Lung Cancer - Causes and Treatment

By: james sameul

More than one in four of all diagnosed cancers involve the lung, and lung cancer remains the most common cancer-related cause of death among American men and women. In 1998, more than 160,000 lung cancer deaths were expected, outnumbering deaths from breast, prostate and colon cancers combined. Today, the rate of lung cancer is dropping among white men in the United States, but it continues to increase in African-American men and in both white and African-American women.

At the same time, it may well be that a great many lung cancers are preventable. Inhaling cancer-causing substances such as tobacco smoke may lead to changes in the lung tissue shortly after exposure - so-called precancerous changes. Nevertheless, cancer itself typically develops over a period of many years, and if detected at an early enough stage can be eliminated by a variety of treatments.

History: Lung cancers manifest with symptoms produced by the primary tumor, locoregional spread, metastatic disease, or ectopic hormone production. See Image 1 for a summary of all signs and symptoms. Approximately 7-10% of patients with lung cancer are asymptomatic and their cancers are diagnosed incidentally after a chest radiograph (CXR) performed for other reasons. The symptoms produced by the primary tumor depend on its location (ie, central, peripheral).

Understanding Lung Cancer

This information has been prepared to help you understand more about lung cancer. Many people feel understandably shocked and upset when told they have lung cancer. We hope this information will help you understand the diagnosis and treatment of the disease. We also include information about support services.
We cannot advise you about the best treatment for you. You need to discuss this with your doctors. However, we hope this information will answer some of your questions and help you think about the questions you want to ask your doctors.

There are two main types of lung cancer:
???? Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the most common type of lung cancer. It grows more slowly than small cell lung cancer.
???? Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) grows quickly and often spreads to distant parts of the body.

Treatment
As is true of many cancers, the treatment of lung cancer depends upon a variety of factors. The most important factors are the histopathologic (diseased tissue) type of tumor that is present and its stage.

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Once a lung cancer has been staged, the physician and patient can discuss treatment options. An individual then has a better idea of the value of different forms of therapy. Other factors that are taken into account include the person's general health, medical problems that may affect treatment (such as chemotherapy), and tumor characteristics.

Lung Cancer Prevention & Screening
Smoking & Tobacco Information
???? Tobacco & Cancer Website
???? M. D. Anderson's Tobacco Treatment Program

The best way to prevent lung cancer is to quit smoking, or to never start in the first place. You should try and avoid being around people who are smoking; and also avoid pipes, cigars, and marijuana. If you live in an area with radon, you should make sure there is adequate ventilation in your basement to get rid of it. Use a detector to make sure the radon levels are low. If you work in an industry where you are exposed to substances known to cause lung cancer, make sure to use all the proper protective equipment and attire made available by your employer.

Cancer
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