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Lung cancer is a serious disease that has negative consequences on human health. It is one of the strongest cancers that lead in many cases to death. This essay gives background information about lung cancer. It tells about its reasons and symptoms. The paper indicates the prevention measures and possible treatment for lung cancer. It provides information about the survival rate among people who has lung cancer.
Lung cancer is a major health and social problem in the developed countries. It is the most common cancer and the most common cause of death from any kind of cancer. Lung cancer is a malignancy that develops out of the affected lung epithelium. Despite the qualitative progress of medical technology, the mortality from this disease is still very high. Today the tobacco smoking is the main cause of lung cancer. The smoke from the cigarette contains over 60 known carcinogens, including nitrosamine, radioisotopes of radon, and benzopyrene. Furthermore, it is believed that nicotine inhibits the immune system and promotes tissue malignancy. In the developed countries, about 90% of deaths from lung cancer are caused by constant smoking. Other factors that can develop lung cancer are work in hazardous industries, inhalation of different pitches, cokes, ethers, and other harmful substances. The numbers of deaths and people who suffer from lung cancer continue to raise the number of deaths due to lung cancer has increased approximately 4.3 percent between 1999 and 2008. The number of deaths among men has reached a plateau but the number is still rising among women” (American Lung Association, 3).
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The majority of people can identify lung cancer by its symptoms. However, approximately 25% of people might not have any symptoms when cancer will be diagnosed by doctors (Stoppler, 3). The symptoms of lung cancer are directly dependent on the location of the tumor. If the tumor occurs in the large bronchi, the symptoms are more pronounced and manifested before. Such type of cancer is called central lung cancer. The signs of this cancer are a dry cough that with the growth of the tumor turns into a wet, accompanied by a discharge of mucopurulent sputum, sometimes streaked with blood. Peripheral lung cancer, where the tumor is located in the small bronchi, often is asymptomatic and can be detected incidentally at radiography. Some patients with this form of cancer complain of shortness of breath and pain in the corresponding half of the chest. Cough and hemoptysis can indicate themselves in the late stages of cancer. Lung cancer, like any form of cancer, is accompanied by general symptoms of intoxication: fatigue, weakness, loss of appetite, weight loss, and pale skin.
If a person is diagnosed with lung cancer, it is necessary to start treatment and to act on the recommendations of a physician. It is strictly forbidden to resort to self-medication and methods of alternative medicine as it could lead to more serious negative results. Depending on the form and stage of lung cancer oncologist assigns the required treatment program. It is applied a surgical treatment, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. None of these methods is equivalent, and they are usually given in combination. It is very important to make prophylactic measures that include timely and proper treatment of various inflammatory processes in the bronchi and lungs that can prevent their transition into chronic forms. A very important preventive measure is to stop smoking. People who work in hazardous industries where the acceptable level of dust is above normal should use the methods of personal protection in the form of respirators and masks.
In the case of untreated lung cancer, 87% of patients die within 2 years from the time of diagnosis. When using a surgical technique, it can be achieved a 30% survival rate of patients in the first 5 years. Early detection of cancer can improve the chances of a survival rate to 80%. Joint implementation of surgery, radiotherapy, and drug treatment results in a higher 5-year survival rate by 40%. The presence of metastases significantly worsens prognosis. “People with extensive non-operable lung cancer have an average survival duration of nine months or less” (Stoppler, 11). There is a little number of people who can survive after medical treatment for more than months. It should be concluded that the best way to deal with lung cancer is to follow prevention measures.
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