Essay on Exploring Lung Cancer

761 Words 4 Pages
Exploring Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer in both men and women. An estimated 169,400 new cases of lung cancer and an estimated 154,900 deaths from lung cancer will occur in the United States during 2002.

There are two major types of lung cancer: non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer. Non-small cell lung cancer is much more common. It usually spreads to different parts of the body more slowly than small cell lung cancer. Squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, and large cell carcinoma are three types of non-small cell lung cancer. Small cell lung cancer also called oat cell cancer, accounts for about 20% of all lung cancer.

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Lung cancer takes many years to develop. But changes in the lung can begin almost as soon as a person is exposed to cancer-causing substances. Soon after exposure begins, a few abnormal cells may appear in the lining of the bronchi (the main breathing tubes). If a person continues to be exposed to the cancer-causing substance, more abnormal cells will appear. These cells may be on their way to becoming cancerous and forming a tumor.


In its early stages, lung cancer usually does not cause symptoms. When symptoms occur, the cancer is often advanced. Symptoms of lung cancer include:

§ • Chronic cough

§ • Hoarseness

§ • Coughing up blood

§ • Weight loss & loss of appetite

§ • Shortness of breath

§ • Fever without a known reason

§ • Wheezing

§ • Repeated bouts of bronchitis or pneumonia

§ • Chest pain

These conditions are also symptomatic of many other lung problems, so a person who has any of these symptoms should see a doctor to find out the cause. When a person goes for an exam, the doctor ask many questions about the person's medical history, including questions about the patient's exposure to hazardous substances. The doctor will also give the patient a physical exam. If the patient has a cough

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