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Lung cancer

Introduction Of Lung Cancer:

Lung Cancer is the most leading variety among all cancers that has been causing maximum number deaths world-wide. It is most common in patients with a history of heavy smoking for excessively lengthy periods of years and decades. Habitual smokers of cigarettes/cigars are the main victims more vulnerable for lung cancer than the people who are passive/indirect smokers, workers in asbestos industries and workmen exposed to radioactive gases like radon etc.

What is Lung Cancer?

Lung Cancer is a type of cancer that affects lungs, as the name suggests. Cancer is an abnormal uncontrolled growth of cells which can spread to other adjoining parts of the body, severely spoiling the normal functioning of the affected organs. Any accumulated mass of cells forming a lump is not considered a cancerous outgrowth, as long as it does not spread to other tissues. The spread of cells to other parts, technically called metastasis, is the main feature of identification for cancer. Harmless tumors do not spread to other parts and they can be cured either by medication or surgical removal without the risk of recurrence. Such harmless lumps are called benign tumors. Malignant tumors on the other hand are characterized by their tendency to spread to other parts of the body meddling with normal system of health and creating havoc.

Metastasis can lead to infecting not only adjacent tissues but even the distant organs like brain, lever, kidneys and bones. The malignant cells that have spread to the other parts are similar in nature with those at the site of origin. By studying the characteristics of malignant cells in any part of the body, the source of cancer cells can be determined.

Although any part of the lung can be the starting place of cancerous cells, maximum cases of lung cancer are observed to have initiated from the epithelial cells of in the inner layers of air tube network called bronchi and their progressive narrower branches called bronchioles. This is the reason lung cancers are often called bronchogenic cancers or bronchogenic carcinoma (carcinoma is another name for cancer). In addition, cancer may also emanate from the thin layer of tissue, called pleura, covering the lungs and chest wall or even from the adjacent tissues within lungs.

Lung Cancer

Treatment of lung cancer depends on the actual location of cancerous tumor, the extent of metastasis, vulnerability of the other parts affected by metastasis, the specific cause of cancer like chronic smoking, exposure to polluted air or fuel-exhaust of automobiles, nasal exposure to radioactive gases, exposure to industrial asbestos impurities in air etc. There are different types of treatment like radiation therapy, surgical resection coupled with medication. Sometimes, treatment may involve a combination of more than one type of treatment, one after the other. The method of treatment is decided by a team of medical experts on a case-to-case basis, like oncologists, pulmonologists, radiologists including physicians of palliative medicine.

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