Technical College High School
Lung Cancer Lung cancer is “the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in one or both lungs”. These abnormal cells do not carry out the functions of normal lung cells and do not develop into healthy lung tissue. As they grow, “the abnormal cells can form tumors and interfere with the functioning of the lung, which provides oxygen to the body via the blood”. There are two major types of lung cancer, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and small cell lung cancer (SCLC). Staging lung cancer is based on whether the cancer is local or has spread from the lungs to the lymph nodes or other organs. Because the lungs are large, tumors can grow in them for a long time before they are found. Even when symptoms—such as coughing and fatigue—do occur, people think they are due to other causes. For this reason, “early-stage lung cancer (stages I and II) is difficult to detect. Most people with lung cancer are diagnosed at stages III and IV. Non-small cell lung cancer accounts for about 85 percent of lung cancers”(Lung Cancer 101.). The most common form is called Adenocarcinoma.
Hanspeter Witschi, a journalist from ITEH and Department of Molecular Biosciences, said, “a hundred years ago, lung cancer was a reportable disease, and it is now the commonest cause of death from cancer in both men and women in the developed world, and before long, will reach that level in the developing world as well. Lung cancer continues to be the leading cause of death in both men and women in the US, with over 158,900 deaths in 1999. Worldwide, lung cancer kills over 1 million people a year. The disease has no particular symptoms or signs for its detection at an early stage. Most patients therefore present with advanced stage IIIB or IV disease” (Witschi, H.). “Screening tests began in the 1950s with annual chest x-ray films and sputum cytology but they resulted in no improvement in overall
References: Adenocarcinoma of the Lung. (n.d.). Retrieved December 4, 2013, from Drugs website: http://www.drugs.com/health-guide/adenocarcinoma-of-the-lung.html Lung Cancer 101. (n.d.). Retrieved December 5, 2013, from Lung Cancer website: http://www.lungcancer.org/find_information/publications/163-lung_cancer_101/265-what_is_lung_cancer Spiro, S. G., & Silvestri, G. A. (2005). One Hundred Years of Lung Cancer. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 172(5), 523-529. http://dx.doi.org/10.1164/rccm.200504-531OE Witschi, H. (2001). A Short History of Lung Cancer. Toxicological Sciences, 64(1), 4-6. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/toxsci/64.1.4