Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world.
In 2015, it was estimated that approximately 26,600 Canadians would be diagnosed with lung cancer. That is more than any other type of cancer.
In addition to this, more people die from lung cancer than breast cancer, colorectal cancer and prostate cancer combined.
There are two major types of lung cancer, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and small cell lung cancer (SCLC).
Non-small cell lung cancer accounts for about 85 percent of lung cancers, small cell lung cancer about 15 percent.
NSCLC usually starts in glandular cells on the outer part of the lung. This type of cancer is called adenocarcinoma. Non–small cell lung cancer can also start in flat, thin cells called squamous cells. These cells line the bronchi, which are the large airways that branch off from the windpipe (trachea) into the lungs. This type of cancer is called squamous cell carcinoma of the lung. Large cell carcinoma is another type of non–small cell lung cancer, but it is less common. There are also several rare types of non–small cell lung cancer. These include sarcoma and sarcomatoid carcinoma. SCLC usually starts in cells that line the bronchi in the centre of the lungs. The main types of small cell lung cancer are small cell carcinoma and combined small cell carcinoma (mixed tumour with squamous or glandular cells).
Anatomy & Facts About Our Lungs
Did you know?
- In proper anatomy our right lung is shorter and wider than our left. Our left lung is narrower and more oblong
- The anterior border of the left lung is marked by a deep cardiac notch while the right lung is straight
- Our left lung is smaller than our right lung because our heart occupies space on the left side
- Our right lung consists of 3 lobes. Our left lung has 2
- Our right lung connects to the trachea by two bronchi while the left lung connects to the trachea by a single bronchus
Possible causes of lung cancer
Cigarette smoking causes most lung cancers. Of note however many patients who are diagnosed with lung cancer have either never smoked or are former smokers.
Exposure to high levels of pollution
Exposure to radiation and asbestos may increase risk of lung cancer
Common symptoms of lung cancer
A cough that doesn’t go away and gets worse over time
Constant chest pain
Coughing up blood
Shortness of breath
Help lower your risk of lung cancer by incorporating the following tips
Smoking is responsible for the majority of lung cancers. If you are a smoker it’s never too late to quit. For those who have been diagnosed with lung cancer, by stopping your smoking habit you can make cancer treatment more effective
Limit Your Chemical Exposure:
Chemicals in the workplace and at home can contribute to lung cancer
Reduce Your Exposure to Second-Hand Smoke:
Exposure to second-hand smoke increases your chance of developing lung cancer
Consume Green Tea and Black Tea:
Studies have shown that consuming Green & Black tea are associated with a reduced lung cancer risk
As well as the above, proper sleep, exercising regularly and eating a diet rich in fruits and veggies are very important habits for cancer prevention as a whole.