Lung cancer is the uncontainable proliferation of abnormal cells that originate in left, right, or both lungs. The growth of the unusual cells usually takes place along the airspaces linings. Instead of those cells developing to be part of the lung cells their quick generation leads to the development of a tumor as illustrated in (Hecht, 1999). The tumor spreads and impedes the lungs capacity to supply the body organs with the adequate amount of oxygen required. Benign tumors don’t spread but continue to grow in the same place they were started. On the other hand, malignant tumors grow and spread affecting other areas. From WHO statistics, lung cancer is the primary cause of cancer-related mortality and morbidity cases. Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer.
Causes of lung cancer
Cancer results from cells that grow in an uncontrollable manner. Instead of dying after a certain period, to allow regeneration of new cells of the same type for the same purpose, they continue to grow and spread. Apoptosis is the process by which cells break down and die when this process fails the result results to cancerous cells. Gene mutation of the lung cells interferes with Apoptosis of this cells that lead to lung cancer as shown in according to (Kuschner ,1968). Cigarette smoke has nicotine a carcinogenic element that contributes to the gene mutation. Some of the materials that can trigger cancer include radiations from gamma rays, some material exhausted from car engines, asbestos and many others. Genetic predisposition is a factor that contributes to cancer later in life. Some genes are inherited from a parental lineage that contributes to the development of lung cancer.
Types of lung cancer
Lung cancer is classified into two categories, which include small cell cancer and non-small cells cancer. Non-small cell cancer is the most frequent taking linked to 80% of lung cancer cases as indicated in (Hecht, 1999). The Non- small cell cancer, is made up of small cells that develop into large malignant tumors, it is further sub-divided into four branches. The first one is Bronchioalveolar carcinoma; it’s not common but forms near the lungs air space. The second type is Adenocarcinoma, This type forms in the glands within the lungs which handle production of mucus. Adenocarcinoma is common among women and non- smokers. The third one is called Large- cell undifferentiated carcinoma, this form on the outer margins of the lungs surfaces. Lastly, we have squamous cells carcinoma; it forms the lining of bronchial airways. This is common among men and also the most common Non-small cell cancer.
Signs and symptoms
Lung cancer signs and symptoms vary depending on the part of the lungs under the attack, the size and type of the tumor. The signs and symptoms may take a long period before they can be physically seen in many cases in the advanced stages. The most affected parts are the chest and the alveoli. In this case, the following symptoms are common chronic pneumonia, during a cough pain in the chest, shoulder, and back is felt. The patient experiences problems breathing and swallowing as indicated in (Beckles, 2003). The coughing is persistence and very intense, in advanced stages sputum coughed has blood pigments. Swollen lymph nodes are common especially when the cancerous cells spread to attack the lymph. With cancer cells growing and dividing the body energy, the body starts to show symptoms common to other diseases. The symptoms include rapid weight loss within a short duration, body fatigue and malaise, pain in the joints, and swollen faces and neck regions.
Diagnosis and treatment
Lung cancer is diagnosed by various medical techniques. The techniques include x-ray performance on the lungs, bronchoscopy, Magnetic resonance imaging scans (MRI), CT scans, and positron emission tomography (PET) scans. There is a physical examination to identify breathing difficulties, swollen lymph nodes (Spriggs, 2015). Sputum cytology is conducted lungs biopsy. The MRI, CT, and positron emission tomography scans are used to detect how extensive is cancer. Treatment of lung cancer depends on the stage of the cancer progress, the type of the lung cancer, the age of the victim, and the genetic factors. Common lung cancer treatment includes surgical removal of the cancerous tumor and using radiation to alter the progress of the cancer tumor development (Pfister, 2004). Chemotherapy disrupts malignant cells division by alteration of their DNA structures to induce their apoptosis. The medical oncologist handles all these procedures and further recommendation.
Prevention and control
Lung cancer is caused by the habitual smoking of cigarettes which is the key predisposing factor. Modifying behavior to ensure that smoking and excessive consumption of alcohol is stopped can be a preventive mechanism. Non- smokers are also at risk when exposed to cigarette smoke (Stover, 2003). Avoiding places and circumstances that are associated with cigarette smoke is important. Home remedies that include eating raw garlic help to reduce the risk of developing lung cancer.
In conclusion, lung cancer has become a global concern being the leading killer from cancer-related deaths. Many young persons are taking into cigarette smoking as a trend that makes them at the risk of lung cancer as shown in (Hecht, 1999). Taking the preventive measure and performing medical checks regularly can help prevent lung cancer deaths.
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Kuschner, Marvin. “The J. Burns Amberson Lecture 1, 2: The Causes of Lung Cancer.” American Review of Respiratory Disease 98.4 (1968): 573-590.
Pfister, David G., et al. “American Society of Clinical Oncology treatment of unresectable non–small-cell lung cancer guideline: Update 2003.” Journal of Clinical Oncology 22.2 (2004): 330-353.
Spriggs, Brenda. “Lung Cancer Diagnosis.” Healthline. Healthline, 2 Oct. 2014. Web. 17 Sept. 2015. <http://www.healthline.com/health/lung-cancer-diagnosis#Overview1>.
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