Smoking and Lung Cancer

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What is lung cancer? Well, lung cancer is the leading cancer killer in both men and women in the United States. Lung cancer has greater mortality rates than the next three most common cancers combined (colon, breast and prostate). An estimated 157,300 Americans were expected to die from lung cancer in 2010, accounting for approximately 28 percent of all cancer deaths (American Lung Association). Lung cancer is very difficult to treat, depending on the size and stage in which the cancer is detected. The earlier the cancer is discovered, the better. For example, if the cancer is found earlier than later, more types of treatment can be administered to the patient. These treatments may vary from surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Although lung cancer is rarely cured completely, if detected and treated early, survival expectancy can increase substantially. Despite the difficulties of this deadly disease, the number of cases in which people have lung cancer is unnecessary, and can be greatly lowered. The risk of developing lung cancer can be reduced by 90% in people who quit smoking before the age of 35. Smoking is greatly related to lung cancer. Smoking, a main cause of small cell lung cancer, contributes to 80 percent and 90 percent of lung cancer deaths in women and men (American Lung Association). Men that smoke are 23 times more likely to develop lung cancer than men who don’t, and women who smoke are 13 times more likely to develop lung cancer than nonsmoking women. The lung cancer types found in people who smoke mostly differ from those in non-smokers. Small cell lung cancers, which account for approximately 20 percent of lung cancers, occur almost always in people who smoke or have smoked in the past. Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is a disease in which cancer cells are found in the tissues of the lungs. Inside the chest, lungs take up much of the room inside and usually are a pair of cone-shaped organs. The characteristic of this type of cancer is that it grows more rapidly and is more likely to spread to other organs inside your body. Starting with any one of the larger breathing tubes, small cell lung cancer grows quickly and at the time of diagnosis attains larger size. Most common cause of lung cancer is cigarette smoking. Small cell lung cancer risk factors include smoking cigarettes, cigars, or pipes now or in the past, exposure to second hand smoke, and exposure to asbestos or radon. Non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC) is the type found more commonly in non-smokers, but the majority of cases still occur in people who have smoked in his or her lifetime. There is one broad general cause to lung cancer that is the Constant prolonged introduction and exposure of a variety of carcinogens into the lungs. A carcinogen is any ingredient that has the potential to cause cancer. One deadly carcinogen is radon gas. Exposure to radon is estimated to be the second leading cause of lung cancer, responsible for an estimated 15,000 to 22,000 lung cancer deaths every year (American Lung Association). Radon is a tasteless, colorless and odorless gas that is produced by decaying uranium and occurs naturally in soil and rocks. Lung cancer can also be caused by occupational exposures, including asbestos, uranium, and coke (an important fuel in the manufacture of iron in smelters, blast furnaces, and foundries). Amongst all of these factors that cause lung cancer, cigarette smoke, with its concoction of highly concentrated carcinogens, inhaled by both smokers and nonsmokers is the foremost cause of lung cancer. In addition to the causing of lung cancer, smoking puts a person in increased risk of the pancreas, kidney, bladder, esophagus, oral cavity, and larynx cancers. Since there is a great association between smoking and lung cancer, there is also an increased risk of developing other smoking related cancers. These types of cancers and lung cancer incidences depend initially on the overall lifetime exposure to...
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