Lung Cancer News:
Smoke Puts Millions at Risk of Lung Cancer:
Leading experts say millions of people exposed to secondhand smoke
are at increased risk of lung cancer because passive smoking causes
Lung Cancer News:
Lozenge Helps More Smokers Kick Habit:
nicotine lozenge is the newest form of nicotine replacement treatment
for smoking cessation and has been proven effective by researchers.
Coal-Burning Stoves May Decrease Lung Cancer:
say findings that vented stoves may be decreasing lung cancer in
rural China will hopefully lead to changes in other developing countries.
Chemotherapy Benefits Seniors With Advanced Lung Cancer: Researchers
report combination chemotherapy with carboplatin and paclitaxel
should be the standard treatment for advanced non-small cell lung
cancer rather than paclitaxel alone.
Pill Eases Symptoms for Advanced Lung Cancer Patients: Researchers
report ZD 1839 (Iressa) improved such symptoms as cough, shortness
of breath, chest pain or tightness, appetite and fatigue in approximately
40 percent of patients studied.
A and Derivatives Have Protective Effect Against Lung Cancer: Researchers
report, however, that the protective effect against tobacco-caused
lung cancer is suppressed by nicotine.
Drug With Gene Appears Promising as Lung Cancer Treatment: Researchers
say the inhaled version of Orathecin, used in combination
with the p-53 tumor suppression gene, was effective against lung
cancer in mice.
Designed to Make Radiation More Effective May Help Treat Lung Cancer:
say use of motexafin gadolinium with radiation slowed new tumor
growth significantly in studies of laboratory animals.
Smoker, 51, With Lung Cancer Wins Tobacco Lawsuit. A
51-year-old woman in the latter stages of lung cancer has become
the first Australian smoker to win a lawsuit against an international
May Curb Smoking But Does Not Protect Men From Lung Cancer:
National Cancer Institute researchers say exercise may result in
men smoking fewer cigarettes per day but does not appear to protect
them from developing the disease.
With Pre-Cancers May Benefit From Drug for Dry Mouth: Patients
who take the drug anethole dithiolethione, sold under the brand
names Sialor or Sulfarlem, have a significantly reduced risk that
pre-cancerous lesions in their throat will develop into lung cancer.
Patients Found Less Likely to Receive Chemotherapy for Lung Cancer:
Researchers found racial and socioeconomic disparities
important factors in whether a lung cancer patient is seen by a
physician who provides chemotherapy.
Patients With Lung Cancer More Likely to Die Within 5 Years: Black
patients with lung cancer are significantly more likely than whites
to die within five years, according to a new study.
Study Use of Arthritis Drug Celebrex to Prevent Lung Cancer: The
popular arthritis drug Celebrex may have the potential to prevent
lung cancer, according to researchers at UCLA's Jonsson Cancer Center.
The lungs, a
pair of sponge-like, cone-shaped organs, are part of the respiratory
system. The right lung has three sections, called lobes; it is a
little larger than the left lung, which has two lobes.
begin in the lungs are divided into two major types, non-small cell
lung cancer and small cell lung cancer, depending on how the cells
look under a microscope.
cell lung cancer is more common than small cell lung cancer, and
it generally grows and spreads more slowly. There are three main
types of non-small cell lung cancer. They are named for the type
of cells in which the cancer develops: squamous cell carcinoma
(also called epidermoid carcinoma), adenocarcinoma, and large
- Small cell
lung cancer, sometimes called oat cell cancer, is less common
than non-small cell lung cancer. This type of lung cancer grows
more quickly and is more likely to spread to other organs in the
have discovered several causes of lung cancer--most are related
to the use of tobacco.
Smoking cigarettes causes lung cancer. Harmful substances, called
carcinogens, in tobacco damage the cells in the lungs. Over time,
the damaged cells may become cancerous.
- Cigars and
Pipes. Cigar and pipe smokers have a higher risk of lung cancer
than nonsmokers. Even cigar and pipe smokers who do not inhale
are at increased risk for lung, mouth, and other types of cancer.
Tobacco Smoke. The chance of developing lung cancer is increased
by exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS)--the smoke in
the air when someone else smokes. Exposure to ETS, or secondhand
smoke, is called involuntary or passive smoking.
- Radon. Radon
is an invisible, odorless, and tasteless radioactive gas that
occurs naturally in soil and rocks. It can cause damage to the
lungs that may lead to lung cancer. People who work in mines may
be exposed to radon and, in some parts of the country, radon is
found in houses.
Asbestos is the name of a group of minerals that occur naturally
as fibers and are used in certain industries. Asbestos fibers
tend to break easily into particles that can float in the air
and stick to clothes. When the particles are inhaled, they can
lodge in the lungs, damaging cells and increasing the risk for
lung cancer. This exposure has been observed in such industries
as shipbuilding, asbestos mining and manufacturing, insulation
work, and brake repair.
Researchers have found a link between lung cancer and exposure
to certain air pollutants, such as by-products of the combustion
of diesel and other fossil fuels. However, this relationship has
not been clearly defined, and more research is being done.
- Lung Diseases.
Certain lung diseases, such as tuberculosis (TB), increase a person's
chance of developing lung cancer. Lung cancer tends to develop
in areas of the lung that are scarred from TB.
History. A person who has had lung cancer once is more likely
to develop a second lung cancer compared with a person who has
never had lung cancer. Quitting smoking after lung cancer is diagnosed
may prevent the development of a second lung cancer.
and symptoms of lung cancer include:
A cough that
doesn't go away and gets worse over time.
of breath, wheezing, or hoarseness.
problems with pneumonia or bronchitis.
of the neck and face.
- Loss of
appetite or weight loss.
To help find
the cause of symptoms, the doctor evaluates a person's medical history,
smoking history, exposure to environmental and occupational substances,
and family history of cancer. The doctor also performs a physical
exam and may order a chest x-ray and other tests. If lung cancer
is suspected, sputum cytology (the microscopic examination of cells
obtained from a deep-cough sample of mucus in the lungs) is a simple
test that may be useful in detecting lung cancer. To confirm the
presence of lung cancer, the doctor must examine tissue from the
lung. A biopsy--the removal of a small sample of tissue for examination
under a microscope by a pathologist--can show whether a person has
If the diagnosis
is cancer, the doctor will want to learn the stage (or extent) of
the disease. Lung cancer often spreads to the brain or bones. Knowing
the stage of the disease helps the doctor plan treatment.
on a number of factors, including the type of lung cancer (non-small
or small cell lung cancer), the size, location, and extent of the
tumor, and the general health of the patient. Many different treatments
and combinations of treatments may be used to control lung cancer,
and/or to improve quality of life by reducing symptoms.
- Surgery is
an operation to remove the cancer. The type of surgery a doctor
performs depends on the location of the tumor in the lung. An
operation to remove only a small part of the lung is called a
segmental or wedge resection. When the surgeon removes an entire
lobe of the lung, the procedure is called a lobectomy. Pneumonectomy
is the removal of an entire lung. Some tumors are inoperable (cannot
be removed by surgery) because of the size or location, and some
patients cannot have surgery for other medical reasons.
is the use of anticancer drugs to kill cancer cells throughout
the body. Even after cancer has been removed from the lung, cancer
cells may still be present in nearby tissue or elsewhere in the
body. Chemotherapy may be used to control cancer growth or to
relieve symptoms. Most anticancer drugs are given by injection
directly into a vein (IV) or by means of a catheter, a thin tube
that is placed into a large vein and remains there as long as
it is needed. Some anticancer drugs are given in the form of a
therapy, also called radiotherapy, involves the use of high-energy
rays to kill cancer cells. Radiation therapy is directed to a
limited area and affects the cancer cells only in that area. Radiation
therapy may be used before surgery to shrink a tumor, or after
surgery to destroy any cancer cells that remain in the treated
area. Doctors also use radiation therapy, often combined with
chemotherapy, as primary treatment instead of surgery. Radiation
therapy may also be used to relieve symptoms such as shortness
of breath. Radiation for the treatment of lung cancer most often
comes from a machine (external radiation). The radiation can also
come from an implant (a small container of radioactive material)
placed directly into or near the tumor (internal radiation).
therapy (PDT), a type of laser therapy, involves the use of a
special chemical that is injected into the bloodstream and absorbed
by cells all over the body. The chemical rapidly leaves normal
cells but remains in cancer cells for a longer time. A laser light
aimed at the cancer activates the chemical, which then kills the
cancer cells that have absorbed it. Photodynamic therapy may be
used to reduce symptoms of lung cancer--for example, to control
bleeding or to relieve breathing problems due to blocked airways
when the cancer cannot be removed through surgery. Photodynamic
therapy may also be used to treat very small tumors in patients
for whom the usual treatments for lung cancer are not appropriate.
non-small cell lung cancer may be treated in several ways. The choice
of treatment depends mainly on the size, location, and extent of
the tumor. Surgery
is the most common way to treat this type of lung cancer. Cryosurgery,
a treatment that freezes and destroys cancer tissue, may be used
to control symptoms in the later stages of non-small cell lung cancer.
Radiation therapy and chemotherapy may also be used to slow the
progress of the disease and to manage symptoms.
Small cell lung
cancer spreads quickly. In many cases, cancer cells have already
spread to other parts of the body when the disease is diagnosed.
In order to reach cancer cells throughout the body, doctors almost
always use chemotherapy. Treatment may also include radiation therapy
aimed at the tumor in the lung or tumors in other parts of the body
(such as in the brain). Some patients have radiation therapy to
the brain even though no cancer is found there. This treatment,
called prophylactic cranial irradiation (PCI), is given to prevent
tumors from forming in the brain. Surgery is part of the treatment
plan for a small number of patients with small cell lung cancer.
The side effects
of cancer treatment depend on the type of treatment and may be different
for each person. Side effects are often only temporary.
- Surgery for
lung cancer is a major operation. After lung surgery, air and
fluid tend to collect in the chest. Patients often need help turning
over, coughing, and breathing deeply. These activities are important
for recovery because they help expand the remaining lung tissue
and get rid of excess air and fluid. Pain or weakness in the chest
and the arm and shortness of breath are common side effects of
lung cancer surgery. Patients may need several weeks or months
to regain their energy and strength.
affects normal as well as cancerous cells. Side effects depend
largely on the specific drugs and the dose (amount of drug given).
Common side effects of chemotherapy include nausea and vomiting,
hair loss, mouth sores, and fatigue.
therapy, like chemotherapy, affects normal as well as cancerous
cells. Side effects of radiation therapy depend mainly on the
part of the body that is treated and the treatment dose. Common
side effects of radiation therapy are a dry, sore throat; difficulty
swallowing; fatigue; skin changes at the site of treatment; and
loss of appetite. Patients receiving radiation to the brain may
have headaches, skin changes, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, hair
loss, or problems with memory and thought processes.
therapy makes the skin and eyes sensitive to light for 6 weeks
or more after treatment. Patients are advised to avoid direct
sunlight and bright indoor light for at least 6 weeks. If patients
must go outdoors, they need to wear protective clothing, including
sunglasses. Other temporary side effects of PDT may include coughing,
trouble swallowing, and painful breathing or shortness of breath.
Patients should talk with their doctor about what to do if the
skin becomes blistered, red, or swollen.
provided by: National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health,
Bethesda, MD 20892