Lung cancer is a condition in which the lung’s cells proliferate uncontrollably. Roughly 25% of all cancer-related deaths are caused due to lung cancer.
Older persons are more likely to develop lung cancer. A very small percentage of lung cancer diagnoses occur in patients under 45, with most patients being 65 or older. Most people are typically around 70 years old when they’re diagnosed.
Here’s everything you need to know about lung cancer.
Types of Lung Cancer
Doctors classify the disease into two main categories based on how lung cancer cells look under a microscope. Small and non-small cell lung tumors are the two primary subtypes typically recognized (including adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma). These distinct forms of lung cancer develop over time and respond to various therapies. Compared to small cell lung cancer, non-small cell lung cancer is more prevalent.
- Small cell lung cancer: Small cell lung cancer is less prevalent than non-small cell lung cancer and nearly exclusively affects heavy smokers.
- Non-small cell lung cancer: Refers to various lung cancers. Squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, and large cell carcinoma are non-small cell lung cancers.
Who Is at High Risk?
Lung cancer can affect people who have never smoked, but smokers are at a higher risk than nonsmokers. The quantity and frequency of cigarettes you’ve smoked are related to your chances of developing lung cancer. Even after years of smoking, quitting can significantly lower your risk of developing lung cancer.
However, nonsmokers and those exposed to secondhand smoke for an extended period are also susceptible to lung cancer. There may not be a definite explanation for lung cancer in certain situations. However, these are the common reasons:
- Passive smoking
- Receiving radiation treatment
- Exposure to radiation
- Exposure to toxic substances like asbestos
- Familial lung cancer history
How Does Lung Cancer Develop?
According to doctors, smoking harms the cells that coat the lungs, promoting lung cancer. The lung tissue changes practically immediately after inhaling cigarette smoke, which contains cancer-causing agents (carcinogens).
Your body might be able to repair this harm initially. However, the healthy cells lining your lungs suffer increased harm with each subsequent exposure. Damage over time results in aberrant cell behavior, which may eventually lead to cancer development.
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