Lung Cancer

Not only A Smoker's Enemy

What Is Lung Cancer?

Lung cancer is cancer that forms in the lungs, usually in the cells that line air passages. When someone is diagnosed with lung cancer, they have cells in their lungs that grow uncontrollably and destroy the healthy lung tissue surrounding them.

What Body System Is Being Effect?

Lung cancer attacks the respiratory system. Normally, lungs take in oxygen (inhalation, inspiration) and breathe out carbon dioxide (exhalation, expiration). A process that is essential for body cell's energy and growth. Lung cancer can cause breathing and heart problems.
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What Are The Symptoms?

  • persistant cough
  • chest pain
  • voice change
  • spit streaked with blood
  • recurrent pneumonia or bronchitis

How Are You Diagnosed?

There are many different ways that doctors can diagnose lung cancer. Surgery can be done to see whether or not someone has lung cancer or to remove a tumor, however it is not the best choice. Surgery can be gruesome and long. And often times, after a large chunk of the lung is removed, they find out that the tumor wasn't cancerous. A company called superDimension Inc. has invented a new way to undergo lung biopsies that is safer, diagnosis earlier than surgery, and has no bloody incisions.

The process begins with the patient getting a detailed chest scan that has 300 separate cross-section images of the lungs. Next, a computer evaluates those images and creates a 3-D model of each lung and it's individual airways. Using this model, doctors can distinguish the exact measurements of each suspicious tumor. Lastly, the computer finds out the specific path to the tumor, which will help guide the probe to it's target.

[English] MAKNA Getting to know Lung Cancer

What Is Treatment Like?

Chemotherapy has been around since the early 1900's. It is a systemic treatment which means that drugs travel throughout the body to reach cancer cells, wherever they are. Unlike radiation and surgery, which are consider local treatments because they only act in one area of the body. More than 100 chemotherapy drugs are used today to help stop cancer from spreading. There are four different ways that the drugs can be given:

  • Orally: The person getting treatment swallows a pill, capsule, or liquid form of chemo medication.
  • Injection: The drugs are injected into a muscle or under the skin using a needle or syringe.
  • Intrathecally: A needle is inserted into the fluid-filled space surrounding the spinal cord and the chemo drugs are injected into the spinal fluid.
  • Intravenously: A needle is inserted into a vein and the medicine flows from an IV bag or bottle into the bloodstream.

How Do You Get It?

Smoking greatly increases your risk for developing lung cancer, however it's not the only risk. Air pollution is also a risk factor in developing the disease. In countries like China, where the air pollution is much worse that that of America, rates of lung cancer in Chinese women are much higher. Older people also have a higher risk for developing cancer in the lungs. Fewer than 2% of all cases are found in people younger than 45.
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Is Lung Cancer Preventable?

In some cases, yes, this disease can be very much preventable. Such as cases of patients with a history of smoking. Not smoking is the best possible thing you could do for prevention of lung cancer. However, in some cases there is not much you can do. Other than moving, people who live in countries that are densely populated and have polluted air have a higher risk for developing lung cancer. So far, researchers have not confirmed that genetics play a role.