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Lung Cancer Essay

987 words - 4 pages

Lung cancer is the most uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the lung. Normal lung tissue is made up of cells that are programmed by nature to create lungs of a certain shape and function. Sometimes the instructions to a cell go haywire and that cell and its offspring reproduce wildly, without regard for the shape and function of a lung. That wild reproduction can form tumors that clog up the lung and make it stop functioning as it should. Because of the large size of the lungs, cancer may grow for many years, undetected, without causing suspicion. In fact, lung cancer can spread outside the lungs without causing any symptoms.Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers in the United ...view middle of the document...

Therefore, the cure rate for lung cancer has doubled over the last 30 years.Today lung cancer may cause any number of symptoms. A cough is one of the more common ones and is likely to happen when a tumor grows and blocks an air passage. Another symptom is chest, shoulder, or back pain, which feels like a constant ache that may or may not be related to coughing. Shortness of breath, fatigue, repeated pneumonia or bronchitis, coughing up blood, hoarseness, or swelling of the neck and face are other symptoms.There are several types of lung cancer treatments, but it depends on a number of factors, including the type of lung cancer, the size, location, and extent of the tumor, and the general health of the lung cancer patient. Many different treatments and combinations of treatments may be used to control lung cancer, and/or to improve quality of life by reducing symptoms. Some of the treatments are:Surgery is an operation to remove the cancer. The type of lung cancer surgery a doctor performs depends on the location of the tumor in the lung. An operation to remove only a small part of the lung is called a segmental or wedge resection. When the surgeon removes an entire lobe of the lung, the procedure is called a lobectomy. Pneumonectomy is the removal of an entire lung. Some tumors are inoperable (cannot be removed by surgery) because of the size or location, and some patients cannot have surgery for other medical reasons.Chemotherapy is the use of anticancer drugs to kill cancer cells throughout the body. Even after cancer has been removed from the lung, cancer cells may still be present in nearby tissue or elsewhere in the body. Chemotherapy may be used to control cancer growth or to relieve symptoms. Most...

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