Tobacco Use and Lung Cancer

Topics: Lung cancer, Cancer, Tobacco smoking Pages: 7 (2627 words) Published: April 21, 2002
Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer among both men and women. There are two different types of lung cancer: nonsmall cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer. There are also many different things that can cause lung cancer, but the number one cause for lung cancer is tobacco use.

What is lung cancer? This is a question that a lot of people are still asking. Lung cancer is definitely something to want to be educated about so that it can be recognizable. There are healthy cells that grow and divide throughout the body to keep it functioning properly, but sometimes this growth gets out of control when the cells continue to produce even though cells aren't needed. These abnormal cells in the lungs originate when the lungs are exposed to carcinogens for instance those found in cigarette smoke. At first, only a small number of abnormal cells might appear, but as these cells are increasingly exposed to carcinogens they will definitely progress and eventually these cells become cancerous. Once these cancerous cells have reached the lungs, they have easy access to a large number of blood and lymph vessels. (MFMER 1998-2001)

Cancer that begins in the lungs is divided into two major types, small cell lung cancer and nonsmall cell lung cancer. Nonsmall cell lung cancer is more common than small cell lung cancer and it generally grows and spreads more slowly. There are three main types of nonsmall cell lung cancer that are named for the type of cells in which the cancer develops. These three types are: squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma and large cell carcinoma. Squamous cell carcinoma is a cancer that forms in cells that are lining the airways. It's the most common type of lung cancer in men. Adenocarcinoma is the most common type of lung cancer in women and people who have never smoked, it is a cancer that usually begins in the mucus-producing cells of the lung. The last type of nonsmall cell lung cancer is large cell carcinoma; this type of cancer originates in the peripheral part of the lungs. The other major type of lung cancer is small cell lung cancer which sometimes is called oat cell cancer, it is less common than nonsmall cell lung cancer. This particular type of lung cancer grows more quickly and is more likely to spread to other organs in the body.(MFMER 1998-2001)

The number one leading cause of lung cancer is tobacco use. At one time smoking was just considered a socially acceptable behavior, but is now the leading cause of disability and death in the U.S. It is considered to be the most important cause of chronic bronchitis in both sexes, lung and laryngeal cancer in men and probable cause of lung cancer in women. There are many reasons smoking causes lung cancer but one is that the smoke from one single cigarette is composed of over four thousand different constituents and of those, approximately sixty of them are known carcinogens or tumor promoters. Smoking may be the number one leading cause of death, but it is also preventable.

Although smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer, there are many other contributors to lung cancer such as cigarettes, cigars and pipes, environmental tobacco smoke, radon, asbestos, pollution, lung diseases and medical history. Cigarettes cause lung cancer from the harmful substances that damage cell in the lungs. Whether the person will develop lung cancer is affected by the age at which they began smoking, how long they have been smoking, the number of cigarettes that are smoked per day, and how deeply the person inhales. Cigars and pipes give the person a higher risk of lung cancer than nonsmokers, the affects are the same as the ones for smoking cigarettes. There are people who smoke cigars and pipes and do not inhale and these people are at a risk for lung, mouth and other types of cancer. Environmental tobacco smoke also known as secondhand smoke is called involuntary or passive smoking is also a risk of lung...
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