The Lung Cancer Epidemic

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the American population and the western world. Lung cancer use to be the leading cause of cancer deaths in American men only, but since 1988, women have caught up with men and since then lung cancer is leading cause of cancer deaths in women as well. Well over 170,000 cases of lung cancers are diagnosed in the United States each year. Very few fortunate ones get cured from this miserable disease. About 157,000 people die as the direct result of lung cancer.The mortality related to lung cancer exceeds the combined mortality rates of second (breast cancer), third (prostate cancer), and fourth (colon cancer) leading causes of cancer death. How would we react if every day a Boing 747 crashes and all the passengers die? That’s what happens with lung cancer. About 430 people die every day from lung cancer.Despite the high rates of cancer deaths, lung cancer receives much less attention compared to other cancers, especially breast cancer. Lung cancer research receives much less funding, and general public takes much less interest in lung cancer. Even though lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths among men and women, very little research and scientific progress occurs in the field of lung cancer.It is estimated that about $1,723 per cancer deaths is spent on lung cancer research where as the corresponding figures for breast cancer ($13,953), prostate cancer ($10,318) and colorectal cancer (4,618) are much higher. It is interesting to note that the department of defense funds breast cancer, ovarian cancer and prostate cancer but not lung cancer.Part of the problem associated with lung cancer research funding is the fact that, there are not many lung cancer survivors to lobby for the cause of lung cancer. High mortality rates associated with lung cancer leaves very few survivors to fight for their cause, and even those fortunate survivors are not in very good health, since most of these survivors are patients who had undergone extensive lung resection.There is also a stigma associated with lung cancer. Unlike many other types of cancers risk of lung cancer is very much linked with smoking. Many who deal with lung cancer patients and the patient himself think that the disease is the direct result of misbehavior. This fills a feeling of guilt on the lung cancer patients who tend to blame themselves. Also this acts against any fund-raising program aimed at lung cancer where people unconsciously feel that lung cancer is a disease that these patients brought on themselves.More funding and research are urgently needed for lung cancer. We all have to join our hands to fight this miserable enemy of the human species.

Understanding The Viciousness of Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is the result of malignant cells forming in the tissues of the lung, usually in the cells lining the air passages. The cells in our bodies are constantly dividing and reproducing. Usually, there’s an orderly pattern to this reproduction as cells develop and specialize to meet particular needs. Occasionally, however, a cell becomes damaged. There’s a mutation in its DNA, and rather than maturing and dying as is normal, it continues to reproduce unchecked. In essence, this is cancer – uncontrolled reproduction and growth of abnormal cells in the body.Most lung cancers are believed to start in the epithelial lining of the lungs – the linings of the large and small airways that perform the task of extracting oxygen from the air. Because of this, lung cancer is sometimes called bronchogenic carcinoma – cancer arising from the bronchia. A smaller percentage of lung cancers begin in the pleura – the thin tissue sac that surrounds the lungs. These cancers are called mesothelioma. The most common form of mesothelioma is linked to asbestos exposure.Cancer of the lungs is one of the deadliest forms of cancer. While it may take a period of years to develop, the cancer often goes undetected until late in the process. In addition, it tends to metastasize (migrate to other parts of the body) early, which leaves fewer opportunities to fight the mutated cells with surgery or radiation. Once the lung cancer does metastasize, it quickly spreads to the most vulnerable and important organs of the body, particularly the adrenal glands, the liver, the brain and the bones.There are two primary forms of lung cancer – Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC) and Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC). Small Cell Lung Cancer is less common, though far more deadly. It’s directly linked to cigarette smoking – less than 1% of SCLC is diagnosed in non-smokers. It’s also extremely aggressive and fast-moving, metastasizing rapidly to other organs, and often undiscovered until it’s already widespread.Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, on the other hand, is far more common, accounting for nearly 80% of all diagnosed lung cancers. There are three main types of non-small cell lung cancer, generally characterized by the size, shape, and chemical composition of the cells that form the cancer:Squamous Cell Carcinoma (also referred to as Epidermoid Carcinoma): accounts for around 25% – 30% of all lung cancers, and is associated with a history of smoking. This cancer is nearly always found in the central chest area, near the bronchus.Adenocarcinoma (also referred to as Bronchioloalveolar Carcinoma): accounts for around 40% of all lung cancers, and is found in the external region of the lung. Treatment for this form of lung cancer often leads to a more successful outcome than that of other lung cancers.Large-Cell Undifferentiated Carcinoma: accounting for only 10% – 15% of lung cancers, this form may show up in any area of the lung. It tends to spread quickly, and often results in a poor prognosis.It’s also possible for lung cancer to be a combination of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer types.There are other, less common types of lung cancer. For instance, bronchial carcinoids are small tumors often found in people under 40 years of age. They tend to grow slowly, and be amenable to treatment. Carcinoid tumors account for approximately 5% of lung tumors. Some are non-cancerous. The others are generally slow-growing and can be successfully treated with surgery.Finally, some cancers discovered in the lungs aren’t lung cancers at all. Since the lungs are prone to metastatic cancers from other sites, it’s not uncommon for tumors from other primary cancers to find their way to the lungs. When this occurs, the tumors are often discovered in the peripheral tissues of the lungs rather than in the central tissues.Please note that the information provided in this article is for information purposes only. It should not be used during a medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of lung cancer. Such situations should always involve the expertise of a physician or health care provider.

Prostate Cancer Questions and Answers

While many illnesses and diseases are well understood, prostate cancer is one of the remaining cancerous conditions that is shrouded in misunderstanding. There are several main reasons for this, not the least of which is that men as a group, simply do not want to deal with this very common no cancerous condition.For many men, prostate cancer affects the very core of how they define their own manhood. The prostate is a key component in the sexual performance and ability of men. Prostate cancer than strikes at the very heart of how many men view themselves. In any event here are a few of the most common questions concerning prostate cancer.1. What really is prostate cancer?Prostate cancer is any abnormal and malignant growth of cells in the tissues of the prostate gland and possibly all over and beyond the prostate.2. What is advanced prostate cancer?This is one of the stages of prostate cancer where the cancerous cells have spread outside the prostate into other parts of the victim’s body, causing damage along the way. There are four basic stages of prostate cancer.3. What are the stages of prostate cancer?Stage I of prostate cancer is when the cancer is only in the prostate area and hasn’t spread outside the prostate.Stage II of prostate cancer is when the cancer is still within the prostate, but is advancing.Stage III of prostate cancer is when the cancer has now spread beyond the outer layer of the prostate into nearby tissues.Stage IV is the stage that all men dread. In this stage of the cancer, it has spread to other parts of the body also known as metastatic prostate cancer4. What is metastatic prostate cancer?It is another name for advanced prostate cancer where the cancerous cells have grown outside the prostate and is growing into other parts of the body. Metastatic prostate cancer is extremely serious.5. What causes prostate cancer?There is no singular factor that causes prostate cancer. Heredity is suspected to play a large role in prostate cancer as is the race of the patient. Black men are much more likely to have prostate cancer than other groups.6. What can I do about Prostate Cancer?If you have a prostate and are over 50 years of age, you should really consider getting a yearly prostate exam and having a simple PSA blood test done. This information will provide a baseline for future reference.Remember that the earlier you are diagnosed with prostate cancer, the more you have to fight this deadly disease and win.