the inhalation, so they gasp for breath frequently.

  • Wheezing - The inflammation of the airways produces a whistling sound during breathing.

  • Hoarseness - The irritation of the airways produces a sore throat and breaks the normal voice into a hoarse voice.

  • Weight Loss - The cancer cells interrupt the metabolism of the body and make the person lose weight unintentionally. The patient has a loss of appetite along with slight discomfort in the abdominal region.

  • Fatigue - The patient affected by adenosquamous carcinoma of the lung loses energy and often feels tired. It makes the person depressed and unable to fall asleep.

What Are the Causes of Adenosquamous Carcinoma of the Lungs?

  • Genetic Inheritance - Genetic inheritance is the genes acquired from the family. It affects normal cell growth. As a result, the cancer cells proliferate and damage the lung tissue.

  • Smoking - Smoking is the major cause of adenosquamous carcinoma of the lungs.

  • Metastasis - Cancer cells proliferate from one organ to another. A lung tumor may be due to the metastasis of breast cancer, colorectal cancer, or prostate cancer.

What Are the Risk Factors Associated With Adenosquamous Carcinoma of the Lungs?

The risk of adenosquamous carcinoma in the lungs is influenced by various risk factors. They are as follows;

  • Tobacco - Tobacco smoke-induced during smoking or vapes contains more than 70 harmful chemicals. It increases the risk of lung cancer. Many people consider second-hand smoking a safe method. It is equally risky as smoking.

  • Family History - Lung cancer is also found in a person without smoking due to a family history of adenosquamous lung carcinoma.

  • Age and Gender - Elder people are more prone to lung cancer. Both males and females are affected. Adenosquamous carcinoma affects people above 65 years of age.

  • Occupation - The people working in the industries are exposed to the chemicals like silica, asbestos, and heavy metals. The exhaust fumes produced by diesel are harmful.

  • Radiation - Frequent radiation exposure for the treatment of organs located in the chest may cause adenosquamous carcinoma in the lungs.

How Is Adenosquamous Carcinoma of the Lung Diagnosed?

The past medical history is used as an adjunct during the diagnosis of adenosquamous carcinoma of the lungs. The tests taken for diagnosis are as follows;

  • Blood Test - It is a common test used to identify the level of white blood cells in the body. Also, the blood glucose level is examined.

  • Chest X-Rays - The change in the shape of the lungs is observed using X-rays. It also detects the presence of mucus in the pleural space.

  • CT (Computed Tomography) Scan - The two-dimensional image of the lungs can be obtained in different sections using computed tomography (CT) scan. The proliferation of cancer tissue in the lungs can be observed.

  • Cytology - The sample obtained from the mucus is observed under a microscope to identify the cancer cells.

  • Biopsy - The lung tissue affected by the cancer cells is removed and sent for examination. The changes in protein or genetic anomalies are examined with the help of the biopsied lung tissue.

How Are the Stages of Adenosquamous Carcinoma of the Lung Determined?

The stages of adenosquamous carcinoma are evaluated based on the three criteria. They are as follows;

  • A Tumor (T) - It is evaluated based on the size of the lung tissue affected by cancer cells.

  • Lymph Node (N) - The enlargement of the nearby lymph nodes due to the adenosquamous carcinoma of the lungs is evaluated.

  • Metastasis (M) - The cancer cells that invade other parts of the body like bone, liver, and kidneys are diagnosed.

What Are the Various Treatment Methods for Adenosquamous Carcinoma?

The treatment method varies depending on the extent of the tumor. They are as follows;

  • Surgery - The portion of the lung affected by adenosquamous carcinoma is removed during the surgery. The tools for removing the tissue are directed with the help of computed tomography. Metastasis affects the adjacent lymph nodes. Those lymph nodes are also removed during the surgery.

  • Radiation Therapy - If surgery cannot be done due to other systemic conditions or age factors, then radiation therapy is given. The growth and proliferation of the tumor cells are inhibited with radiation.

  • Chemotherapy - Anticancer medications are given either after radiation therapy or before surgery to shrink the cancerous lung tissue. Certain medications include monoclonal antibodies like Bevacizumab and kinase inhibitors like Erlotinib and Trametinib. The immunity booster drugs are Nivolumab and Durvalumab. This immunotherapy is considered the most effective treatment.

Conclusion

The breathing ability of the lungs and vital signs are observed by the physician after the surgery. The prognosis of adenosquamous carcinoma of the lung is better if treated at the initial stages. The symptoms associated with respiratory infections must be carefully observed. Consult the medical professional if there are symptoms like coughing with blood.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.

What Is the Likelihood of Survival for Adenosquamous Lung Cancer?

Adenosquamous lung cancer is a type of lung cancer. It contains the components of squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma. It mainly affects the peripheral part of the lungs. The survival rate is about 25 percent, as per the studies. This varies depending on the stage of the cancer.

2.

Can Adenosquamous Carcinoma Be Cured?

The survival rate of adenosquamous carcinoma depends on the stage and the severity of the cancer. Cancer will be treated in many cases. Surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy are the treatment options for the condition. The treatment type depends on the tumor's location, type, and size.

3.

How to Treat Adenosquamous Carcinoma of the Lung?

Adenosquamous carcinoma of the lungs can be treated depending on the tumor's size, type, stage, and location. It also depends on the nature of the tumor spread. Surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy are significant methods to treat or remove cancer from the body.

4.

Is Chemotherapy an Effective Cure for Adenocarcinoma?

Chemotherapy is a method of treating cancer with the help of medications. Drugs suitable for the cancer type will be used to kill the cancerous cells. The treatment may either completely cure the cancer or shrink the cancerous growth. Chemotherapy may also develop various side effects in the patient.

5.

What Are the Stages of Adenocarcinoma of the Lungs?

There are five stages of adenocarcinoma in the lungs. In stage 0, the cancer will only be vaguely present on the outer lining of the lungs. A small tumor is found in stage 1 cancer. Cancer may or may not spread to the adjacent lymph nodes in case of stage 2 cancer. In stage 3, the cancer cells affect the adjacent lymph nodes. The tumor affects distant lymph nodes or organs in case of stage 4 cancer.

6.

What Are the Terminal Stages of Adenocarcinoma?

Stage 4 adenocarcinoma is the final stage of cancer, regarding its spread and severity. However, it is not always considered as a terminal stage. In stage 4 adenocarcinoma, the cancer spreads extensively, affecting distant lymph nodes and organs in the body. 

7.

Can Stage 4 Adenocarcinoma Be Survived?

Stage 4 adenocarcinoma is a severe form of cancer and is considered the final stage based on its spread or severity. It cannot be cured completely, but various steps relieve the symptoms. The treatments may also prolong the life of the cancer patient.

8.

How to Cure Stage 3 Lung Adenocarcinoma?

In stage 3 adenocarcinoma, the cancer spreads significantly. Three methods can treat stage 3 lung adenocarcinoma. Chemotherapy kills cancer cells using medicines. The tumor cells will be shrunk using radiation in the case of radiation therapy. The tumor can also be surgically removed from the body. 

9.

Is Lung Adenocarcinoma a Fast-Growing Cancer?

Lung adenocarcinoma affects the outer lining of the lungs. Compared to other types of lung cancer, lung adenocarcinoma progresses slowly. Stage 0, or in situ type of lung adenocarcinoma, is the less severe and initial cancer stage. It slowly advances to the following stages, increasing severity and spread.

10.

What Is The Survival Rate for Individuals With Stage 4 Lung Adenocarcinoma?

The five-year survival rate in the case of stage 4 distant non-small cell lung cancer is found to be eight percent, as per studies. Studies also show a 26 percent survival rate in all the stages combined for the type of non-small cell lung cancer. 

11.

What Are the Characteristics of Stage 4 Lung Adenocarcinoma?

In the case of stage 4 lung adenocarcinoma, cancer spreads or metastasizes to affect distant lymph nodes, organs, and body fluids. It is the most advanced stage of lung adenocarcinoma. Persistent cough and spitting blood are some symptoms associated with the condition.

12.

What Are the Symptoms of Stage 4 Adenocarcinoma?

Persistent cough and hemoptysis or coughing blood are the main symptoms associated with lung cancer. In stage 4 adenocarcinoma, the patient might spit up blood, have a hoarse voice, have poor appetite and associated weight loss, and have breathing difficulties. Coughing may be accompanied by severe chest pain.

13.

Is Adenocarcinoma of the Lung Serious?

Adenocarcinoma of the lungs may start from the lining of the lungs and may initially be mild. However, it may slowly progress and affect distant organs or lymph nodes, worsening the symptoms. It can be life-threatening and, in advanced stages, might not respond to medical treatments.

14.

Where Does Lung Adenocarcinoma Initiate?

The adenocarcinoma of the lungs may have evolved from the mucosal glands. It may first affect the outer lining of the lungs. This includes the lining of the airways. Lung adenocarcinoma grows and progresses slowly compared to other forms of lung cancer.

15.

Does Adenocarcinoma Always Exhibit Malignancy?

Adenocarcinoma is a malignant type of cancer. The non-malignant forms are called adenomas. The malignant tumors affect the healthy tissue within an organ and gradually spread or metastasize to other organs. It may initially affect the adjacent lymph nodes or organs and spread to distant sites.

16.

Is Adenocarcinoma of the Lung a Hereditary Condition?

Genetics can be considered a significant cause of adenocarcinoma of the lung. In the case of younger individuals or non-smokers, genetics may be the only cause of the condition. But in most cases, it may be due to causes other than genetics or hereditary.
Dr. Rajesh Gulati
Dr. Rajesh Gulati

Family Physician

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