What is Lung Cancer?
Lung cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in one or both lungs. These abnormal cells do not carry out the functions of normal lung cells and do not develop into healthy lung tissue. As they grow, the abnormal cells can form tumors and interfere with the functioning of the lung, which provides oxygen to the body via the blood.
Who is at Risk?
Most people diagnosed with lung cancer have a history of smoking but 10-15% of diagnoses are in never-smokers. Women are at higher risk than men that have had a history of smoking. Veterans are also at a higher risk for developing lung cancer.
How is it Treated?
Small cell lung cancer is mostly treated with chemotherapy. Surgery is not usually suitable because this type of cancer has normally spread at the time of diagnosis. You may also have radiotherapy. Non small cell lung cancer can be treated with surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy or a combination of these.
The five-year survival rate for lung cancer is 54 percent for cases detected when the disease is still in the lungs (only). For cases that are found after it has spread throughout the body it is only 4 percent.