Lung Cancer


There are two different types of lung cancer, non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer. It is all depending on the size of what the cells look like under a microscope. Both of these types of lung cancer can grow differently which leads to them both being treated differently. Non-small cell lung cancer is the more common of the two and it usually grows fairly slow. There are three main types of non-small cell lung cancer and they are squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, and large cell carcinoma. Small cell cancer is the least common and it grows fairly rapid and it can easily spread to other organs in the body (Cavendish, p.946).


Usually cells grow and divide at a specific pace that keeps the body working healthy but sometimes the cells start to divide at an uncontrollably pace. When the cells grow too much they make a tumor. The cells in this tumor are cancer cells and when the cancer cells are in the lungs, they eat away at the lungs, which leads to killing someone.

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Some people that might get cancer are people who smoke cigarettes, cigars, and pipes, and people who get close to radon, asbestos, and pollution. In most people that cancer, the cancer cells are not found until it is in the later stages. Only 15% of the people that get cancer get it found in the early stages. When someone is found that they have cancer, they have at the most, five years to live. It matters if the cancer cells have gotten to the local lymph nodes or elsewhere. Most people figure out they have cancer by pure accident. They will go in to get an x-ray or CAT scan for something else and figure out they have cancer (http://my.webmd.com).


There are many different symptoms for lung cancer. Most of them do something with breathing or something to do with their mouth. Some of the symptoms are; a cough that doesnt go away, chest pain that is sometimes aggravated by deep breathing, hoarse sounding voice, weight loss or loss of appetite, bloody spit, shortness of breathe, fever with no known reason, recurring infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia, and wheezing (http://my.webmd.com).


There is a lot of ways for Lung Cancer to be diagnosed. A CT (Computed Tomography) scan will tell the exact size, shape, and position of the tumor. A MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) will help tell where the cancer is going to spread. A PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scan traces a radioactive substance that is found in the cancer cells. During a bone scan a small amount of a radioactive substance is injected into a vein and it builds up where an abnormal area is, sometimes made by cancer. A bronchoscopy is when a patient is sedated and a fiberoptic flexible tube is moved through the mouth into the bronchi tube (the tube that carries air to the lungs) and they can find blockages made by tumors or cancer. Blood tests are also taken to see if cancer cells have spread to the liver or bones.


Staging of non-small cell lung cancer is described with the TNM system. T stands for tumor, its size and how far it has spread, N stands for the lymph nodes, and M stands for metastasis, spread to other organs. All of these are combined and a stage is assigned to each group.
There are four different stages for the non-small cell lung cancer T stages. Tis is when cancer is found only in the lay of cells lining the air passages and not found anywhere else. T1 is when the cancer is no larger than 3 centimeters. T2 is when the cancer is no larger then 3 centimeters, it involves a main bronchus but is not closer then 2 centimeters to where the trachea branches off into the main bronchi, it has spread to the visceral pleura, the cancer partially clogs the airways but the lung is not collapsed or under pneumonia. T3 is when the cancer has spread to the chest wall, the diaphragm, the mediastinal pleura, or the parietal pericardium, when the cancer involves a main bronchus and is closer then 2 centimeters to where the trachea branches into the main bronchi but doesnt infect the area, and when the cancer grows into the airways and collapses one of the lungs. And T4 is when the cancer has spread to the mediastinum, the heart, the trachea, the esophagus, the backbone, or the point where the windpipe branches into the left or right main bronchi, when two or more separate tumor nodules are present in the same lobe, when there is fluid containing cancer cells in the space surrounding the lung.


There are four different stages for the non-small cell lung cancer N stages. N0 is when the cancer hasnt spread to the lymph nodes. N1 is when the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes within the lung. N2 is when the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes around the point where the windpipe branches into the left or right bronchi or to the lymph nodes in the mediastinum. N3 is when the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes near the collarbone on either side, to hilar or mediastinal lymph nodes.


There are two different stages for the non-small cell lung cancer M stages. M0 is when there is no distant spread. M1 is when there is distant spread, sites considered include other lobes of the lings, lymph nodes further then the ones of mentioned in the N stages, and other organs.
The stages are put together with all the information above. Stage 0 is Tis, N0, and M0. Stage IA is T1, N0, and M0. Stage IB is T2, N0, and M0. Stage IB is T2, N0, and M0. Stage IIA is T1, N1, and M0. Stage IIB is T2, N1, M0 and T3, N0, and M0. Stage IIIA is T1, N2, M0 and T2, N2, M0 and T3, N1, M0 and T3, N2, M0. Stage IIIB is Any T, N3, M0 and T4, Any N, M0. Stage IV is Any T, any N, and M1.


Staging of the small cell lung cancer is easier because it only uses two stages, and limited stage, and the extensive stage. Limited stage usually means that the cancer is only in one lung and in lymph nodes on the same side of the chest. Extensive stage is when the cancer has spread to the other lung, to the lymph nodes on the other side of the chest, or to distant organs. Small cell lung cancer is split into only two stages because it shows people who have a chance of being cured and people who dont have a chance.


There are many different risk factors for lung cancer. A significant amount of them are because of inhaling smoke. Things calls carcinogens in tobacco damage cells in the lungs and over time the cells may become cancerous. The likeliness of getting cancer is affected by the age someone starts smoking and the number of cigarettes smoked each day. Smoking cigarettes, cigars, pipes, or just being around smoke from any of these will cause lung cancer but the more directly that the smoke gets to the lungs increases the chance of getting lung cancer. Asbestos are minerals that float in the air and when they get into someones lungs, they can damage cells and increase the chance for lung cancer. If someone is by pollution of combustion of diesel or other fossil fuels, they have and a low chance of getting lung cancer but it can affect it. The last thing that can greatly cause lung cancer is tuberculosis and other lung diseases. The best way to prevent lung cancer at, the moment is to not smoke, or stay away from any smoke. Smoking is the greatest cause of lung cancer and has a great chance of killing someone.


There are many ways of treating lung cancer, and one of those ways is surgery. Surgery can only be done depending on the stage and type of lung cancer. When surgery is done, the cancer is removed and some of the surrounding lung tissue. This kind of surgery is called a pneumonectomy. Also laser surgery can be done to remove blockages of the lung (htt://www.cancer.org).


Chemotherapy is a one of the most popular kinds of treatment. With chemotherapy, the patient is given lots of anticancer drugs. These drugs kill cancer cells but also kill non-cancerous cells. There are a lot of side effects, which include nausea, loss of hair, low blood cell counts, easy bleeding, fatigue, and numbness.


There are two kinds of radiation therapy. One kind is external beam radiation, which delivers radiation to the body from the outside, and it is focused on the cancer. The other kind is brachytherapy, which a small pellet of radioactive material is placed directly into the cancer or an airway near it.


I think that lung cancer is very severe. I thought that this report would be very good for me to do because a lot of people are going to know someone with lung cancer and if someone close to me gets lung cancer, then I will know what they are going threw. I may even get lung cancer someday and if I do, then I will know what my possibilities of living and what to do to help myself. I learned a lot while doing this report and I think that lung cancer and all other kind of cancers are a big deal and everything should learn all they can about them.
Bibliography
Encyclopedia of Family Health, volume 8, Marshall Cavendish, 1998, pp. 974 978
Johnston, Lorraine, Lung Cancer: Making Sense of Diagnosis, Treatment, and Options, O’Reilly ; Associates, 2001
National Cancer Institute, What You Need to Know About Lung Cancer, 2000, http://my.webmd.com, May 16, 2001.


The World Book Encyclopedia, volume 3, Scott Fetzer, 1998, pp. 167 174
Types of Treatment, 2000, http://www.cancer.org, May 16,2001Words
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