Lung Cancer and Mesothelioma



Lung Cancer and Mesothelioma

In the year 2002, Lung Cancer is the number-one mortality caused by cancer in the United States and the most common form is Bronchogenic Carcinoma that originates in the bronchiolar epithelium. It is aggressive locally invasive and metastasize.


Four Major Categories of Bronchogenic Carcinoma

1. Squamous cell lung carcinoma
- originates in central bronchi and common in men who are smoking. It can be detected early through sputum exam.

2. Adenocarcinoma
- most common in women and non-smokers. It originates at bronchiolar or aveolar tissues and grow more slowly than squamous cell carcinoma.

3. Small cell carcinoma
- it is characterized by small oval cells that is distinctive. It arises from the neuroendocrine cells of the bronchial epithelium, highly malignant and with strong relationship with smoking.

4. Large cell carcinoma
- it is a large polygonal cell that can not be categorize as squamous or adenocarcinoma


Causes of Lung Cancer

1. Tobacco Smoke

An average smoker is 10 times the risk to have lung cancer than the non-smoker. The younger a person starts, the greater the risk for lung cancer but the risk decreases as the duration of smoking cessation increases.

Risk Determines by:

• pack-year history

• age when smoking starts

• depth of inhalation

• tar and nicotine levels of cigarette

Second Hand Smoke
- Passive smoking or non-smokers who are exposed to tobacco smoke are also at risk for developing lung cancer. These are people who are contained with the smokers in the closed environment like for example, in your house, car, or building.

2. Environmental and Occupational Exposure

• Asbestos is another common cause of lung cancer and mesothelioma. It is the reason why asbestos worker has a greater risk to have a lung cancer than the general population. If you are asbestos worker and you smoke, you have a 50-90 times risk having asbestos lung cancer than the non-smokers. Another form of cancer caused by asbestos are: asbestos cancer and mesothelioma cancer. The attorney that handle cases about caused by asbestos is asbestos cancer lawyer.

• motor vehicle emissions

• pollutants from refineries

• Radon - a colorless and odorless gas found in rocks and soil

• arsenic

• mustard gas

• chromates

• oven fumes

• nickel

• oil

• radiation

3. Dietary Factors

Low intake of fruits and vegetables can increase the risk for lung cancer. Carotene and Vitamin A is important because of its anticancer properties. Vitamin E and C, selenium, retinoid and fats are also important.

4. Gender genetics

5. Underlying respiratory diseases (COPD and Tuberculosis)


Diagnosis of Lung Cancer and Mesothelioma

Common diagnoses are oral examination, cervical lymph nodes assessment, and biopsy.



Signs and Symptoms of Lung Cancer

Lung cancer develops insidiously or giving no warning of its presence. Symptoms are just similar to smoking or chronic bronchitis.

• Persistent and non-productive cough is the most common symptoms. The cough later becomes productive with thick and purulent sputum

• Wheezing

• recurring fever

• Late signs are: weakness, anorexia, weight loss, pain, tenderness. Difficulty in chewing, swallowing, and speaking; blood-tinged sputum

• Chest pain, hoarseness of voice, dysphagia, head and neck edema if it spreads to adjacent structures

• Lymph nodes, bone, brain, contralateral lung, adrenal glands, and lever are the most common sites of metastasis



Treatment of Lung Cancer and Mesothelioma



The objective of the treatment is to provide cure if possible. These treatments can be individually used or in combination depending on the cell type, stage, and physiologic status of the patient.

1. Surgery - to remove small and localized tumor

• lobectomy

• pneumonectomy

• segmental resection of the lung

2. Radiation Therapy - can be used as a main treatment or for palliation (removal) of symptoms

3. Chemotherapy - it is used to prevent metastasis and a treatment of choice for small carcinoma


To read more about cancer, go back to: Lung Cancer and Mesothelioma Research

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