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lung cancer is


Lung Cancer Symptoms

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									Lung cancer is one disease which is fatal to humans, we must first look at a generic
explanation of what cancer itself is.

The cells in the human body have a predetermined pattern of reproduction which involves
dividing into multiple cells. This process takes place throughout the life of a person - every
minute, there are an estimated ten million cells that divide and reproduce.

The reproduction takes place in a systematic manner and specific kinds of cells required for the
body's needs keep being produced. Sometimes however, this orderly process breaks down as
far as one or a few cells are concerned. This usually happens because of cell damage.

The damaged cell ends up with a mutation in its DNA structure. At the end of its life cycle, a cell
is supposed to mature and die. Instead of doing so, these mutant cells carry on reproducing in
an uncontrolled manner. This is basically what cancer is - unchecked reproduction of abnormal
cells in specific regions or organs of the body.

One of the worst features of these cancerous cells is that they can find their way into
surrounding tissues and organs and also spread to other more distant parts of the body. This
process is called metastasis.
With that explanation in place, we are in a better position to find an answer to the question
"what is lung cancer".

Lung cancer is an abnormal, malignant growth of cells in a person's lungs. There are many
reasons why lung cancer is one of the most dangerous forms of cancer around. A key reason is
that lung cancer tends to metastasize or spread to other parts of the body. This happens quite
early after the onset of the cancer. For this reason, lung cancer is often not detected until it has
spread considerably. This makes it very difficult to treat or control through drugs and radiation.

In addition, lung cancer tends to spread to vital body parts like the liver, adrenal glands, the
bones and the brain. This makes the metastasized cancer doubly dangerous.

There is no part of the lung that is immune to cancer. However, the vast majority - about 90% or
more - of lung cancers originate in the epithelial lining of the lungs. These linings cover the
airways that are responsible for extracting oxygen into the lungs from inhaled air.

That is why lung cancer is also known as bronchogenic carcinoma (meaning, cancer that
originates in the bronchia).

Some lung cancers begin in the lining that surrounds the lungs called the pleura. This is a type
of cancer called mesothelioma and it is caused by asbestos exposure. They form only a small
percentage of all lung cancer cases. Rarer still are cancers that originate in other tissues
including blood vessels of the lung.

The two major types of lung cancers are non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and small cell lung
cancer (SCLC). About four-fifths of all lung cancers are of the non small cell variety.

Small cell lung cancer accounts for only a minority of lung cancers, but is far more dangerous.
Cigarette smoking is the main cause of this type of cancer. This type is deadlier because it
spreads very fast within the lungs and to other parts of the body.

That is a concise answer to the question "what is lung cancer". There are more details on other
pages of this site - do check them out for more information.

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