The incidence of cancer rises dramatically with age due to the tendency for cellular repair mechanisms to be less effective as a person grows older.

Lung Cancer

Lung Cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States and worldwide, accounting for more than 1.4 million deaths every year.

What Causes Cancer?

Cancer arises from one single cell in your body.

This single cell goes through a multistage process that transforms it from a normal cell into a tumour cell.

Tumors that stay in one spot and demonstrate limited growth are generally considered to be benign.

More dangerous, or malignant, tumors, though, can grow and interfere with the digestive, nervous, and circulatory systems, and they can release hormones that alter body function.

While normal cells in your body follow an orderly path of growth, cancer cells do not die and can spread throughout your body, growing uncontrollably. This uncontrolled growth can make cancer very difficult to treat.

Why Does A Normal Cell Become A Cancer Cell?

A normal cell changes into a cancerous cell as the result of the interaction between your body's genetic factors and external agents called carcinogens. There are three categories of carcinogens:

  • Physical Carcinogens, such as Ultraviolet and Ionizing Radiation
  • Chemical Carcinogens, such as Asbestos, Components of Tobacco Smoke, Aflatoxin (a Food Contaminant) and Arsenic (a Drinking Water Contaminant)
  • Biological Carcinogens, such as Infections from Certain Viruses, Bacteria or Parasites

Aging is another fundamental factor for the development of cancer. The incidence of cancer rises dramatically with age due to the tendency for cellular repair mechanisms to be less effective as a person grows older.

Lung Cancer Prognosis

While many believe that lung cancer is caused solely by smoking, many non-smokers get lung cancer from exposure to second hand smoke and other environmental factors such as radon, asbestos, and beryllium.

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Types of Lung Cancer

There are two main groups of lung cancer, small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). About 85% of all lung cancers are non-small cell lung cancers. Non-small cell lung cancers are divided into three main types: large cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and adenocarcinoma of the lung. The remainder are small-cell lung cancers.

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Stages of Lung Cancer

Oncologists have developed staging systems for virtually every type of cancer, including lung cancer. Lung cancer is divided into two main types: non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and small-cell lung cancer (SCLC). Because the behavior of NSCLC and SCLC in the body are quite different and are treated in very different ways, their staging systems are different.

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Incidence and Biochemistry of Lung Cancer

There are four types of lung cancer:

  • Large Cell Carcinoma
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma
  • Small Cell Lung Cancer
  • Adenocarcinoma of the Lung

The ratio of incidence of the different types varies with cause of cancer.

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Symptoms of Lung Cancer

Unfortunately, lung cancer usually does not cause symptoms until the disease has advanced and spread. For smokers, lung cancer symptoms are often difficult to recognize because they occur on top of already existing lung and breathing problems.

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Causes of Lung Cancer

Many pollutants cause lung cancer, including asbestos, pesticides, smoke, and radon.

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Lung Cancer Treatment

There a numerous treatment options for lung cancer, and each form of treatment has its own specific ability to fight the disease as well as its own set of side effects and possibile complications.

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Additional References

American Cancer Society

Broward Health Cancer Services

Lung Cancer.org