Suffering From Lung Cancer Biology Essay


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Lung cancer is the process were atypical cells grow uncontrollably in the lungs. Nature has a certain assembly line that produces cells to make the regular shape and size of the lung form, sometimes these cells produce too rapidly and cause tumors to clog up the lung and disrupt the natural functions the lung usually abides by. Since the lungs are large, lung cancer can go unnoticed for many years, causing a cough to be observed to be a common cold.

There are two types of lung cancer; these have been placed into small cell and non- small cell lung cancer. Small cell lung cancer, which is also known as oat cell carcinoma, is diagnosed as fifteen percent of all lung cancer. This type of lung cancer starts in the larger airways, such as the bronchi, and often spreads to the brain. In addition, small cell is the most aggressive of the lung cancers and spreads rapidly. This type of cancer is mostly caused by smoking and is found more in men than women. The symptoms of small cell lung cancer are constant cough, coughing up blood, puffy face and neck, shortness in breath, multiple cases of bronchitis or pneumonia, loss of voice, fatigue and weight loss. Once the tumor has spread, other symptoms may arise such a pain in hip and back or headaches and changes in vision. Small cell lung cancer has two stages limited and extensive. Limited stage is when the cancer is only in one lung and has not spread to other regions of the body. Extensive stage is when the cancer has spread to other regions of the body such as the brain.

Non-small cell lung cancer is a disease in which cancer cells form in the tissue of the lungs (National Cancer Institute). There are several types of non-small cell lung cancer including, Squamous cell carcinoma, large cell carcinoma, and adenocarcinoma. Squamous cell carcinoma begins in squamous cells, which are cells that look like fish scales. Large cell carcinoma starts in larger cells. Adenocarcinoma begins in cells that boarder the alveoli and makes matter such as mucus. Non-small cell lung cancer has many of the same symptoms as small cell lung cancer. Loss of appetite, coughing that does not go away and chest discomfort are the only ones that vary from small cell symptoms.

Radiation therapy used for both small cell and non-small cell lung cancer. Radiation therapy is defined as “high-powered x-rays, particles, or seeds to kill cancer cells.” (A.D.A.M Incorporated) Radiation kills cancer cells by “damaging their DNA (the molecules inside cells that carry genetic information and pass it from one generation to the next).” (The website of the National Cancer Institute)Radiation not only kills cancer cells, it also harms good cells. That is why cancer patients feel side effects. Patients can have side effects that are not from the cancer itself. Radiation treatments are not painful for the patients. Only used in the areas that are infected with the cancer cell. A few side effects are hair loss, fatigue, difficulty swallowing, and nausea. Depending on what type of cancer and what stage it is in determines what kind of radiation treatment, and how long treatment will be. Radiation unlike chemotherapy is giving each day for several weeks. The chance of survival is slightly higher with radiation and chemotherapy combined.

Chemotherapy is one of the treatment options available for those suffering from lung cancer. Chemotherapy for lung cancer uses catatonic, which is a cell killing medication, to destroy cancer cells and make them less active. Chemo has multiple symptoms such as loss of hair, nausea, and low blood count; these symptoms happen because chemotherapy medication kills rapidly developing cells. Hair follicles, stomach lining, and bone marrow cells produce rapidly as well, so, the medications kill those cells along with the cancerous cells causing the common symptoms associated with chemotherapy. Chemotherapy; best used when the cancer has spread to other regions of the body that radiation and surgery cannot effect. Although chemotherapy is not one hundred percent effective for the cure of cancer, it can be used for other things as well. Chemo is used before surgery to shrink tumors and after to help in the progression of recovery chemotherapy can prolong the life span and it is used to ease the symptoms of cancer.

Chemotherapy medication is a long serious process that sometimes can take one or two days but can last as long as multiple weeks. The medication is dispensed in two main ways orally and through injection. The injections can be delivered in ways such as shots into the muscle, into the vein, or into fluid located in the spinal cord or brain. This treatment, even though it is considered local, is usually practiced at a skilled clinic focusing on cancer and finding a cure.

Even though the different types of lung cancers have (A.D.A.M Incorporated) (The website of the National Cancer Institute) possible treatments lung cancer is a disease in which a cure has not be found, only prolonged. Patients have a better chance of surviving a little bit longer with these treatments.

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Walker, S. "Updates in non-small cell lung cancer." Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing.12.4 (2008): 587*596.

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