Smoking: The Cause Of Lung Cancer

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Someone is brought to the hospital and is told they have lung cancer. One might think “whatever, he’s probably a smoker”, but this is not always the case. Lung cancer takes more lives than any other cancer, but because it is so closely associated with the choice of smoking cigarettes many people lose sympathy for this disease’s victims (Nature.com). While lung cancer is the most common cancer in the world, the disease was once rare, but now there are treatments available. Lung cancer ensues when cells in the body go through a mutation that causes them to grow rapidly and uncontrollably (Nature.com). These cancer cells begin destroying healthy cells in the lung tissues and air passages. While the cancerous cells accumulate, they will eventually …show more content…
90% of lung cancer deaths are caused by smoking cigarettes, and over 1 million people worldwide die every year from lung cancer. Inhaling tobacco smoke damages cells in the lungs, causing abnormal cell growth resulting in malignant tumors in the lungs (Nature.com). One quarter of lung cancer cases worldwide occur in people who have never smoked. Although smoking is a major factor of causing lung cancer, there are numerous other ways of contracting this disease (Nature.com). One alternative cause of lung cancer is radon, an invisible odorless gas naturally released by some soils and rocks (Longe). Radon gas became an apparent cause of lung cancer in the late 1800’s when nearly 80% of all miners were dying from lung cancer. Particular parts of mines were known as “death pits”, where all workers got sick from the high amounts of radon gas (“Toxicology Sciences”). Exposure to asbestos fibers, hair-like crystals found in rock, is considered a risk factor for lung cancer, and they are often inhaled in jobs such as shipbuilding, mining, insulation, or automotive brake repair. Studies have shown that compared to the general population, asbestos workers are seven times more likely to die from lung cancer (Longe). These statistics substantiate that lung cancer’s attachment to cigarettes is not always an accurate portrayal of the disease …show more content…
About one third of lung cancer patients were diagnosed had found the cancer before it had spread. In this case it can be treated by surgery or radiotherapy (Cancer Treatment). Surgery entails removing the entire lobe of the lung where the tumor is located. While surgery is the best method to completely eliminate the tumor cells, surgical treatment is primarily used for patients with an early stage cancer and are in good health (Cancer Treatment). Another third of patients have lung cancer that has already spread, and in these circumstances, radiation therapy along with chemotherapy is used (Cancer Treatment). Radiotherapy delivers high energy x rays that can destroy rapidly growing tumors and this form of treatment can also be used in a variety of other ways (Cancer Treatment). In addition to being used to attack tumors as a patient’s initial treatment, radiotherapy can also be used to shrink the tumor before or after surgery, to treat cancer that has spread to the brain, or to help relieve symptoms caused by the tumor. The last third of patients may have tumors spread to other parts of the body through the blood stream and are generally treated with

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