The Characteristics of Lung Cancer and the Importance of Early Diagnosis

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Lung cancer is a form of cancer that starts in the tissues of the Lungs. Lung cancer starts due to an abnormal growth of the cells in the lungs. The abnormal cells cannot carry out the functions of normal lung cells and do not develop into functioning lung tissue. The growing abnormal cells can form tumors and interfere with the functioning of the lung, which provides oxygen to the body through the blood. All cells in the body contain DNA. Every time a mature cell divides into two new cells, The DNA is exactly replicated. The cells are exact copies of the original cells. This is how our body cells regenerate as the new replace the old. Cancer begins with a mutation in the DNA of a cell. DNA mutations can be caused aging or through environmental elements, such as cigarette smoke, inhalation of asbestos fibers, and exposure to radon gas. Researchers have discovered that it takes a series of mutations to create a lung cancer cell. Before becoming fully cancerous, cells are precancerous, meaning that they have some mutations but still function normally as lung cells. When a cell with a genetic mutation divides, it passes the abnormal genes to the two new cells, which then divide into four cells with errors in their DNA. With each new mutation, the lung tissue cell becomes weaker and may not be as effective in carrying out its function as a lung cell. Lung cancer victims tend to cough up blood and have a shortness of breath. Another bodily effect of Lung cancer is intense pain. Detecting Lung cancer early is very recommendable for patients.

Common lung Cancer symptoms are chest related. Many Lung cancer inflicted patients suffer from persistent coughs, Pain in the chest or shoulder and the coughing up of blood. There are non-chest related symptoms as well such as loss of appetite or weight loss, fatigue, neck swelling, Headaches and joint pain. Patients may self-diagnose themselves if these symptoms persist. This however can be very detrimental to a patient. The most recommended option is to check up with your doctor in order to combat the cancer in its early stages. Detecting Lung Cancer early is very beneficial as early detected patients have higher percentages of surviving than late detected patients.

The five-year survival rate is the percentage of patients with a disease that are alive five years after their disease is diagnosed. The five-year survival rate for lung cancer is 54 percent for early detections. Only 15 percent of lung cancer cases are diagnosed at an early stage. More than fifty percent of people with lung cancer die within one year of being diagnosed. African Americans are more likely to develop and die from lung cancer than persons of any other racial or ethnic group. The age-adjusted lung cancer frequency rate among African American men is approximately 32 percent higher than for Caucasian men. The lung cancer five-year survival rate (17.8 percent) is lower than many other leading cancer location, such as the colon (65.4 percent), breast (90.5 percent) and prostate (99.6 percent). There have been many advancements in the treatment and research of Lung Cancer.

There have been many advancements to lung Cancer treatment such as a modified version of Chemotherapy. The therapy is called Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer chemotherapy. This new and improved version of chemotherapy decreases memory problems and hair loss .Another new type of treatment is targeted therapy, which is a treatment that uses drugs or other substances to more precisely identify and attack cancer cells, usually while doing little damage to normal cells. Side effects to targeted therapy are skin rashes, nail changes and diarrhea. Targeted therapy is commonly used with people who have advanced (stage IV) NSCLC. As it helps them live longer. Researchers are working to see if targeted therapies can help people with early-stage NSCLC. The latest form to combat lung cancer was introduced on March 2015. Late stage Cancer patients are given Immunotherapy. Immunotherapy boosts up the immune system and helps fight Cancer cells. Fatigue and joint aches are common side effects of Immunotherapy. Rare side effects include inflammation in the lungs, liver, thyroid, pituitary gland, brain, or colon.

In conclusion, Lung cancer is a form of cancer that starts in the tissues of the Lungs. Lung cancer starts due to an abnormal growth of the cells in the lungs. Common lung Cancer symptoms are chest related. Many Lung cancer inflicted patients suffer from persistent coughs, Pain in the chest or shoulder and the coughing up of blood. The five-year survival rate for lung cancer is 54 percent for early detections. Only 15 percent of lung cancer cases are diagnosed at an early stage. The advancements of Lung Cancer treatment is Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer chemotherapy, targeted therapy and Immunotherapy.