Public Health

Disease: Lung Cancer

Many people do get affected by this cancer or can get it easily even if they don’t smoke. The American Cancer Society estimates that 215,020 new cases of lung cancer in the U.S. will be diagnosed and 161,840 deaths due to lung cancer will occur in 2008. According to the U.S. National Cancer Institute, approximately one out of every 14 men and women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer of the lung or airways at some point in their lifetime. 70% of people are affected by the cancer when they are over 65 years old. Less than 3% are affected when they are younger than 45 years old. So when people think they won’t get affected easily, there are many people in the U.S. that can get affected and can also get killed by the cancer.

Symptoms: One of the symptoms is large enough that it can cause breathing difficulties. Also symptoms vary on how big the tumor is, coughing, difficulties of breathing, wheezing, chest pains, and coughing blood. It can be found by an X-ray or a CT scan, the tumor is like a coin in the area of the cancer. So, a doctor can like for a coin like shape in the area where the cancer is and that is probably where the tumor is. Here is a list of some of the symptoms:

 Shortness of breath

 Chronic hoarseness

Wheezing or a whistling sound when breathing

Coughing up blood or sputum that is tinged with blood

Chest pain

Repeated bouts of bronchitis or pneumonia

Generalized fatigue

Loss of appetite accompanied by weight loss

Swelling in the neck

Causes: Some causes for lung cancer is things like smoking. Smoking is one of the biggest causes for lung cancer. Besides thinking of cigarettes, cigar and pipes are also one of the causes for lung cancer but the risk is not as high as smoking cigarettes. Tobacco is also one of the causes but can you believe it that passive smoking can also be one of the causes of lung cancer? Passive smoking is where you pass by a person that smokes or even live with a smoker. Even if you don’t smoke but are passive smoking, you have a 24% risk increase of getting lung cancer. So you still can be affected by a pretty good amount if you don’t smoke. Radon gas is also another cause for lung cancer; radon gas is a natural, chemically inert gas that is a natural decay product of uranium. Also relatives who smoke also raise your chance of getting lung cancer. Another cause for lung cancer is air pollution, like vehicles, industry, and power plants.

Risk Factors: Lung cancer is the most common cancer-related cause of death among men and women today. More of lung cancer is declining among white men in the United States; it continues to increase among African-American men and Caucasian and African-American women. More than 162,000 Americans are expected to die from this disease in 2006. The risk of developing lung cancer from tobacco use is related to the age at which smoking began. Radon is an invisible, odorless gas that occurs naturally in the soil. Because radon may be present in some homes, it is a good idea to have a radon test performed on a home before purchasing it. Asbestos is fibers that occur naturally and are used in some industrial substances such as insulation.

Prevention: One way of prevention lung cancer is just not to smoke! Try to quit smoking by using nicotine products, like gum, inhalers and sprays. Using a home radon test kit can identify and allow correction of increased radon levels in the home, which can also cause lung cancers. There is also the helical low-dose CT scan which shows a little bit of the cancer. However, it can be cured by surgical resection and prevention of widespread, incurable metastatic cancer.

Treatment: Did you know that there can be treatment for lung cancer? Well, one way that can get rid of cancer is to have it removed by surgery. Therapy is another way to help lung cancer, to be more specific, there are therapies like chemotherapy or radiotherapy. However it really happens after the removal of the cancer. To decide what treatments are best for lung cancer depends on what health and the size of the tumor. There are also cancers that can’t be curable but it can remove pain.

Websites/Bibliography

  1. http://www.medicinenet.com/lung_cancer/article.htm
  2. http://www.healthatoz.com/healthatoz/Atoz/common/standard/transform.jsp?requestURI=/healthatoz/Atoz/dc/caz/canc/lunc/lunc_gen_ovw.jsp

Summary: After researching about lung cancer, I have found out that everyone can be affected even if they don’t smoke. From that, it makes it seem that lung cancer is easy to get. However from the statistics many people are affected by lung cancer but most of the people affected by lung cancer are over 65 years old. If you are not worrying that you cannot get lung cancer you should be because there still is a small chance that people throughout the U.S. can get lung cancer under the age of 45. Even if you get affected, you can still get treatment which can still be helpful and maybe cure other cancers. Keeping healthy is one of the most important things to do when you know about a cancer. But one thing that just surprises me is that the prevention of a cancer of infection at first can be prevented very fast with a little bit of work. You can smoke and you are raising your chance of getting lung cancer but if you don’t smoke but someone in you family has a past of lung cancer there is another cause. If you don’t smoke but you walk past people that smoke also called air pollution can cause lung cancer.

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