What Exactly Is Lung Cancer?
Lung cancer, one of the most prevalent and potentially the deadliest cancers in the world, is a disease of the lung tissue. Cancer is a disease that can begin in virtually any organ tissue of the body. Due to internal and external factors, a single cell can mutate into a cell that is abnormal. This cell multiplies, and the growing group of cells can attack normal cells in the tissue, or the cancerous cells can turn into a mass or tumour, causing disease and possible death. The lung is a very sensitive organ whose purpose in the body is to bring air and blood into such close contact as to permit oxygen to be added to the blood while removing carbon dioxide from the blood. When an individual has lung cancer, this normal exchange can be inhibited, and while healthy cells can die, there is also a great potential for the cancer to spread into other organs and tissues of the body.
Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers globally, as each year over one million people die from the disease. One of the most common causes of lung cancer is cigarette smoking. Studies have shown that the ingredients and nicotine in tobacco can have a carcinogenic effect on the body. Since a cigarette is inhaled, the primary location for the disease is the lung. Increased levels in pollution have become a major risk factor for the disease. Exposure to radiation and asbestos (often used in home building) can also increase the risk of lung cancer developing. Radiation affects cells and can cause mutations that are unhealthy. Any outside factor such as those just listed, in addition to a poor diet and lifestyle, can contribute to the onset of lung cancer.
Although there are numerous symptoms, the most common are coughing up blood and having a generalised difficulty in breathing. Any unexplained loss of weight, in conjunction with the symptoms mentioned, can be an indication of the disease. When and if there is any question or possible concern about the probability of contracting this disease, there should be no hesitation in seeking a medical professional to discuss the completion of exams that may rule out lung cancer as a possibility of sickness.
Treatment for any type of cancer, including lung cancer, is an ongoing and long term commitment and battle. Radiation therapy and chemotherapy are often used to “kill” the cancerous cells or tumours, although this treatment can weaken the individual, as these treatments often need to be repeated often. Surgery may be needed to remove the cancer cells.