Cancer Essay Lung

Among terminal diseases humanity has not yet learned to treat, cancer is probably one of the most feared illnesses. Unlike AIDS or other diseases widely spread in countries with low standards of living, cancer’s geography is much wider, including both rich and poor countries equally. Among the variety of different types of cancer, one of the most common is lung cancer; the environment in which people live in the 21st century greatly contributes to the development of this type of cancer.

The first and the most popular cause of lung cancer is smoking cigarettes. By numerous estimates, smoking cigarettes causes approximately 86% of lung cancer cases, including cases caused by passive exposure to smoke exhaled by other smokers. These chances increase if a person started smoking tobacco at a young age. Passive smoking poses a lesser threat, but is still dangerous—it is known that passive smokers (who are usually exposed to smoke at work or at home) have a 25% higher risk of lung cancer compared to people who are not exposed to the smoke of cigarettes. Regular heavy exposure to environmental tobacco smoke can increase the risk of lung cancer by 50% (CancerResearch UK).

Genetics and lung diseases in one’s genetics can also become significant risk factors of lung cancer. For example, if a person’s mother, father, sibling, aunt, uncle, or grandparent has had lung cancer, the chances of this person developing lung cancer slightly increases. At the same time, it has not been yet researched whether genes indeed increase cancer chances, or they increase individuals’ susceptibility to this disease. As for lung diseases, some of them are known to affect the chances of cancer development. In particular, among such diseases are tuberculosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Other illnesses like chronic bronchitis and emphysema can cause scarring in the lungs, which means the increase of the amount of tissue in them—and as it is known, cancer is an uncontrolled division of cells, and the respective multiplication of tissues (Healthline).

As for other environmental factors, one of the most significant among them is the exposure to asbestos fibers and similar materials. Usually, a person is exposed to these silicate materials at the workplace: technical works, such as thermal and acoustic insulation, involve the usage of asbestos. Nowadays, asbestos is limited or even prohibited from usage, since it has been proven that asbestos materials can cause both lung cancer and mesothelioma (cancer of the lungs’ pleura, as well as cancer of peritoneum—a lining of the abdominal cavity). Even non-smoking asbestos workers have a five times higher risk of developing lung cancer; as for the smoking asbestos workers, their chances to get cancer are up to ninety-fold greater than nonsmokers (MedicineNet.com).

As it can be seen, lung cancer does not develop on its own, but is triggered by a number of factors. The first and foremost of them is smoking tobacco, both active and passive. Exposure to asbestos materials also increases a person’s chances to get lung cancer. Also, genetics and past lung illnesses can lead to the development of this type of cancer. The cure for lung cancer is not finalized, and remains an epidemic.

References

“Lung Cancer Symptoms, Causes, Treatment.” MedicineNet. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Aug. 2015.

“Lung Cancer Risks and Causes.” CancerResearch UK. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Aug. 2015.

“Lung Cancer Causes.” Healthline. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Aug. 2015.

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Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world, its deadly claws stretched over all continents in the world. However, lung cancer is not just a disease; it can act as a magnifying glass; many social problems and goodness of society can be revealed through the causes of lung cancer. Lung cancer is formed when the cells of the lungs grow in an uncontrolled way, this creates a lump or a tumour which can either be malignant (cancerous) or benign (not cancerous). Smoking, breathing in radon gas and unhealthy diets are all causes of lung cancer; the related problems and topics associated with them are peer pressure, individual and government responsibility, teen diets and role models. Preventions are available in many different methods, with the help of government and professional study, lung cancer is treatable and curable.

Cigarettes are full of poison and toxic chemicals, the ingredients affect everything from functions of organs to body's immune system, the damages can be widespread and fatal. Nicotine is a very toxic chemical present in cigarettes; "[it] reaches the brain within 10 seconds after smoke is inhaled" (Martin, Terry. the effects of smoking on human health). When taking a long drag of smoke, and enjoys the pleasure of tobacco smoking, the chemicals are rotting the lungs and straining the body. "Smoking causes around one in five deaths from heart disease, in younger people, three out of four deaths from heart disease are due to smoking" (quit-smoking-stop.com, Harmful Effects of Smoking).Data shows the rate of young smokers increased drastically since 1930s (Stopper, Melissa Conard, and Marks, Jay W. Lung Cancer). Among the young smokers, many are teenagers, during the recent years, age of teen smokers are decreasing, more and more students came in contract with cigarette and other drugs (Cancer Research UK, Lung Cancer Risks and Causes). There are many different factors contributed to the raising number of young smokers; the influence could've come both from school and from home. Peer pressure is associated with smoking, many students were forced into smoking by their peers; they surrender and give in to smoking because they wanted to feel cool, and most importantly to fit in. Teenagers would really commit to be able to gain acceptance, no matter the "entering fee" is, they would pay for it. Hollywood and other media productions associate smoking with manliness, and maturity; it would be natural for students at a young age to get influenced and brain washed into imitating smokers. At home, if the adolescent's parents or one family member smokes, that person has a higher chance of following his/her family "legacy" and pick up the habit. This also increases the chance of other household members getting smoking related. "Non-smokers living with smokers have for about a 25 percent increase in risk of death from heart attacks [and strokes]...One recent study in the British Medical Journal found that exposure to second hand smoke increases the risk of heard disease among non-smokers by as much as 60 percent" (Johnson, Len. Effects of Second Hand Cigarette Smoke). Adults should smoke as least as possible in front of teenagers, because they are at an age when the curiosity level is the highest, "curiosity kills the cat", and the desire to try something new can affect his/her life; it could be a death sentence, "one in two lifetime smokers will die from their habit" (quit-smoking-stop.com, Harmful Effects of Smoking).

Radon gas is a colourless, odourless, but radioactive gas which occurs naturally in stones and soil. Breathing in excessive amount of radon over a long period of time can increase the change of getting lung cancer. Fortunately, this problem can be eliminated by modern technology, regular testing can ensure the safety of home owners; the government also provided help for the public. This is a very responsible and helpful way to protect the health of the public. There are websites and news articles published by government to inform the people about the importance of radon gas testing and the danger of radon gas. The Nova Scotia government took the role of advertising useful information by publishing an article with professional health officer's notice and research. The government has also done many things to alert the public about the dangerous and fatal results of smoking, effects of smoking was put into the health curriculum to educate the students who are curious about smoking. This definitely stopped many students from touching cigarettes; the nasty and deadly reality of smoking scared the adolescents and taught many lessons. There are many health commercials shown on TV to inform the public the harmfulness of smoking, it has also prevented many attempted smokers from actually buying a pack of cigarette. The effects and illness associated with smoking usually cover the cigarette packages; this is a big step for the government to take to help the public realize the harm of cigarettes. Other topics related to radon gas are air pollution and coal mining industries. Pollutants in air can create build-ups inside the lung, and contribute to lung cancer; "...it has been estimated that 5 to 7% of lung cancer in non smokers are due to outdoor air pollutions" (Cancer Research UK, Lung Cancer Risks and Causes). Air pollution in Canada is already at the bottom of the list when compared with countries like China and India. Jobs like coal mining are very dangerous and damaging to the lungs, because workers would be staying underground for hours without fresh air, and also inhaling coal particles floating in the air. "This type of long term occupational exposure may increase lung cancer risk up to 47%, (that is the average risk of lung cancer plus half again)" (Ibid). Self-protection would be extremely important for those jobs; masks must be worn at all times. Basic knowledge of all the issues mentioned above and self-protection skills should eliminate those causes leading to lung cancer.

Diet is another cause for lung cancer, though it does not take up a huge portion of the percentage that causes lung cancer, it is usually the contributor which people forget or have never heard about. "Diet" is a word most people are familiar with, because at some point in their lives, they came in contact with this word. A healthy diet is a good health contributor in life. However, unbalanced nutritious or anorexic diets can result in many health defects. "An unbalanced diet can cause problems with maintenance of body tissues, growth and development, brain and nervous system function, as well as problems with bone and muscle systems" (MyDietExercise.com, Unbalanced Diet). Lack of vitamins can lead to lung cancer, many teenagers wanted to obtain the "perfect body image" promoted in media productions. Especially the girls are caught up in the crazy diets, and they think it would be beautiful to look slim and sexy like the idols on TV screens (Ibid). However, most of them don't realize the consequences of excessive diets, when the health report says cancer tumours were found, would that still be a beautiful body? "It is one reason why 40 percent of cancer patients die from malnutrition or cachexia." (The Alternative Medicine Research Foundation, Sugar and Cancer). Many people say relationship between vitamins and lung cancer is an urban legend, so they don't take this issue seriously; nevertheless, they are wrong. "Researchers have recently been looking into links between vitamins and lung cancer. Fresh vegetables and fruits are thought to help them prevent cancer because they contain chemicals that can prevent cell damage..." (Ibid). Beautiful body images are not worth to risk the health of the body; regular meals should be planned with care to avoid development of cancer cells. Sugar is a quiet contributor to cancer cells; cancer cells' growth increases rapidly with the increase of large amount of glucose inside the body (Ibid). There is a case of a lung cancer patient healed with the help of professional nutritious meal planner. She was given a death sentence by her doctor, but after changing the style of her meals, she beat her terminal lung cancer (Ibid). Nutrients are a big part of human health. With the help of nutrients, the body can obtain strength and fight off diseases on its own. Balanced nutritious meals everyday is the key of life and the best natural prevention of cancer. Adolescents are usually influenced to make the decision of smoking; strong visuals can effectively scare them away from cigarettes, or make unreasonable and unhealthy choices that can affect the rest of their lives. Usually showing a video or graphics of disease can be very informal and terrifying for young teenagers. Meeting with a patient with related illness would also be very helpful in preventing smoking.

Lung cancer may sound like a terrifying disease that took over many lives, but it is not ineradicable, 15% of the patients will survive (Martin, Terry. The Effects of Smoking on Human Health); it is a small percentage, but there is hope. The chance of survival will increase if the patient stays optimistic and the courage to fight for his/her life. There are different treatments that can be applied. Surgeries can remove tumours, radiation therapy kills cancer cells that cannot be removed by surgery; chemotherapy is killing cancer cells by taking drugs, (Brill, Marlene Targ. Lung Cancer). The technology is already advanced enough to reduce or stop the growth of lung cancer. The public need to raise their caution towards smoking, air pollution, radon gas, unhealthy diets and many more other problems may contribute to lung cancer. Diseases is not scary, knowledge can help defend the health and battle with the illness. Nevertheless, "one ounce of cure is better than one liter of cure," prevention is always better.

Annotated Bibliography

Brill, Marlene Targ. Lung Cancer. New York: Marshall Cavendish Corporation, 2005

The author, Brill, wrote the book in detail on the symptoms and treatments for lung cancer, including different types of lung cancer. The information was organized and explained in a very straight foreword manner. Basic knowledge of lung cancer was obtained by the end of the book. However, the book excluded some information on causes of lung cancer. This list of factors contributing to lung cancer wasn't detailed enough or explained thoroughly. Furthermore, there was no specific data on patients with lung cancer.

"Harmful Effects of Smoking." 2005. Quit-Smoking-Stop. 2009.
The article was written by QuitSmokingStop.com, it is a website created to warn the public about all the negative affects and the harm smoking can cause. The article contains many useful data and a brief explanation for each set of statistic. The causes weren't explained thoroughly, but the statistics helped me a lot, numbers are always convincing and precise. The extremely high risk and death rate was very frightening, smokers should really read this article and look at the numbers. The article included a small paragraph on second-hand smoke, which led to the next page, "effects of second hand cigarette smoke."

Johnson, Len. Derived from Wikipedia article: "Tobacco Smoking." "Effects of Second Hand Cigarette Smoke." 2005.

This article was derived from Wikipedia, written by Johnson. This article focused on the affects of second-smoke on non-smokers. Very specific statistics were found, professional research was done for this article. The information on this page would raise public's caution towards second-hand smoke; increased chance of getting lung cancer in children was mentioned, most other articles leave out this part of the information. Most people pay more attention on actual smokers than non-smokers exposed to second-hand, but the data shown on this site shows the risks for non-smokers are also very high.

Koffman, Toby. "Reminder to test for Radon Gas." News Release. 23 Jan. 2009: 30-Nova Scotia. Government of Nova Scotia. 19 May. 2009

Koffman, the author of the article complete this news release as a public reminder. Health Promotion and Protection was encouraging the public to test for radon gas through inexpensive and accurate ways. Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's Chief Public Health Officer emphasized on the point [elevated levels of radon gas over many years increase the chance of lung cancer.] the government of Nova Scotia was helping the public to find a healthier of living. The government was very responsible and was protecting public health, very heart warming action.

"Lung Cancer Risks and Causes." Cancer Help UK. 9 March, 2009. Cancer Research UK. 2002.

This is an educational site, it concludes all information found in other sources, some information was not detailed, but the general facts were very useful. The causes of lung cancer took up almost the whole article; every factor was explained carefully and thoroughly, with examples and scientific explanations. Since it is an educational site, the style of writing was designed to be easily comprehensible. However, the site is sponsored by Cancer Research UK, so all the statistics gathered reflected UK only, doesn't apply to Canada. Despite that fact, the site is very useful.

Martin, Terry. "The Effects of Smoking on Human Health." 20 July, 2008. About. 2009.

Terry, the author of this article did a lot of research on cigarette and the chemicals used to make it. Detailed information about each chemical and how it affects functions of human organs. The statistics on this site focus on the rapid speed of the effects of the toxic chemicals, and how deadly they are. Most people don't know those facts of the chemicals, when become conscious of the destructive force of cigarette they might stop smoking. The information is accurate and trustworthy, because it has been proved by U.S. Department of Health and Human Service.

Stopper, Melissa Conrad, and Marks, Jay W. "Lung Cancer." 1996. Medicine Net. Inc 1996-2009.

Authors, researchers and MDs for Medicine Net gathered data and information around North America, the article was written with extreme care and filled with valuable statistics researchers gathered. The article discussed the causes, preventions, treatments and many other related information with cancer. It gave the readers insightful knowledge and useful information on preventing lung cancer. The related information was very helpful because I needed the data for extra facts. The article was really long, so I had to skip all the repeating general facts of lung cancer I read on the previous sites and books. The article was written by two MDs, the wording is very professional, the effects on readers will be greater as well; the impact of their words is strong.

The Alternative Medicine Research Foundation, "Sugar and Cancer." 2008. healing cancer naturally. 2009.

This article was written by a non profit research organization, the article deals with the importance of healthy diets and the cure of cancer. It contains interesting facts about the relationship between sugar and the growth of cancer cell; explained in scientific terms thoroughly. The article also provided few examples of cured cases of lung cancer patients. They fought the cancer on their own with balanced and nutritious meals; the site emphasized the importance of dieting repeatedly to raise the caution in people's minds. Beneath the article, there was a short list of all the members and the degrees they received to prove they have the potential skills to provide medical information for the public.

"Unbalanced Diet." 2006. My Diet Exercise. 2009.
A very short article listed all the negative effects of unbalanced diets. The article was reviewed by Caroline, M. Apovian, M.D., to ensure the information written was accurate and correct. I needed the general information from this site; other lung cancer sites I went on didn't include common health defects, so I needed a site to give me information on effects of unbalanced diet.

Walker, Julie. Lung Cancer. New York: Rosen Publishing Group. Inc, 2006
Author, Walker, did a thorough research on the patients with lung cancer. The information was similar to the "Lung Cancer" written by Brill; however Walker included more detailed information on causes and treatments for lung cancer. Though, information on causes was very limited, and they weren't complete, the book only mentioned smoking, radon gas, and previous family history. Though explanations were given for each, I needed more.

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