Lung Cancer

The leading cancer death among both men and women, lung cancer is broken down into two main categories: non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and small cell lung cancer (SCLC). According to the American Cancer Society, NSCLC makes up roughly 85 to 90 percent of lung cancer cases. The most common form of NSCLC is squamous cell carcinoma, which is associated with smoking. Adenocarcinoma is another type of NSCLC and is the most common lung cancer among non-smokers. SCLC is extremely rare among non-smokers and typically spreads quickly. This type of lung cancer represents about 10 to 15 percent of all cases.  

Risk factors

Smoking significantly increases the risk of getting the disease. In fact, the CDC reports that smokers are 15 to 30 times more likely to develop lung cancer when compared to non-smokers. What’s more is that exposure to secondhand smoke contributes to about 3,000 lung cancer deaths in the United States every year, according to the CDC. Aside from smoking, exposure to certain toxins is also thought to increase the risk. Radon, asbestos, arsenic, diesel exhaust and chromium are all linked to lung cancer. People with a family history of the disease are at an increased risk, as well.  

Symptoms and treatment

Symptoms of lung cancer vary from case to case. However, typical symptoms include chronic, nagging coughing, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, recurrent lung issues (like pneumonia), coughing up blood, chest/back/shoulder pain and harsh breathing sounds. In terms of treatment, some patients may undergo surgery to remove cancerous tumors. This is ideal in cases where the cancer is caught early. Chemotherapy and radiation are also common practice. Targeted therapy is another approach that’s thought to be less damaging to a person’s healthy cells. These therapies work by attacking the way in which cancer cells divide and proliferate. According to the American Lung Association, destroying cancer cells through ablation therapy is also taking shape.

Latest Lung Cancer News

June 11, 2014
Doctor looking at lungs for COPD

Breath test for lung cancer in the works

June 11, 2014
December 6, 2013
Doctor looking at lungs for COPD

What is lung cancer?

December 6, 2013
June 18, 2013
Lung cancer

Lung cancer study tests inhalation therapy

June 18, 2013
April 17, 2013
Lung cancer

Radiologists ice out lung cancer tumors

April 17, 2013
March 28, 2013
Medical researcher in lab

Lung cancer trial falls short of expectation

March 28, 2013
March 19, 2013
Clinical trials in lab

Lung cancer therapy fast-tracked for FDA approval

March 19, 2013