What is Lung Cancer?

Lung cancer is a growth of malignant cells in the lungs.

You see, throughout your life the cells in your body continually divide and copy. Believe it or not, every minute of your life this course of action takes place ten million times. Think about it … ten million times a minute! Not only is that incredible, it’s a demonstration of how complicate your body really is.

Now, for the most part, this all takes place in an orderly manner as your cells go about doing their job of meeting the needs of your body. sometimes, however, a cellular mutation will occur and instead of maturing and dying as it was intended to do, a cell continues reproducing. This is cancer … the uncontrolled reproduction and growth of abnormal cells in the body.

Lung cancer is the growth of these malignant cells in the lungs.

Most often, the malignant cells are believed to form in the epithelial lining of the airways, where the oxygen is extracted from the air we breathe. This is why lung cancer is sometimes referred to as bronchogenic carcinoma (cancer arising from the bronchia). A comparatively small percentage of lung cancer (10% or less) begins in the pleura, the thin tissue sac that surrounds the lungs. These cancers are called mesothelioma. The most shared form of mesothelioma is connected to exposure to asbestos. The rarest form of begins in the blood vessels or other supporting tissues of the lungs.

Types of Lung Cancer

There are two main types – small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

SCLC is the less shared of the two, which is good, because it’s also the more deadly. Less than one percent of SCLC is diagnosed in non-smokers. This method that smoking is the dominant culprit behind this kind of lung cancer. SCLC is aggressive and fast-moving. It rapidly metastasizes to other organs, and is often not discovered until the cancer is already extensive throughout the body.

Non-small cell lung cancer accounts for approximately 80% of diagnosed lung cancer situations. Within this category, there are three main sub-categories … squamous cell cancer, adenocarcinomas, and large cell carcinomas. Sometimes two or already all three can appear together.

Finally, there are some less shared types such as bronchial carcinoids (small tumors that are most often found in people under 40 years of age). These tend to be less aggressive, grow slowly, and often can be effectively treated.

A Deadly Cancer

Cancer of the lungs is one of the deadliest forms of cancer. This is chiefly due to the fact that lung cancer tends to metastasize early in the time of action of the disease and is often not discovered until it’s spread. Additionally, when it does metastasize, it tends to spread to the most vital in addition unprotected organs of the body. The adrenal glands, the liver, the brain and the bones are all early targets.

Finally, because the lungs are so prone to metastatic cancers from other supplies throughout the body, it’s not uncommon to find a cancer in the lungs that is not lung cancer but a metastatic cancer. These cancers tend to make their home in the peripheral tissues of the lungs instead of the dominant tissues.

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