A large percent of the cancer related deaths in the United States are because of lung cancer. It is estimated that in 2010 more than more than 200,000 people will find out they have lung cancer, and more than 160,000 people will die from this disease.
Lung cancer, is a disease that affects the cells, or the basic building blocks of the lungs. In normal circumstances, our bodies are able to regulate how new cells are born.
Only when needed do our cells divide to create new cells to replace those that have died or have been damaged. However in an individual who has signs of Lung cancer, the cells in the lungs grow in an abnormal and uncontrolled division.
As a result of this uncontrolled growth, a tumor is formed. These tumors can either be benign, meaning that they will not spread to other parts of the body, or they can be malignant. In either case the patient may start to experience symptoms for Lung cancer.
Causes of Lung Cancer
There is an unquestionable connection between smoking and lung cancer. However, not all smokers get lung cancer, and not every instance of lung cancer is a direct result of smoking.
Every year in the United States around 170,000 people get lung cancer. Of this group 10% of the people, or 17,000 people, are not smokers. Secondhand smoke, or passive smoking, is a factor that contributes to increased risk of lung cancer.
Individuals who live or who work around people who smoke, have a 24% increased chance of developing lung cancer. In the United States it is estimated that 3000 lung cancer deaths occur due to passive smoking every year.
Signs and Symptoms of Lung Cancer
The Signs and Symptoms of Lung Cancer will vary depending on two factors. The first factor is how widespread the tumor is . The second factor is the location of the tumor in the lungs.
A decent size group of people, about 25% of those who get lung cancer, will have no symptoms for Lung cancer. The very first time that they will realize that they have cancer is when they have either a CT scan, or an x-ray of their chest.
These individuals may have what is referred to as a coin lesion. This tumor gets this name because of the fact that, on an x-ray, or on a CT scan, it looks like a round coin.
Other individuals who are dealing with Lung cancer symptoms, may have difficulty breathing. As a result they might have a constant cough, pain in their chest, shortness of breath, wheezing, and they might even cough up blood.
If nerves are attacked by the cancer other Lung cancer symptoms ,are that a patient might feel pain in their shoulder. They might have a pain that radiates down the outside of the arm. This can also result in difficulty speaking, or hoarseness.
If the cancer begins to affect their esophagus, they might have difficulty swallowing. The cancer might be blocking the airway, and this could result in a collapsed lung, infections, and pneumonia in the obstructed part of the lung.
If the lung cancer metastasizes and spreads to the bones, an individual might experience excruciating pain in their bones. If the cancer spreads to the brain, a person might have symptoms like impaired vision, headaches, weakness in the body, strokes, or seizures.
Additional symptoms might include things like weight loss, fatigue, and depression as a result of knowing that they are dealing with Lung cancer symptoms.
As with any serious illness, an individual who feels like they might be dealing with signs of Lung cancer, or who displays any of the above-mentioned symptoms of Lung cancer should consult a physician immediately. Only a physician is going to be able to give an accurate diagnosis of any health problems an individual is dealing with.
The Need for More Research.
As we mentioned, lung cancer is a devastating disease that leads to the death of hundreds of thousands of individuals around the world every single year. For this reason more research must be done on the causes of, and potential cures for lung cancer.
Research over the past few decades, has led to the treatments of lung cancer that we currently have. Future research will no doubt bring to light more information regarding lung cancer that doctors do not know right now. Armed with this information they’re going to be better equipped to come up with treatments for the symptoms of Lung cancer and cures for this disease.