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ABOUT: Lung Cancer

Two Types of Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is a cancer that forms in tissues of the lung - usually in the cells lining air passages

There are two main types of lung cancer (also known as bronchogenic carcinoma) - distinguished by the appearance of the cancer cells under a microscope.

(1) Non-Small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC)

–    NSCLC grows more slowly than SCLC and accounts for almost 90% of all lung cancers

–    3 main sub-types of NSCLC:

1.   Adenocarcinoma –~35-40% of NSCLC; cancer of the mucus-producing glands of the lungs; most common lung cancer for those who have never smoked; more common in women; often begins near the outside surface of the lung; likely to spread to nearby lymph nodes or or other tissues in the chest (E.g. pleura (lung lining) or pericardium (around the heart) or the other lung) or other organs (E.g. brain, liver, adrenal glands) or bones;

2.   Squamous cell lung carcinoma- forms in the lining of the bronchial tubes; most common lung cancer in men;

3.   Large-cell lung carcinoma –5-10% of NSCLC; forms near the surface or the outer edges of the lungs; similar to adenocarcinoma, it is also likely to spread to nearby lymph nodes, other organs or bones;

–   NSCLC is sometimes treated with surgery - When non-small-cell lung cancer is found before it spreads beyond one lung, surgery can sometimes offer a cure. The surgeon may remove the part of the lung that contains the tumor, or if necessary, an entire lung. Some patients are given radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy after surgery to kill any remaining cancer;

(2) Small cell lung carcinoma (SCLC)

–   SCLC is more aggressive than NSCLC and is strongly tied to cigarette smoking –rarely seen in non-smoker; can quickly spread to other parts of the body early on.

–   SCLC usually responds better to chemotherapy and radiation - surgery is not usually an option because it has typically already spread at the time of diagnosis.

Chapman, S; Robinson G, Sradling J, West S (2009). "31". Oxford Handbook of Respiratory Medicine (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN9-780199-545162

Women are more likely to get lung cancer

  • Women exposed to smoke - are twice as likely to develop lung cancer as men;

  • Nonsmokers who develop lung cancer - are two-and-a-half times more likely to be female than male

  • Women who died from lung cancer - were younger than men who died from the disease

2001 study in The Lancet Oncology

 

Lung cancer related deaths

Worldwide and in the U.S., lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer-related death -true for both men and women; responsible for 1.37 million deaths annually, as of 2008.

WHO (February 2006). "Cancer". World Health Organization. Retrieved 2007-06-25;

U.S. Cancer Statistics Working Group. United States Cancer Statistics: 1999–2008 Incidence and Mortality Web-based Report. Atlanta (GA): Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and National Cancer Institute; 2012. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/uscs.

Nearly 72,000 American women died of lung cancer in 2006 - more than died of breast, ovarian, uterine and cervical cancers combine

14% of people in the United States diagnosed with lung cancer survive five years after the diagnosis.

Collins, LG; Haines C, Perkel R, Enck RE (January 2007). "Lung cancer: diagnosis and management". American Family Physician (American Academy of Family Physicians) 75(1): 56–63.

Age-Related Causes of Death in Women

Age

Heart Disease

Cancer

Lung

Breast

Colorectal

(Colon)

15-34

#1

35-54

#2

#1

#1

55-74

#2

#1

#1

#2

>74

#1

#1

#3

#2

Race-Related Causes of Cancer Death in Women

(rates per 100,000 women of all races)

Race

Lung

(39.0)

Breast

(22.5)

Colorectal

(13.8)

White, black, American Indian/Alaska Native women.

#1

#2

#3

Hispanic

#2

#1

#3

Geographical Variations in Lung Cancer IN U.S.

(rates per 100,000)

Age

Women

Incidence

Women

Death rate

Men

Incidence

Men

Death rate

U.S.

54.5

39.0

79.5

64.0

Northeast

57.8

38.2

78.2

59.4

West

45.5

33.8

60.4

49.2

Midwest

57.3

42.4

83.2

69.1

South

56.3

40.4

89.3

72.1

U.S. Cancer Statistics Working Group. United States Cancer Statistics: 1999–2008 Incidence and Mortality Web-based Report. Atlanta (GA): Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and National Cancer Institute; 2012. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/uscs.

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