Cancer is so prevalent that it is most likely you or someone you know has dealt with this condition is some capacity. Although there are many different types of cancer, lung cancer is one of the most common. Learning more about this type of cancer helps to spread awareness and allows for early detection.
What is Lung Cancer?
In basic terms, lung cancer is the uncontrolled growth of cells that are not normal within the lungs. These abnormal cells change the overall shape and function of the lungs. This is due to the fact that normal cells are designed and programmed to alter the shape and function in a specific way, but abnormal cells reproduce at a rapid rate and are not properly programmed. This leads to high production of cells that can result in tumors that further negatively affect the lung. This means that tumor growth can keep the lung from functioning at a high level.
What About Detecting Tumors?
Detecting tumor growth on the lung is not always easy. Lungs are large in size, which means that tumors can sometimes grow for years without being detected. This is due to the fact that lung cancer has the ability to spread outside the lungs and leave no signs or symptoms behind. It is also common for persistent coughs that are noticeable with lung cancer to be misdiagnosed as a cold or bronchitis. Early detection of cancer is not always normal.
Is This Type of Cancer Common?
Lung cancer is so common that it is one of the most common types of cancer in the entire United States. Almost 15% of all new cases of cancer diagnosed each year are attributed to lung cancer. This means that about 170,000 new cases of lung cancer pop up each year. A little more than half of the lung cancer cases are men, but research shows that women are being diagnosed with lung cancer at a higher rate than ever before. In fact, more women die of lung cancer than breast cancer.
Link to Smoking
Many of the cases that involve lung cancer can be linked to smoking. Even though the majority of the individuals that are diagnosed with lung cancer smoke cigarettes, not all people that smoke get lung cancer. It is also common that people diagnosed with lung cancer have never smoked before in their life. Smoking is not the only cause of this condition.
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