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Risk Factors Of Lung Cancer Essay

1412 words - 6 pages

Lung cancer is a life threatening disease, which is taking the lives of more and more people each day. There are two types of lung cancer, non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer. Lung cancer forms tumors in the lungs, which affects the quality of the lung and eventually the amount of gas exchange that can occur. Non- small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the most prevalent type, accounting for more than 80 percent of cancer cases (Walker. 2008). The mortality rate for lung cancer is shocking, in 2012 it is estimated that lung cancer will cause about 29 percent of all cancer deaths among men and 26 percent among women in the United States. Which totals to 160,340 fatalities, more than the combined number of deaths from the next three most common cancers (colon, breast, and prostate) (Cagle, P.T., & Allen, T. 2012). Lung cancer affects people from all lifestyles; however, this disease is more likely to affect the elderly and African American male population. How can we reduce these staggering statistics? Simply by taking the precautions necessary and understanding the risk factors.
Smoke from tobacco use accounts for about 80 percent of all deaths from lung cancer. Most patients diagnosed with lung cancer are from active smoking; however, chronic inhalation of passive secondhand smoke has been involved in some cases (Walker. 2008). People with a history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease also have a greater risk of developing the disease; dietary deficiencies also may play a role. Other factors include exposure to radon, asbestos, arsenic, chromium, nickel, air pollution, and family history (Alberg & Samet. 2008). Cigarette smoking is the leading risk factor for lung cancer; tobacco smoke is a toxic mix of more than 7,000 chemicals. Many are poisonous, and at least 70 of the chemicals cause cancer. Individuals who smoke are 15 to 30 times more likely to get lung cancer than people who do not smoke. Even smoking a few cigarettes, a day or smoking occasionally increases the risk. Whether it is second-hand smoke or first-hand smoke, smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer. Avoiding this primary risk factor can decrease the chances of being diagnosed with lung cancer.
Lung cancer divides into two categories for purposes of diagnosis and treatment: SCLC and NSCLC, consisting of adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and large cell carcinoma cell types. Small cell lung carcinomas make up less than 15 percent of lung cancers; which are usually diagnosed in an advanced stage. This cell type causes patients to have a very low survival rate. Non-small cell lung carcinomas make up about 85 percent of lung cancers; if found at an early stage treatment is available for this cell type. However, a large percentage of these patients will die from relapse of the cancer. (Cagle, P. T., & Allen, T. 2012). Lung cancer begins like any other cancer in our body, as a mutation in our DNA. Specifically, it takes many mutations to produce a...

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