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Cancer is a term used to describe a disease in which abnormal cells divide without control and are able to invade other tissues. Cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body through the blood and lymph systems. Cancer is not just one disease, but many diseases. There are over 100 types of cancer. Most cancers are named for the organ or type of cell in which they start.

I chose to research Lung Cancer due to the fact that it is one of the most common cancers in the United States. Lung cancer is accountable for about fifteen percent of all cancer cases, or 170,000 cases each year. I also felt that lung cancer was the most interesting cancer for me to research because my family has a long line of smokers and my Grandfather passed away due to lung cancer. I was too young to understand why he got so sick, so i'm using the oppurtunity now to get a better perspective on the causes and effects that lung cancer has.


Lung cancer is a type of cancer that forms in tissues of the lung, usually in the cells lining the air passages. It most often spreads to the liver, adrenal glands, the bones, and the brain. It is responsible for cancerous deaths in both men and woman. Researchers have found that women who smoke are just as likely to get lung cancer as men who smoke. But women who've never smoked were found to be at more of a risk then men who've never smoked, according to the NCI (National Cancer Institute). Thomas Glynn, the American Cancer Society's senior director of international tobacco control, said "The conclusion reached that women are more or less susceptible to lung cancer goes back to the adage, 'Women who smoke like men die like men,' " Glynn said. "This study shows that women who smoked like men get lung cancer like men."


Depending upon the exact location of the tumor and the extent of it's spread, symptoms of lung cancer vary. Up to 25% of people who get lung cancer do not have any symptoms when the cancer is found. in these sort of cases, the cancer is first discovered on a routine chest x-ray or CAT scan. When a person is experiencing symptoms, the growth of the cancer and invasion of lung tissues and surroundings may interfere with breathing, which leads to symptoms such as a heavy, consistent cough (smokers cough), shortness of breath, wheezing, chest pain, coughing up blood (hemoptysis), blood in your sputum, persistent bronchitis or repeated respitory infections, or unexplained weight loss or fatigue.


Researchers have found a possible inherited component for lung cancer, a disease normally associated with external causes, such as cigarette smoking. They found strong evidence that a lung cancer susceptibility gene or genes is coinherited with a genetic marker on chromosome 6. It is estimated that approximately one-third of lung cancer in non-smokers result from passive exposure to secondhand cigarette smoke. Occupational exposure, particularly uranium, radon, or asbestos exposure can interact with smoking. Lung cancer rates may be increased beyond the effects of either exposure alone. The prognosis of lung cancer refers to the chance for cure, chance of survival, and is dpeendant on upon where the cancer is localized, the size fo the cancer, the presence of symptoms, the type of lung cancer, and the overall health status of the patient.

Treatment for lung cancer depends on a variety of factors. The most important factors are the diseased tissue type of lung cancer, and stage of the lung cancer. Once the stage of lung cancer is determined, the oncology team and the patient work together to develop a treatment plan. Surgical resection (cutting away) of the tumor generally is indicated for that has not spread beyond the lung. Surgery for lung cancer may be conducted using a variety of techniques. Thoracotomy, which is performed throughout the chest wall, and median sternotomy, which is performed by cutting through the breast bone, are standard methods used for lung cancer surgery.


Chemotherapy is a term for treatments that use chemical agents (drugs) to kill cancer cell. Chemotherapy drugs work by interfering with the ability of cancer cells to divide and reproduce themselves. Chemotherapy can be delivered by the bloodstream to reach cancer cells all over the body, or it can be administered directly to specific cancer sites. Cost of chemotherapy treatment depends on many factors which include types of drugs used, amount of dose, duration of treatment (hospital,clinic,or home). The most common side effects of chemo is nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, hair loss, fatigue, anemia, infection, mouth sores, taste and smell changes, menopause or menopausal symptoms, fertility, memory loss, problems with hands and feet (neuropathy).

Cancer prevention is easier than one might think. With a few simple, yet vital lifestyle changes, you can drastically reduce your risk of many types of cancer. Many factors play a role in cancer development, but most can be avoided. A few of these changes are:
1) Avoid smoking and exposure to smoke
2) Practice sun safety & be aware of changes on or within your body
3) Eat healthy - fruits and vegetables
4) Limit your alcohol intake
5) Excercise

Research has led to dramatic improvements in cancer prevention, detection, and treatment. Compared to fifty years ago, we have significantly high survival rates for many cancers.


Lung Cancer Alliance announced that a comprhensive lung cancer research funding bill targeting lung cancer's high mortality rate was introduced with bipartisan support in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Some common myths associated with lung cancer are:
1) It's just a smokers cough
2) Lung cancer is just a smoker's disease
3) Lung cancer is a male, working class disease
4) Lung cancer is a death sentence

MY STORY- My grandfather passed away in 1999 due to Lung Cancer. He was a longtime smoker, since the age of about 13 years old. He, like many others, grew up in a time where facts and information on health and health care issues were not yet discovered. With that said, he smoked his entire life and was granted the oppurtunity to understand how serious and dangerous smoking and lung cancer was only when he was diagnosed with the disease.