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Lung Cancer Essay

1066 words - 4 pages

Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer in both men and women. An estimated 169,400 new cases oflung cancer and an estimated 154,900 deaths from lung cancer will occur in the United States during 2004. Therate of lung cancer cases appears to be dropping among white and African-American men in the United States,while it continues to rise among both white and African-American women.There are two major types of lung cancer, non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer. Non-small cell lung cancer is much more commonly found in humans. It usually spreads to different parts of thebody more slowly than small cell lung cancer. Squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, and large cellcarcinoma are three types of non-small cell lung cancer. Small cell lung cancer also called oat cell cancer,accounts for about 20% of all lung cancer (LungUSA). Malignant tumors are cancer. Cells in malignant tumorsare abnormal and divide without control or order. These cancer cells can invade and destroy the tissue aroundthem. Cancer cells can also break away from a malignant tumor and enter the bloodstream or lymphatic system(the tissues and organs that produce, store, and carry white blood cells that fight infection and other diseases)(medem). This process, called metastasis, is how cancer spreads from the original (primary) tumor to form new(secondary) tumors in other parts of the body(medem). Lung Cancer usually doesn't have symptoms in theearlier stages. As time proceeds Symptoms such as chronis cough, hoarseness, coughing up blood, weight lossand loss of appetite, shortness of breath, chest pain, wheezing , and sometimes a fever without anyreason.These conditions are also symptomatic of many other lung problems, so a person who has any of thesesymptoms should see a doctor to find out the cause. When a person goes for an exam, the doctor ask manyquestions about the person's medical history, including questions about the patient's exposure to hazardoussubstances(LungUSA). The doctor will also give the patient a physical exam. If the patient has a cough thatproduces a sputum (mucus), it may be examined for cancer cells (LUSA). The doctor will order a chest X-ray orspecialized X-ray such as the CT scan, which help to locate any abnormal spots in the lungs. The doctor mayinsert a small tube called a bronchoscope through the nose or mouth and down the throat, to look inside theairways and lungs and take a sample, or biopsy, of the tumor(LUSA). This is just one of many ways in which adoctor may take a biopsy sample. A growing number of doctors are using a form of CT scan in smokers to spotsmall lung cancers, which are more likely than large tumors to be cured(LUSA). The technique, called helicallow-dose CT scan, is much more sensitive than a regular X-ray and can detect tumors when they are small(LUSA). More studies on this type of screening will show whether routine screening of smokers and others atrisk for lung cancer will save lives(LUSA).Smoking is the number one...

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