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Lung Cancer

Lung Cancer

Lung cancer, or carcinoma of the lung, is a disease where epithelial (internal lining) tissue in the lung grows out of control. This leads to metastasis, invasion of adjacent tissue and infiltration beyond the lungs. Lung cancer, the most common cause of cancer-related death in men and the second most common in women,[1][2] is responsible for 1.3 million deaths worldwide annually.[3] The most common symptoms are shortness of breath, coughing (including coughing up blood), and weight loss.[4]

The main types of lung cancer are small cell lung carcinoma and non-small cell lung carcinoma. This distinction is important because the treatment varies; non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) is sometimes treated with surgery, while small cell lung carcinoma (SCLC) usually responds better to chemotherapy.[5]

The most common cause of lung cancer is exposure to tobacco smoke.[6] The occurrence of lung cancer in non-smokers, who account for fewer than 10% of cases, appears to be due to a combination of genetic factors.[7][8] Radon gas,[9] asbestos,[10] and air pollution[11][12][13] may also contribute to lung cancer.

Lung cancer may be seen on chest x-ray and computed tomography (CT scan). The diagnosis is confirmed with a biopsy. This is usually performed via bronchoscopy or CT-guided biopsy.

Treatment and prognosis depend upon the histological type of cancer, the stage (degree of spread), and the patient's performance status. Possible treatments include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy. With treatment, the five-year survival rate is 14%.[4]

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