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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

sometimes be seen on chest x-rays. Smaller lesions which may be missed on x-ray can be seen on CT and MRI studies. Sometimes a physician will choose to take a biopsy with the aid of CT, MRI, or bronchoscopy.

Although lung cancer can originate in the lungs with the above mentioned factors, most lung cancers are secondary. This means there is another primary site such as the colon or kidney, which are among the most common types to spread or metastasize to the lung.

Cancer is spread via bloodstream or lymph nodes. Treatments include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or any combination depending what is best for the individual. Smokers needing assistance quitting can contact local hospitals for support programs or the American Heart Association.

Determine to breathe easier and live healthier!

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