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.
WHAT CAUSES LUNG CANCER?
Smoking is the number one cause of lung cancer. Lung cancer may also
be the most tragic cancer because in most cases, it might have been
prevented -- 87% of lung cancer cases are caused by smoking. Cigarette
smoke contains more than 4,000 different chemicals, many of which are
proven cancer-causing substances, or carcinogens. Smoking cigars or
pipes also increases the risk of lung cancer.
The more time and quantity you smoke, the greater your risk of lung
cancer. But if you stop smoking, the risk of lung cancer decreases
each year as normal cells replace abnormal cells. After ten years, the
risk drops to a level that is one-third to one-half of the risk for
people who continue to smoke. In addition, quitting smoking greatly
reduces the risk of developing other smoking-related diseases, such as
heart disease, stroke, emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
Many of the chemicals in tobacco smoke also affect the nonsmoker
inhaling the smoke, ma...
... middle of paper ...
RADIATION THERAPY is a form of high energy X-ray that kills cancer
cells. It is used:
â€¢ In combination with chemotherapy and sometimes with surgery.
â€¢ To offer relief from pain or blockage of the airways.
CHEMOTHERAPYis the use of drugs that are effective against cancer
cells. Chemotherapy may be injected directly into a vein or given
through a catheter, which is a thin tube that is placed into a large
vein and kept there until it is no longer needed. Some chemotherapy
drugs are taken by pill. Chemotherapy may be used:
â€¢ In conjunction with surgery.
â€¢ In more advanced stages of the disease to relieve symptoms.
â€¢ In all stages of small cell cancer.
Some patients may also be eligible to participate in clinical trials
or research studies that look at new ways to treat lung cancer.
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