Lung cancer is a deadly disease that kills the greatest number of people each year. Usually it comes from smoking. Lung cancer is basically what happens when the cells in lung tissue begin growing at a rate that the body cannot cope with - the lungs are some of the most vital organs and the need a delicate balance of homeostasis like the rest of the body. Lung cancer can lead to potentially metastasis, an invasion of nearby bodily tissue and posibly the lung cancer can spread into other parts of the body.
Most lung cancers are carcinomas that start from the lungs' ephithelial cells, and is resposible for almost one and a half million deaths each year worldwide. Lung cancer is one of the most common causes of death in men and second most in women (women die mostly from breast cancer). Most of the time, lung cancer causes shortness of breath, coughing (sometimes of blood, and weight loss, but weight loss is common to all forms of cancer is the cancerous cells take hold.
Main Types of Lung Cancer
The main types of lung cancer are small cell lung carcinoma and non-small cell lung carcinoma. It's important to make this distinction; the treatment varies depending on what type of lung cancer it is. Non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) is often treated with surgery (ie physically removing the tumor, but small cell lung carcinoma (SCLC) responds better to chemotherapy and radiation because it's more difficult to cut out smaller bits of tissue without harming benign surrounding tissue. Lung cancer is most often caused by smoking long-term, and can also be caused by constantly being in an environment of second-hand smoke. Less than ten percent of non-smokers are infected with lung cancer, and their lung cancer is usually caused by genetics where the likelihood for lung cancer is inherited, radon gas, asbestos or air pollution. All of these can occur in the workplace, although there have been measures taken to prevent these causes.
Diagnosing Lung Cancer
Lung cancer can be seen with X-rays of the chest or a CT scan (computed tomography, and a biopsy is used to confirm the diagnosis. Bronchoscopy (where the lungs are looked at from the inside) and CT biopsy also allows a tumor to be seen. The treatment and outlook of lung cancer depend on several factors - what type of cancer, its degree of advancement and how well patients are taking care of their own bodies, because lung cancer can be aggravated by poor lifestyle habits. Some treatments are radiotherapy and chemotherapy, both of which offer a 5-year survival rate of about 14%.
Lung cancer is one of the deadliest afflictions known to man, but with the proper lifestyle and an early waring of it, the lung cancer can be stopped in time for proper treatment to act against it.