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    Causes and Effects of Lung Cancer

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    The Lungs are paired organs in the chest that perform respiration. Each human has two lungs. Each lung is between 10 and 12 inches long. Lung function normally peaks in the late teens and early twenties. After the early twenties, lung function declines about 1 percent a year over the rest of a person’s lifetime.

    What Do Your Lungs do?

    Your lungs do a vital job. Each day, you take about 23,000 breaths, which bring almost 10,000 quarts of air into your lungs. The air that you breath in contains several gases, including oxygen, that your cells need to function. With each breath, your lungs add fresh oxygen to your blood, which then carries it to your cells. The lungs are the essential respiration organ in humans. Their principal function is to transport oxygen from the atmosphere into the bloodstream, and to release carbon dioxide from the bloodstream into the atmosphere. Human lungs are located in two cavities on either side of the heart. Though similar in appearance, the two are not identical. Both are separated into lobes, with three lobes on the right and two on the left. Lungs are to a certain extent ‘overbuilt’ and have a tremendous reserve volume as compared to the oxygen exchange requirements when at rest. This is one of the reasons that individuals can smoke for years without having a noticeable decrease in lung function while still or moving slowly; in situations like these only a small portion of the lungs are actually perfused with blood for gas exchange. As oxygen requirements increase due to exercise, a greater volume of the lungs is perfused, allowing the body to match its carbon dioxide and oxygen exchange requirements.

    The connective tissue that divides lobules is often blackened in smokers and city dwellers.

    Cancer is the malignant growth of body cells into structures called tumors. This is the situation where the body cells multiply uncontrollably. Lung cancer is the uncontrollable growth of cells within the lungs which are vital for the process of breathing in. the abnormal cells do not carry out the normal practices as the usual lung cells this will result into breathing problems as lung cells are programmed to do other functions. The case of lung cancer can develop in one of the lungs or two of them. acute stage of the disease is very dangerous and can result into serious breathing problems. If not dealt with the disease my cripple the functioning of the lungs which cannot be transplanted and the individual may eventually die. Cancer treatment is better done in the early stages of its development. The earlier it is diagnosed the faster the healing process. Growth of the cells may occur in the tubules which will eventually block the supply of oxygen to the body. This may result into fainting.

    Lung cancer primarily attacks the lungs as it main target hence the name lung cancer. The malicious cell activity in the lungs result into the growth of tumors. Cells affected by cancer are normally bigger or longer than normal and may not sent the same effect as the normal cells. Consider cells that control production of the mucus lining in the breathing system get attacked by cancer, they will grow bigger and will now code for other characteristics leading to no production of mucus. Other organs that primarily rely on the lungs such as the brain may also be affected. The terminal organs that are also affected by the cancer of the lungs include the brain, the heart, the adrenal gland and bones especially those that secrete red blood cells.

    The brain may also be affected by lung cancer. Note the tumors growing in the lungs.

    Lungs are an essential part of the body. The body requires oxygen for most of its vital organs like the brain and the heart to work well. Failure of the lungs will result in failure of other body organs when the infection of the disease reaches the acute stage and can no longer be manageable. The body cell activity relies on energy for cellular respiration which requires the use of oxygen. Failure of the lungs will mean that the victim cannot survive anymore. Only on the extraordinary treatment like the life support machine.

    Cancer introduces an over growth pattern in the lungs by allowing the cells to grow bigger or longer. This will result in the formation of tumors. The cells now forming the tumor are modified by the infection and are called tumor cells. Tumors appear like swellings and generally deform the shape of the cells and the lung sin general. Bigger tumors have an effect on the bronchiole pipes by blocking them. Blocked bronchioles mean that the body cannot conduct gaseous exchange and hence one may suffer suffocation. Modification of the size of the cells increase the size of molecules inside the cell hence changing its codding. Such cells stop carrying out their normal functions this will result in the failure of the organs. Malicious cells in the lungs affect the cell neighboring them, this results to the spreading of the cancerous activity. It is also estimated that cancer of the lings may end up infecting the liver which may lead to afresh problem, liver cancer. The diagram alongside refers to how the malignant cells could transfer to the liver causing other secondary infections

    There are different kind of symptoms that manifest the presence of lung cancer. Malicious growing of cells may cause them to burst, the victim will eventually experience coughs that contain blood. Even if this traces of blood may be small it is good not to ignore the instance. The enlarging tumor in the chest causes pressure on the surrounding cells resulting into pain in the chest. Victims run out of breath since they are taking in less air due to the blocked bronchioles.

    A hoarse voice may be experienced doe to lack of free movement of air in the system. The difficulty in breathing may cause problems with the vocal cords. Frequent lung infections like inflammation of lungs, frequent coughs. There is little oxygen in the body to carry out respiration, cells wear out and the patient feels tired. The patient may start experiencing loss of weight when the patient feeds well.

    Small cell lung cancer. Small cell lung cancer occurs almost exclusively in heavy smokers and is less common than non-small cell lung cancer.

    Non-small cell lung cancer. Non-small cell lung cancer is an umbrella term for several types of lung cancers that behave in a similar way. Non-small cell lung cancers include squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma and large cell carcinoma.

    • Active and passive smoking can result in someone getting cancer. Cigarettes have cancer causing materials called carcinogens. Carcinogens get introduced to the lungs through smoking both active and passive smokers have a high risk of getting cancer.

    Secondhand smoke causes 30 times as many lung cancer deaths as caused by all other air pollutants combined. Hundreds of thousands of other nonsmokers, exposed to secondhand smoke, have developed lung cancer.

    Studies show that a person breathing secondhand smoke is exposed to the same tar, nicotine, cyanide, formaldehyde, arsenic, ammonia, methane, carbon monoxide and other harmful ingredients as the person smoking a cigarette.

    The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ranks secondhand smoke as one of the most dangerous cancer-causing substances. Secondhand smoke promotes genetic changes in your cells that interfere with cell development and increase the risk of some cancers.

    If you or a member of your household smokes around your children, your children can inhale the equivalent of 102 packs of cigarettes by age 5:

    • Effects on children include:
    • Increased ear infections
    • Increased respiratory infections
    • Increased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

    Exposure to secondhand smoke is a serious health risk. It affects everyone—whether they smoke or not.

    • Spit tobacco, smokeless tobacco, snus, chew, pinch, plug or dip – call it what you want, but don’t call it harmless. If you are thinking about switching from cigarettes to smokeless tobacco because you think the smokeless version won’t hurt you, be forewarned – smokeless tobacco also causes serious health problems.

    • Spit tobacco contains 28 cancer-causing agents (carcinogens). It is a known cause of human cancer, as it increases the risk of developing cancer of the oral cavity. It can also cause a number of non-cancerous conditions and can lead to nicotine addiction and dependence. Some of the ingredients in spit tobacco include polonium 210, N-nitrosamines, formaldehyde, nicotine, cadmium, cyanide, arsenic, benzene, and lead.

    All these materials are called carcinogens they are argents that can cause cancer. They are mostly products of radioactive processes in the soil, air or factories. They cause gene mutations in the cells of the lungs especially when they are likely to cause cancer. Gene mutation will result into the malicious growth of the lung cells hence resulting into cancerous materials.

    If you’ve never smoked, don’t start. Talk to your children about not smoking so that they can understand how to avoid this major risk factor for lung cancer. Begin conversations about the dangers of smoking with your children early so that they know how to react to peer pressure.

    Stop smoking now. Quitting reduces your risk of lung cancer, even if you’ve smoked for years. Talk to your doctor about strategies and stop-smoking aids that can help you quit. Options include nicotine replacement products, medications and support groups.

    Chewing of tobacco increases the risk of getting cancer by 28 % which is the level of carcinogens in the raw tobacco.

    If you’ve never smoked, don’t start. Talk to your children about not smoking so that they can understand how to avoid this major risk factor for lung cancer. Begin conversations about the dangers of smoking with your children early so that they know how to react to peer pressure.

    Stop smoking now. Quitting reduces your risk of lung cancer, even if you’ve smoked for years. Talk to your doctor about strategies and stop-smoking aids that can help you quit. Options include nicotine replacement products, medications and support groups.

    Chewing of tobacco increases the risk of getting cancer by 28 % which is the level of carcinogens in the raw tobacco.

    If you live or work with a smoker, urge him or her to quit. At the very least, ask him or her to smoke outside. Avoid areas where people smoke, such as bars and restaurants, and seek out smoke-free options

    Cancerous materials can be passed from the mother to the child when still in the womb as a foetus. Research has shown that there are more instances of recurrence of any form of cancer including lung cancer in the offspring of parents who suffered cancer. This is because genetic material is inheritable and cancer is a genetic complication. This means that a baby can inherit genetic coding with cancer. This will later develop in the child of the generations of a child

    Mutations are sudden changes in the gene make up of an individual. Gene mutation is caused by mutagens. Mutagens in the environment may result int o mutation of the original cells of the body and develop malicious developments which become cancer

    UV light can expose the body to dangerous frequencies of light that the body cannot sustain. The strong wavelength of the u.v light may afler cell components and its genetic making. The new gene formed could be malignant and could send signals to the lung cells causing them to be cancerous.

    Genetically modified foods rely on gene technology to improve the yielding capacity of plants and animals. Eating food with such chemicals is dangerous as the establishment of the carcinogens in the body. Frequently feeding on such cross bread crops or foods can develop cancerous cells in the body.

    During surgery your surgeon works to remove the lung cancer and a margin of healthy tissue. Procedures to remove lung cancer include:

    Wedge resection to remove a small section of lung that contains the tumor along with a margin of healthy tissue

    Segmental resection to remove a larger portion of lung, but not an entire lobe

    Lobectomy to remove the entire lobe of one lung

    Pneumonectomy to remove an entire lung

    If you undergo surgery, your surgeon may also remove lymph nodes from your chest in order to check them for signs of cancer.

    Advanced surgical techniques such as minimally invasive surgery and video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) may reduce the amount of time you need to spend in the hospital after lung cancer surgery and may help you return to your normal activities sooner. Research shows that people who undergo minimally invasive lung cancer surgery at hospitals that perform many of these operations every year tend to experience less pain and fewer complications. Mayo Clinic surgeons perform more than 900 VATS procedures every year.

    Radiation Therapy

    Radiation therapy uses high-powered energy beams from sources such as X-rays and protons to kill cancer cells. During radiation therapy, you lie on a table while a machine moves around you, directing radiation to precise points on your body.


    Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. One or more chemotherapy drugs may be given through a vein in your arm (intravenously) or taken orally. A combination of drugs usually is given in a series of treatments over a period of weeks or months, with breaks in between so that you can recover.


    Stereotactic body radiotherapy, also known as radiosurgery, is an intense radiation treatment that aims many beams of radiation from many angles at the cancer. Stereotactic body radiotherapy treatment is typically completed in one or a few treatments.

    Solid wastes like plastics, packaging’s and other hospital wastes make the environment dirty making it less appealing to stay in. hospitals may burn their wastes releasing smoke into the air which pollutes the air. Plastic, glass and metallic wastes are not biodegradable and will lead to destruction of the soil structure in the area.

    Chemical wastes from hospitals are dangerous to us and the environment. Radioactive chemicals may change the structure of soil and even transfer health complications to the locals. Such material should be handled with care. Chemicals may affect the chemical composition of soil affecting plant cover and animal life in the area.

    Needles and scalpels from the hospitals were used for injections and surgical procedures. They are dangerous to human contact because they can spread infectious diseases like HIV and tetanus if one is accidentally cut. Children are dangerous with such things and may harm one another. Such materials are mostly plastic and metallic and take too long to decay hence are dangerous to the environment. Dumpsites for hospitals are more likely to stink if they are not well taken care of. Such situations pollute the environment

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    Causes and Effects of Lung Cancer. (2022, Apr 18). Retrieved from

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