Lung Cancer

By: CJ WIlliams

Definition of Lung Cancer

Lung cancer forms in tissues of the lung, usually in the cells lining air passages. The two main types are small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. These types are based on how the cells look under a microscope.

Ten Facts about Lung Cancer

1. The American Cancer Society estimated that in 1998, at least 172,000 new cases of lung cancer were diagnosed, and that lung cancer accounted for 28% of all cancer deaths, or approximately 160,000 people.

2. In 2002, the American Cancer Society reported that more than 150,000 Americans die from the disease every year.

3. Only 15 percent of people with lung cancer will live five years more.

4. Lung cancer is rare among young adults. It usually is found in people who are 50 years of age or older, with an average age at diagnosis of 60.

5. Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer in both men and women in the United States.

6. Lung cancer causes more deaths than the next three most common cancers combined. An estimated 159,260 Americans are expected to die from lung cancer in 2014.

7. Approximately 399,431 Americans are living with lung cancer.

8. Lung cancer is the most common cancer worldwide, accounting for 1.8 million new cases and 1.6 million deaths in 2012.

9. The rate of new lung cancer cases over the past 37 years has dropped for men, while it has risen for women.

10. It has been estimated that active smoking are responsible for close to 90 percent of lung cancer cases

Types of Lung Cancer

The two types of cancer 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. Secondary lung cancer is cancer that starts somewhere else in the body and spreads to the lungs.

Small cell cancer was formerly called oat cell cancer, because the cells resemble oats in their shape. About one-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 generally is found in people who are heavy smokers. Non-small cell cancers account for the remaining 75% of lung cancers.

5 things that a person shouldn't do to not get lung cancer

  1. Eating a healthy balanced diet can be a way to help your chances of getting lung cancer go down because If your eating a not healthy diet, you aren't putting the right things into your body and could could several ways of getting lung cancer.
  2. Maintaining a healthy weight can be a way to help your chances of getting lung cancer go down because if you don't maintain a healthy weight you thing your body might not be working correctly and you could put bad stuff in your body
  3. Drinking less alcohol can be a way to help your chances of getting lung cancer go down because you are practically just putting poison into your body and that couldn't help the body in any way, mentally or physically.
  4. Stopping smoking can be a way to help your chances of getting lung cancer go down because your lungs can get holes, wrinkles, and smaller lungs because of all the damaging chemicals in cigarettes.
  5. Protecting your skin from sun damage can be a way to help your chances of getting lung cancer go down because if your skin is unprotected you could get skin cancer and by having skin cancer your chances are higher.


  • Smoking. Tobacco smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer. Ninety percent of lung cancers can be prevented by completely giving up tobacco. Smoking marijuana cigarettes is considered yet another risk factor for cancer of the lung. These cigarettes have a higher tar content than tobacco cigarettes. In addition, they are inhaled very deeply; as a result, the smoke is held in the lungs for a longer period of time.
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals. Repeated exposure to asbestos fibers, either at home or in the workplace, also is considered a risk factor for lung cancer. Studies show that compared to the general population, asbestos workers are seven times more likely to die from lung cancer. Asbestos workers who smoke increase their risk of developing lung cancer by 50-100 times. Besides asbestos, 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 higher than average risk of contracting lung cancer.
  • Environmental contamination. High levels of a radioactive gas 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 and reach 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 also may slightly increase the risk of lung cancer. In 2002, a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) linked for the first time long-term exposure to fine-particle air pollution to lung cancer deaths. The risk of death from lung cancer increased substantially for people living in the most heavily polluted metropolitan areas. Tiny particles from the air pollution emitted from coal-fired power plants, factories and diesel vehicles are to blame.


  • A cough that does not go away
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Persistent hoarseness
  • Swelling of the neck and face
  • Significant weight loss that is not due to dieting or vigorous exercise
  • Fatigue and loss of appetite
  • Bloody or brown-colored spit or phlegm (sputum)
  • Unexplained fever
  • Recurrent lung infections , such as bronchitis or pneumonia
However, these symptoms may be caused by diseases other than lung cancer. It is vital, however, to consult a doctor to rule out the possibility that they are the first symptoms of lung cancer.



"Lung Cancer Fact Sheet - American Lung Association." American Lung Association. N.p., 2014. Web. 17 Nov. 2014.


"Lung Cancer." National Cancer Institute. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2014.


Tran, Mai; Odle Teresa, Maureen Haggerty, Zuo-feng Zhang, "lung Cancer." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th Ed.. 2014, "Lung Cancer." UXL Complete Health Resource. 2001, "Lung Cancer." Complete Human Diseases;Conditions. 2008, and "lung Cancer." A Dictionary of Nursing. 2008. "Lung Cancer." HighBeam Research, 01 Jan. 2005. Web. 18 Nov. 2014.


"Reduce Your Cancer Risk." Cut Cancer Risk: Food, Weight, Smoking. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Nov. 2014.

CJ Williams