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Adenocarcinoma of the lung

Adenocarcinoma of the lung Causes

Cigarette smoking is the most important cause of lung cancers. Research as far back as the 1950s clearly established this association. Cigarette smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals, many of which have been identified to cause cancer. A person who smokes more than one pack per day has a risk of developing lung cancer 20-25 times greater than someone who has never smoked. Once a person quits smoking, his or her risk for lung cancer slowly decreases. About 15 years after quitting, the risk for lung cancer goes down to the level of someone who never smoked. Cigar and pipe smoking heighten the risk of lung cancer but not as much as smoking cigarettes.

Adenocarcinoma of the lung Definition

Adenocarcinoma of the lung (or lung cancer) is the leading cause of cancer deaths in both women and men in the United States and throughout the world. Lung cancer has beaten breast cancer as the leading cause of cancer deaths in women. In 2007, 160,390 people were projected to die from lung cancer in the United States, which is more than the number of deaths from colorectal, breast, and prostate cancer combined. Only about 2% of those diagnosed with lung cancer that has spread to other areas of the body are living five years after the diagnosis, although the survival rates for lung cancers diagnosed at a very early stage are higher, with approximately 49% surviving for five years or longer. Cancer arises when normal cells undergo a transformation that causes them to grow and multiply without the normal controls. The cells form a mass or tumor that varies from the surrounding tissues from which it arises. Tumors are dangerous because they take nutrients, oxygen, and space from healthy cells.

Adenocarcinoma of the lung Symptoms and Signs

Up to a quarter of all people with lung cancer may have no symptoms when the cancer is diagnosed. These cancers typically are identified incidentally when a chest x-ray is performed for another reason. However, the majority of people develop symptoms. The symptoms are because of direct effects of the primary tumor, to effects of metastatic tumors in other parts of the body, or to disturbances of hormones, blood, or other systems caused by the cancer. Symptoms of primary lung cancers include chest pain, cough, coughing up blood, and shortness of breath. Symptoms of metastatic lung tumors also depend on the location and size. About 30%-40% of people with lung cancer have some symptoms or signs related to metastatic disease.

Adenocarcinoma of the lung Treatment

Chemotherapy and radiation may result to a cure in a small number of patients. These therapies result in decreasing the size of the tumor and are known to prolong life for extended periods in most patients.

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