Health Tips

Lung Cancers

There are two basic types of lung cancer: non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and small cell lung cancer (SCLC). The type of lung cancer is important because it affects how the disease is treated. Most cases of lung cancer are NSCLC, which generally grows more slowly than SCLC.

Both lung cancer types can be very difficult to treat. By the time patients report symptoms, the disease has often spread to other parts of the body. Common symptoms of lung cancer include persistent cough (often called “smoker’s cough”), breathing problems, blood in sputum, pneumonia and respiratory infections, chest pain, weight loss and fatigue.

When lung cancer is suspected, diagnostic tests such as ultrasound, MRI, CAT scans and PET scans can be useful to assess how far tumors have spread. Bone scans may be performed to determine metastasis to the bones. Needle biopsy is performed to obtain a sample of the cells for microscopic examination.

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Lung Cancer

The leading cause of cancer deaths among both males and females in our nation is lung cancer. It accounts for almost 1/3 of cancer related deaths and claims more lives than colon and breast cancer combined. Smoking is the leading preventable cause of lung cancer. It contributes to more than 85% of lung cancer deaths. Environmental agents such as second hand smoke inhaled by nonsmokers also contributes to lung cancer deaths.

Occupational risks for developing lung cancer include coal mining, sandblasting , and working with building materials and insulation that may contain asbestos.

DNA also contributes to cancer; therefore, those with higher risk should avoid smoking and other etiologic factors. Primary lung cancers develop in the bronchus. These can

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