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Click2Cancer.com  > Common Cancers  >  Lung Cancer
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Causes of Cancer
Other Cancer Types
Lung cancer is a disease of uncontrolled cell growth in tissues of the lung. This growth may lead to metastasis, invasion of adjacent tissue and infiltration beyond the lungs. The vast majority of primary lung cancers are carcinomas of the lung, derived from epithelial cells. Lung cancer, the most common cause of cancer-related death in men and the second most common in women,is responsible for 1.3 million deaths worldwide annually. In the UK, it is the most common site of fatal cancer in both men and women. The most common symptoms are shortness of breath, coughing (including coughing up blood), and weight loss.

The main types of lung cancer are small cell lung carcinoma and non-small cell lung carcinoma. This distinction is important because the treatment varies; non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) is sometimes treated with surgery, while small cell lung carcinoma (SCLC) usually responds better to chemotherapy and radiation. The most common cause of lung cancer is long term exposure to tobacco smoke.The occurrence of lung cancer in non-smokers, who account for fewer than 10% of cases, appears to be due to a combination of genetic factors,radon gas,asbestos,and air pollution, including second-hand smoke.

Lung cancer may be seen on chest x-ray and computed tomography (CT scan). The diagnosis is confirmed with a biopsy. This is usually performed via bronchoscopy or CT-guided biopsy. Treatment and prognosis depend upon the histological type of cancer, the stage (degree of spread), and the patient's performance status. Possible treatments include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy. With treatment, the five-year survival rate is 14%.

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