Lung cancer is a type of cancer that leads to uncontrolled cell growth in the tissues of the lung. It is the second most common cause of cancer-related deaths in women after breast cancer and is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men.
Cancer of the lung is classified into two major types according to the size and the appearance of the malignant cells. The first type is the small cell lung carcinoma which is less common. The second type is the non-small cell lung carcinoma which is the common form of lung cancer.
Treatment for the two types of lung cancer varies. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are used to treat small cell carcinoma while surgery is used in the treatment of non-small cell lung carcinoma. The major cause of cancer of the lung is long-term exposure to tobacco smoke which eventually alters the DNA in the tissue lining the bronchi in the lungs. Other causes are exposure to ionizing radiation and sometimes it could be as a result of a viral infection. In non smokers, the cause is a combination of genetic factors and air pollution.
Some common symptoms of lung cancer include coughing up blood, shortness of breath, weight loss and chest pain or pain in the abdomen. Other signs include wheezing, loss of appetite, fatigue as well as difficulty when swallowing.
Lung cancer could be as a result of metastasis from tumors in other parts of the body. It is also important to note that lung cancer is also known to metastasize to parts like the liver, adrenal glands, the bones and the brain.
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