Lung cancer

Introduction

Introduction

Lung cancer is the leading cause of death in industrialized countries. Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer in both active smokers (representing 85% of patients) and among those who are exposed to passive smoke. The risk of disease increases with the number of years that the individual has smoked. Quitting smoking even after many years, reduces the risk of lung cancer significantly.

Tobacco smoke contains carcinogens that damage the cells lining the alveoli.  It is repaired initially but over time the injury is irreparable and a tumor may result. The causes of the disease are not entirely clear in the case of non-smokers or people with little exposure to tobacco smoke.  Alterations in genes involved in the development of lung tumors have been identified.

Virtual navigation in the chest in order to see a lung tumor

The main types of lung cancer are:

Non-small-cell lung carcinoma.

  • Adenocarcinoma (not related to the consumption of tobacco).
  • Squamous cell or epidermoid carcinoma.
  • Large cell carcinoma.

Small cell carcinoma

Less common and more associated with smoking.

ABC Newspaper:  The importance of reducing time in lung cancer (article)

Chemotherapy “neoadjuvant” can be carried out before surgery in cases when the tumor is not operable from the start. This is due to the extension of the disease.  It is administered along with radiotherapy with the aim being to shrink the tumor to make it operable.  This allows for a more conservative surgery.