Better Health Centre |+| What is Lung Cancer?

 

 

What is Lung Cancer – some of the horrible facts!

Lung cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer for many reasons.

Each minute that we breathe life in and out of our bodies, cells are dividing and reproducing at the rate of ten million per minute.

Most generally, there is a pattern to this reproduction process, as cells develop and specialize to fit a particular need. 

On occasion, a cell may become damaged. Rather than maturing and dying, which is the natural process, this damaged cell will continue to grow and reproduce if it goes unchecked. 

This is cancer - the uncontrolled reproduction and growth of abnormal cells.

Malignant cancer cells have the ability to invade nearby tissues, or to migrate to other parts of the body.

Lung cancer is simply the growth of malignant cells in a person's lungs.

Firstly, lung cancer tends to metastasize, or reproduce and spread, early on in the disease, and tends to spread to vulnerable and important organs.

While lung cancer can spread to any organ in the body, most commonly it metastasizes to the adrenal glands, the liver, the brain, and bones.

Lung cancer can develop in any part of the lungs. Most Lung Cancer Types are believed to start in the lining of the lungs, as opposed to the actual lungs. The linings of the small and large airways that perform the task of extracting oxygen from the air we breath are most suseptible. 

Because of this fact, lung cancer is sometimes referred to as bronchogenic carcinoma, or cancer arising from the bronchia. A smaller percentage of lung cancer begins in the pleura, or the thin tissue that surrounds our lungs.

This type of lung cancer is known as mesothelioma and is most commonly linked to asbestos exposure. And finally, the most rare type of lung cancer originates in the blood vessels, or in other supporting tissues in our lungs.

There are several other types of lung cancer that are far less common than the ones mentioned. Bronchial carcinoids are small tumors that are most often found in patients under 40 years of age. This type of lung cancer grows at a slow pace, and responds best to treatment. 

Finally, some types of lung cancer are not really cancer, at all. It is not uncommon for doctors to find tumors from other primary cancers in the lungs.

When this occurs, they are most often scattered widely around the lungs in the peripheral tissues, as opposed to the central lung tissues.