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Lung Cancer occurs when the cells within an organism undergo mutations that cause the cell not to perform their regular duties. The cancerogenous cell then goes through the process of mitosis and produces a tumor in the tissue. Cancerogenous cells reproduce very quickly, unlike healthy cells that "preserve a system of checks and balances on cell growth so that cells divide to produce new cells only when new cells are needed". 1
Shortness of breath can be caused by the cancer growing in the airway. This can lead to accumulation of discharges, exposing the patient to pneumonia. Many lung cancers have a rich blood supply to the tumors and if the surface of the cancer is fragile this could lead to bleeding from the cancer into the airway. This blood may subsequently be coughed up.
Tumors in the top of the lung may plague the local part of the nervous system, leading to a difference in sweating patterns, eye muscle problems, and muscle weakness in the hands.
Many of the symptoms of lung cancer (bone pain, fever, and weight loss) are nonspecific; in the elderly. In many patients, the cancer has already spread beyond the original site by the time they have symptoms and seek medical attention. Common sites of metastasis include the brain, bone, adrenal glands, opposite lung, liver, pericardium, and kidneys. About 10% of people that suffer from lung cancer do not present any symptoms when they are diagnosed; these cancers are incidentally found on routine chest radiograph.
Lung cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer worldwide. In the United States, lung cancer is still the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women. Lung cancer incidence rates are similar among African-American and white women. Among men lung cancer occurs about 50% more frequently among African-American men than among white men. Lung cancer mortality rates among Hispanics, Native Americans, and Asians/Pacific Islanders are significantly lower than rates among AfricanAmericans and non-Hispanic whites.
The geographic distribution of the disease shows marked regional variation. Lung cancer tends to be most common in developed countries, and less common in developing countries, particularly in Africa and South America. The low rates of lung cancer in LDCs are comparable to United States rates in 1930, when rates of lung cancer were under 5 cases per 100,000 for both sexes. In contrast, African-Americans in the United States, an epicenter of the disease, now experience lung cancer incidence rates that are among the highest in the world. As the lung cancer epidemic begins to subside in the developed countries, it is on the rise in the developing world.
Geographic variation in lung cancer mortality rates also has been observed within countries. These trends in its regional distribution can provide clues about the determinants of lung cancer.
Treatment for lung cancer comes in various forms depending on how advanced the cancer is.
The most common treatment for cancer is chemotherapy, also called "chemo". This treatment is used to treat early stages of cancer to get rid of any cancer cells that may be left behind after surgery and to reduce the risk of the cancer coming back, and in the advanced stage to destroy or damage the cancer cells as much as possible. Side effects of chemo are anemia, appetite changes, bleeding problems, constipation, diarrhea,fatigue, hair loss, infection, memory changes, nausea and vomiting, pain, swelling.
Radiation therapy uses high-energy radiation to shrink tumors and kill cancer cells X-rays,gamma rays, and charged particles are types of radiation used for cancer treatment. The radiation may be delivered by a machine outside the body, or it may come from radioactive material placed in the body near cancer cells. Radiation therapy kills cancer cells by damaging their DNA. Cancer cells whose DNA is damaged beyond repair stop dividing or die. When the damaged cells die, they are broken down and eliminated by the body's natural processes. radiation therapy can also damage normal cells, leading to side effects. Side effects of radiation are fibrosis, damage to the bowels, causing diarrhea and bleeding, memory loss, infertility, and rarely, a second cancer caused by radiation exposure.
Surgery is used to cure your cancer by removing all of it from your body. The surgeon usually does this by cutting into the body and removing the cancer along with some surrounding healthy tissue to ensure that all of the cancer is removed. the doctor may remove part of one lung (lobectomy) or the entire lung (pneumonectomy) in an attempt to ensure that all the cancer has been removed.
Environmental causes that can lead to lung cancer are the exposure to radon, air pollution and second hand smoking.
Radon seeps up through the ground, and leaks into the air or water supply. Radon can enter homes through cracks in floors, walls, or the foundation, and levels of radon can build up in the home. Studies show that high levels of radon gas inside homes and other buildings increase the number of new cases of lung cancer and the number of deaths caused by lung cancer. In nonsmokers, about 30% of deaths caused by lung cancer have been linked to being exposed to radon.
Secondhand smoke is the smoke that comes from a burning cigarette or other tobacco product, or that is exhaled by smokers. People who inhale secondhand smoke are exposed to the same cancer -causing agents as smokers, although in smaller amounts.
Air pollution - mainly from vehicles, industry, and power plants - raises the chances of lung cancer in people exposed to it long term.
Avoiding the exposure to these risk factors, along with a well balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables and lack of smoking, can help prevent lung cancer.
Cancer is caused by several environmental factors such as exposure to air pollution and radon; however, the main cause of lung cancer is still the consumption of nicotine, which is the main component of cigarettes. There are several lifestyles people can adopt that will reduce the risk of lung cancer. Choosing to live in open areas with minimum exposure to pollutants in the environment is one of them; if you add to that a life free of cigarettes accompanied by a healthy diet and regular exercise your risk of getting lung cancer will be dramatically reduced.