Lung Cancer

BY: Nicole Gagnon and Sarah Bader

Definition of Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is a highly dangerous form of cancer found in the lung tissue or lining air passages. This cancer is split between a non-small cell cancer and a small cell cancer. It is also supposedly the next greatest cause of death (in relation to all cancers).


It's hard to tell whether or not you have lung cancer because the symptoms aren't very noticeable. It has been said that only 15% of people with lung cancer find out they have it in beginning stages. Symptoms that some people notice are:

  • Chest pain
  • Abnormal voice changes
  • Coughing for a long period of time
  • Coughing up blood
  • Shortage of breath

How Common is Lung Cancer?

Lung cancer, worldwide, has an 86% mortality rate. It more common in men than in women. In the U.S. alone, it is the cause of most deaths. 224,210 Americans were diagnosed with lung cancer. Out of that 224,210, 116,00 were men, 108,210 were women and 159,260 did not survive the fatal cancer.

How is Lung Cancer Diagnosed?

The doctor does a physical examination and if they suspect a patient might have lung cancer, examining their throat, listening to the patient's breathing, and maybe a chest x-ray. If the chest x-ray shows a tumor, the doctor then conducts a biopsy on the patient.

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Causes of Lung Cancer

The main causes of lung cancer are:

  • Heavy Smoking (biggest cause of lung cancer)
  • Long exposure to irritating substances(such as coal, radioactive materials, and asbestos
  • Having lung conditions in the past
  • Marijuana cigarettes
  • Second hand smoke

What happens at the cellular and molecular level?

Lung cancer is divided up into two types. Primary and Secondary lung cancer. Primary lung cancer develops in the lungs while Secondary lung cancer develops elsewhere and ends up in the lungs. The cancer restricts the air flow, then the patient can't get enough oxygen to the bloodstream.


The treatments found for lung cancer are very limited. According to the stage of the cancer that you are on tells you what kind of treatment you need. Often, cancer cannot be cured but here are some examples of some possible procedures:

~ Surgery (this treatment helps to remove pieces of the cancer that usually only helps if you are in a very early stage of lung cancer)

~ Radiation (this is another form of early stage lung cancer but it is an x-ray that helps to reduce the size of the tumor or kill it off)

- Chemotherapy (a treatment where chemicals are put into your body to help kill the cancer cells)

- A toxic plant called a mistletoe is heard to destroy cancer cells but this treatment still remains indecisive on people.

Although there are many ways to treat lung cancer, people have to understand that sometimes it can't cure the body completely. It is important to know what stage you are on in the process or it could be too late, because the cells have already divided and multiplied throughout your body.