I chose the topic of lung cancer to educate those about the final stages of lung cancer. Lung cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer. Men, women, and sometimes children can be affected from lung cancer. There are no definitive cures for lung cancer but there are treatments to control it and stop it from spreading. With the medical and technological advancements that have been made in the past decade, doctors can increase the length of one’s life who has been diagnosed with cancer. There are four stages of lung cancer, I will be focusing on the final two stages.
THE FINAL STAGES OF LUNG CANCER
There are many causes of lung cancer, one of the most common being cigarette smoking. 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. The combination of asbestos exposure and smoking greatly increases the risk of developing lung cancer (American Lung Association). Other causes of lung cancer include exposure to cancer-causing agents in the workplace or personal or family history of lung cancer (Nan). Whether the causes of cancer, there are a few different forms and stages of the disease. A few of the most common forms of lung cancer in men is Squamous Cell Carcinoma, which is a cell formation on the lining of the bronchial tubes and the most common form of lung cancer for women is Adenocarcinoma which forms in the mucus-producing glands of the lungs (Medical News Today). Of the 4 stages of lung cancer, Stage 3 and 4 are the most crucial and most life threatening.
Survival rates do not reflect differences in individuals. In addition, keep in mind that not everyone with a particular stage of lung cancer has the same prognosis. Staging lung cancer can help guide treatment, but there is a wide spectrum of cancers within each stage. People with stage 3 lung cancer will survive 23% out of 100% but this varies widely among different cancers that are classified as stage A3 or B3. As goes for stage 4 the overall 5-year survival rate is sadly less than 10%. The median survival time is about 8 months (Elridge, Stage). According to the National Cancer Institute, one out of every 14 Americans will be diagnosed with lung or airway cancer in their lifetime. In 2009, there were more than 219,000 people diagnosed with lung cancer in the United States.
During stage 3, cancer is found in the lung and in the lymph nodes in the middle of the chest, also described as locally advanced disease. Stage 3 has two subtypes: If the cancer has spread only to lymph nodes on the same side of the chest where the cancer started, it is called stage A3. If the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes on the opposite side of the chest, or above the collar bone, it is called stage B3 (LungCancer.org). The symptoms are shortness of breath, a persistent cough, and reoccurring infections like bronchitis and pneumonia (About.com Lung Cancer). The cancer cells during this stage can also spread to areas such as the chest wall and diaphragm can result in pain in the chest, ribs, shoulders, and back. Tumors located near the airways can cause hemoptysis and wheezing. When the tumor involves areas such as the esophagus and other chest structures, dysphagia and hoarseness can occur. Pain in the back, chest, and ribs is common if a pleural effusion is present, and this can result in increasing shortness of breath (About.com Lung Cancer). General symptoms of cancer such as fatigue and rapid weight loss may be present as well.
There are a few different ways to treat stage 3 A or B lung cancer. In most stage 3A and 3B lung cancer cases, surgery can be performed to remove the tumor, and is usually followed up with adjuvant chemotherapy *see glossary*. In most cases, the tumor is considered inoperable. For those who are relatively healthy, a combination of...
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