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Cancer Of The Lung by Tarik Kavazovic

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If I were to tell you the biggest killer in the United States could easily be stopped, you would probably beat me up and throw me in jail. Nevertheless, it is true. In 2012, 226,160 people were diagnosed with lung cancer and only 40,000 of them survived. The killer? Smoking. Cigarettes contain 7,000 chemicals and about forty of them are poisons, yet people still won’t stop. Manufacturers even put stickers on the individual packs that warn people of the danger. Ninety percent of lung cancer is caused by smoking while the other ten percent is caused by asbestos, radon, or radiation exposure.

The key to preventing lung cancer is to, of course, stop smoking, but if it is too late, then early detection is best. Some early signs could be shortness of breath, persistent cough, or coughing up blood. These symptoms could be from other diseases too, but it’s best to visit a doctor and get a check-up. The doctor might send the patient to get a CAT scan or a chest x-ray. These two tests detect if and the type of lung cancer the patient has. There are two types of lung cancer, non-small cell and small cell cancer. The main difference between these two is the way they look under a microscope. Once cancer is discovered, physicians find out at what stage the cancer has developed.

There are four stages of lung cancer. Stage one is when the cancer is still in the lung and has not spread outward. The best treatment for this stage is to surgically remove the infected part. To surgically remove an infected part of the lung can also be called a Lobectomy. Stage two lung cancer is identifiable when the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes as well. The treatment for this is surgically removing the infected part followed by chemotherapy. Most patients may experience discomfort, fear, or anxiety when starting chemo, but meeting with other patients and talking about the good effects of chemo will help them get through it. When a patient has stage three lung cancer, it means the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes in the middle of the chest. This stage is curable because the cancer has not spread very far but it will require a combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Radiation therapy utilizes gamma rays or x-rays which are sent through the body to destroy the DNA of the cancer, thereby shrinking the tumor and destroying it. Radiation therapy can, however, hurt normal cells in the body as well. Stage four lung cancer is incurable. Doctors use chemo and radiation therapy to shrink the tumor as much as possible to give the patient more time to live, sometimes even up to five years. In stage four lung cancer, the cancer has spread to other organs and bones further weakening the patient.

I know I will never smoke because of the horrifying condition I saw my neighbor in when he had cancer. He looked nothing like his old self, he was pale-skinned and not a single strand of hair remained on his body. A man who used to have a full head of hair and was one of the strongest men I knew, was now walking around with a walker. He was getting better, when all of a sudden we learned he had passed in his sleep. I learned a lesson that a person must watch what they do throughout their entire life because no matter how strong they are, they are just human. Cancer is a disease that will not go away anytime soon, so the best we can do is try to prevent it.


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