Lung cancer is a disease in which the cells of the lung tissues grow uncontrollably and form tumors. Lung Cancer is the leading cause of death from cancer among both men and women in the United States. There are two main types of lung cancer.
Types of lung cancer
There are two kinds of lung cancers. The two main kinds are primary and secondary. Primary lung cancer starts in the lung itself. Primary lung cancer is divided into small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer, depending on how the cells look under the microscope. Each type of Primary lung cancer grows and spreads in different ways. Secondary lung cancer is cancer that starts somewhere else in the body (for example, the breast or colon) and spreads to the lungs.
Small cell cancer was formerly called oat cell cancer, because the cells resemble oats in their shape. About a fourth of all lung cancers are small cell cancers. This type is a very aggressive cancer and spreads to other organs within a short time. It is generally found in people who are heavy smokers.
Non-small cell cancers account for about 75% of lung cancers. This type of lung cancer grows and spreads more slowly than small cell cancer. There are three main types of nonsmall cell lung cancer. The types are named for the type of cell in which the cancer develops. The types are: squamous cell carcinoma (also called epidermoid carcinoma), adenocarcinoma, and large cell carcinoma.
Symptoms of Lung Cancer?
There are many symptoms and each individual may not experience all symptoms.
The most common symptoms of lung cancer are:
Causes of Lung Cancer
There are many causes of lung cancer. The leading causes are smoking, exposure to asbestos and toxic chemicals, environmental contamination, chronic lung inflammation and scarring and family history.
Tobacco smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer. About 93% of lung cancers can be prevented by stop smoking tobacco. Smoking marijuana cigarettes is also considered a risk factor for lung cancer. Marijuana cigarettes have a higher tar content than tobacco cigarettes.
Exposure to asbestos and toxic chemicals
Exposure to asbestos fibers is considered a risk factor for lung cancer. Studies show that asbestos workers are seven times more likely to die from lung cancer and workers from other industries. Asbestos workers who smoke increase their risk of getting lung cancer. Mining industry workers who are exposed to coal products or radioactive substances such as uranium, and workers exposed to chemicals such as arsenic, vinyl chloride, mustard gas, and other carcinogens also have a high risk of contracting lung cancer.
High levels of a radioactive gas (radon) that cannot be seen or smelled pose a risk for lung cancer. This gas is produced by the breakdown of uranium, and does not present any problem outdoors. In the basements of some houses that are built over soil containing natural uranium deposits, however, radon may accumulate to dangerous levels. Having one's house inspected for the presence of radon gas when buying or renting is a good idea. Other forms of environmental pollution (e.g., auto exhaust fumes) may also slightly increase the risk of lung cancer.
Chronic lung inflammation and scarring
Inflammation and scar tissue are sometimes produced in the lung by diseases such as silicosis and berylliosis, which are caused by inhalation of certain minerals; tuberculosis; and certain types of pneumonia. This scarring may increase the risk of developing lung cancer.
Although the exact cause of lung cancer is not known, people with a family history of lung cancer appear to have a slightly higher risk of contracting the disease.
Find out the type of cancer here.
Cancers that begin in the lungs are divided into two major types, non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer, depending on how the cells look under a microscope. Each type of lung cancer grows and spreads in different ways and is treated differently.
Lung cancer is not really thought of as a single disease, but rather a collection of several diseases that are characterized by the cell type that makes them up, how they behave, and how they are treated.
Lung cancer happens when cells in the lung begin to grow out of control and can then invade nearby tissues or spread throughout the body. Large collections of this out of control tissue are called tumors.
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