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The Causes and Symptoms of Lung Cancer and the Treatments of the Two Main Types of Lung Cancer

By Brillon Joseph, V Form

The Causes and Symptoms of Lung Cancer and the Treatments of the Two Main Types of Lung Cancer


Choi, Clark, and Douglas (2012) state that “cancer is not a single disease but includes many different diseases. In cancer cells, mutations modify cell-cycle control and cells don’t stop growing as they normally would” (p 452). Cancer is a result of gene mutations in the cells that make up the tissues and organs of the human body. When normal cells undergo gene mutations, this can be a result of inheritance, aging, or damage to genes by factors such as radiation. These mutated cells form cancer cells, which grow and divide uncontrollably. Cancer has been a very prominent epidemic in the world in recent years. Every day, more and more people are diagnosed with cancer and suffer from the fatal effects of this disease. Statistics show that in 2018 alone, there were approximately 18 million new diagnoses of cancer and 9.6 million cancer-related deaths worldwide. One of the most common types of cancer is lung cancer. There are several types of lung cancer that involve different causes, symptoms, and treatment options.

What Is Lung Cancer?

Lung cancer is one of the most common types of cancer worldwide. According to the World Cancer Research fund, lung cancer constituted 12.3% of all new cases of cancer diagnosed in 2018. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) states that lung cancer is a medical condition that leads to cells in the lungs dividing uncontrollably. This causes tumors to grow and thus reduce a person’s ability to breathe (Nall 2018). When cells in the lungs are abnormal, they do not carry out the necessary functions as efficiently as a normal cell would. As these abnormal cells continue to grow and divide in an uncontrollable manner, they form tumors. Consequently, these tumors may impact the individual’s ability to breathe properly. Lung cancer can be broadly classified into Small-Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC) or Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC). “This classification is based upon the microscopic appearance of the tumor cells themselves, specifically the size of the cells” (Stöppler [date unknown]). The two types of lung cancer also differ in terms of spread, growth, aggression and applicable treatments.