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Lung Cancer

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Transfer-Encoding: chunked ´╗┐Science Report ? Lung Cancer Lung cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells that form in one or both lungs, usually in the cells of air passages. The abnormal cells do not develop into healthy lung tissue, but instead divide rapidly and form tumours, which undermine the lung?s ability to provide the bloodstream with oxygen. Cancerous tumours are called malignant tumours, which spread to other parts of the body through the bloodstream. This process of the cancer spreading beyond its site of origin to other parts of the body is called metastasis, which causes lung cancer to be much harder to treat successfully. Primary lung cancer originates in the lungs, while secondary lung cancer starts elsewhere in the body, metastasises and reaches the lungs. They are considered different and are treated differently. Cancer is ultimately the result of cells that uncontrollably grow and do not die. Normal cells in the body follow an orderly path of growth, division, and death. Programmed cell death is called apoptosis, and when this process breaks down, cancer begins to form. The diagram illustrates the process of apoptosis, and highlights the process of regular cell deaths. However, unlike regular cells, cancer cells do not experience programmatic death and instead continue to grow and divide. This leads to a mass of abnormal cells that grows out of control. ...read more.


In addition, the liver may become enlarged and cause jaundice and bones can become painful, brittle, and broken. It is also possible for the cancer to infect the adrenal glands resulting in hormone level changes. If the cancer is in the bronchi or trachea leading to the lungs, it can be harder for air to pass into and out of the lungs. If this occurs, the decreased air movement can result in a wheezing noise upon breathing, as well as difficulty breathing. In more advanced lung cancer, the tumour may affect neighbouring tissues and cause problems with the heart and nerves that run to the face and arms, vocal cords, or diaphragm. The cancer may also grow to the point of invading the oesophagus causing difficulty swallowing. Lung cancer eventually prevents the lungs from providing oxygen to the body, through a malignant tumour blockage, and low oxygen levels occur. This will often finally kill the infected person. The effects of lung cancer on everyday living can also be detrimental, severely impairing the quality of life of patients. Lung cancer can make it hard to breathe, and the shortness of breath can furthermore cause anxiety and stress and hinder physical activity, preventing a patient from being as active as they may once have been. They may lack energy and feel fatigued, and also struggle with the grief, shock and denial that so often accompanies a cancer diagnosis. ...read more.


Finally, lung cancer takes an enormous toll on society, placing a huge economical burden on society in terms of disability and premature mortality, and also in direct health service costs, drugs prescribed and the indirect costs related to lost production. Lung cancer has one of the most devastating economic impacts of any cause of death in the world, as a result of disability and premature death. The lost years of life and productivity caused by lung cancer represent the single largest drain on the global economy, compared to other diseases such as HIV and heart disease. The economic burdens of cancer results in loss of income in low-income countries, where sickness or death can quickly undermine family finances in societies. This further hampers economic development prospects in many nations, in which many countries are losing almost 1% of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to lung cancer. Without targeted cost effective interventions, the silent pandemic of cancer has spread through low and middle income countries due to lack of awareness surrounding smoking. Some public health systems and social structures have already become threatened as a result of lung cancer, with $180 billion in damage annually on the global economy. To conclude, compelling evidence from many cancer foundations suggest that balancing the world?s global health agenda, such as international programs to reduce tobacco, will not only avert needless deaths and suffering from lung cancer but also reduce its devastating economical, societal and physical impacts. ...read more.

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