Lung Cancer

Menstuff® has compiled the following information on Lung Cancer.

Lung cancer can strike almost without warning
Racial differences in lung cancer risks
Symptoms of Lung Cancer in Non-Smokers
Symptoms of Lung Cancer in Men

Lung cancer can strike almost without warning


Doctors seek improved screening and diagnosis for the leading cancer killer

The death of ABC News anchor Peter Jennings from lung cancer is a sad reminder of how difficult it is to diagnose and treat the nation's leading cancer killer.

Even though deaths from cancer have been steadily declining since the early 1990s and more Americans are surviving cancer for five years or more, lung cancer remains stubbornly lethal, claiming an estimated 160,440 American lives in 2004, according to the American Lung Institute.

Jennings, who announced to viewers in a hoarse voice four months ago that he had been diagnosed with the disease, had quit smoking 20 years ago, but started up again after the Sept. 11 attacks.

"I was weak and I smoked over 9/11," he said during the evening newscast in April.

Although he visited the ABC News office between treatments of chemotherapy he did not return to the air again. At the time of his announcement, doctors speculated that the noticeable symptoms of hoarseness and weight loss indicated an advanced state of the disease.

Diagnosis often comes too late

There are two major types of lung cancer: non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer. Non-small cell lung cancer is much more common and usually spreads to different parts of the body more slowly than small cell lung cancer.

The Jennings family has not released specifics about his condition, but no matter which type of lung cancer Jennings had, both are usually caused by smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke. Smoking causes 87 percent of lung cancer cases, studies show. Exposure to radon causes a significant portion of the remaining cases.

Lung cancer, like some other cancers, often doesn’t produce symptoms until it is too late and has spread beyond the chest to the brain, liver or bones.

"Once a person is coughing up blood, it's too late to get a cure," says Dr. Norman Edelman, chief medical officer of the American Lung Association.

The expected 5-year survival rate for all patients in whom lung cancer is diagnosed is 15 percent, compared to 63 percent for colon cancer, 88 percent for breast cancer and 99 percent for prostate cancer, according to the American Lung Association.

Because of late diagnosis, about 6 out of 10 people with lung cancer die within one year of being diagnosed with the disease.

Better detection desperately needed

Why is there no screening for lung cancer that's the equivalent of mammograms for breast cancer, pap smears for cervical cancer or colonoscopies for colon cancer?

The chest X-ray is not considered a very good screening device because studies have shown that even large cancers can hide in a routine X-ray.

Doctors have long sought improved screening tests for lung cancer, but it's only been within the last few years that new developments in technology might make early detection more feasible, says Dr. Steven Keller, chief of the Division of Thoracic Surgery at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.

The most promising screening tool is computer tomography, or CT images of the lung. More doctors have been using CT scans to find small lung cancer tumors at an early enough stage when surgery is still an option.

A recent study at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center found that using computerized scans to screen for lung cancer in high-risk patients could help save lives. The researchers recommended using them as part of regular checkups for those at risk.

In the study, researchers followed about 27,000 cases of people who were at a high risk for lung cancer, diagnosing more than 400 with cancer, mostly in the early stages. Of those diagnosed through CT scans who went on to have the cancer removed, 96 percent found that the disease did not return.

Meanwhile, a government study through the National Cancer Institute is following 50,000 people who were assigned to undergo either CT scans or chest X-rays annually for three years. Researchers will track the participants mortality rates through 2009 to determine whether a spiral CT scan is an effective screening tool for lung cancer.

The spiral CT scan is controversial, however, because it is so powerful that it can pick up nodules that may not be cancerous, leading to potentially unnecessary surgeries. And even when the scan picks up smaller tumors, it's possible that the cancer cells have already spread to other parts of the body. Surgery could remove the tumor in the lung, but wouldn't affect parts of the body where the cancer cells have spread.

"The screening predisposes that we have effective treatment that would kill off microscopic tumor cells," says Keller. "But chemotherapy is not at the point where can wipe out whatever tumor cells that have spread elsewhere."

In addition, the tests cost hundreds of dollars and aren't usually covered by insurance.

Does quitting pay off?

But researchers aren't giving up. Studies are looking at alternative detection tools that would analyze chemicals in a patient's sputum and blood, which could indicate the presence of cancer cells. Another method would examine a person's exhaled breath with an "electronic nose" for cells from the lung that might contain cancer DNA.

If Jennings had not started smoking again, would he have still developed the disease? Stopping smoking doesn’t eliminate the risk but it can cut the odds, research shows.

It takes about 10 years to cut the risk for lung cancer, although it never decreases to the level of people who have never smoked, according to the American Cancer Society.

"For the most part, risk is due to cumulative effects of smoking, how many packs multiplied by number of years," although after 20 years of quitting his risk would have declined, says Edelman.

In Jennings case, "he just wasn’t lucky."

Beyond improved detection and treatment, the best way to reduce lung cancer deaths is to convince people not to smoke cigarettes.

"It’s clear that an ounce of prevention here is worth a pound of cure," says Keller. "Without smoking, 90 percent of lung cancer would go away."
Source: www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8870485

Lung cancer can strike almost without warning
Doctors seek improved screening and diagnosis for the leading cancer killer

The death of ABC News anchor Peter Jennings from lung cancer is a sad reminder of how difficult it is to diagnose and treat the nation's leading cancer killer.

Even though deaths from cancer have been steadily declining since the early 1990s and more Americans are surviving cancer for five years or more, lung cancer remains stubbornly lethal, claiming an estimated 160,440 American lives in 2004, according to the American Lung Institute.

Jennings, who announced to viewers in a hoarse voice four months ago that he had been diagnosed with the disease, had quit smoking 20 years ago, but started up again after the Sept. 11 attacks.

"I was weak and I smoked over 9/11," he said during the evening newscast in April.

Although he visited the ABC News office between treatments of chemotherapy he did not return to the air again. At the time of his announcement, doctors speculated that the noticeable symptoms of hoarseness and weight loss indicated an advanced state of the disease.

Diagnosis often comes too late

There are two major types of lung cancer: non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer. Non-small cell lung cancer is much more common and usually spreads to different parts of the body more slowly than small cell lung cancer.

The Jennings family has not released specifics about his condition, but no matter which type of lung cancer Jennings had, both are usually caused by smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke. Smoking causes 87 percent of lung cancer cases, studies show. Exposure to radon causes a significant portion of the remaining cases.

Lung cancer, like some other cancers, often doesn’t produce symptoms until it is too late and has spread beyond the chest to the brain, liver or bones.

"Once a person is coughing up blood, it's too late to get a cure," says Dr. Norman Edelman, chief medical officer of the American Lung Association.

The expected 5-year survival rate for all patients in whom lung cancer is diagnosed is 15 percent, compared to 63 percent for colon cancer, 88 percent for breast cancer and 99 percent for prostate cancer, according to the American Lung Association.

Because of late diagnosis, about 6 out of 10 people with lung cancer die within one year of being diagnosed with the disease.

Better detection desperately needed

Why is there no screening for lung cancer that's the equivalent of mammograms for breast cancer, pap smears for cervical cancer or colonoscopies for colon cancer?

The chest X-ray is not considered a very good screening device because studies have shown that even large cancers can hide in a routine X-ray.

Doctors have long sought improved screening tests for lung cancer, but it's only been within the last few years that new developments in technology might make early detection more feasible, says Dr. Steven Keller, chief of the Division of Thoracic Surgery at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.

The most promising screening tool is computer tomography, or CT images of the lung. More doctors have been using CT scans to find small lung cancer tumors at an early enough stage when surgery is still an option.

A recent study at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center found that using computerized scans to screen for lung cancer in high-risk patients could help save lives. The researchers recommended using them as part of regular checkups for those at risk.

In the study, researchers followed about 27,000 cases of people who were at a high risk for lung cancer, diagnosing more than 400 with cancer, mostly in the early stages. Of those diagnosed through CT scans who went on to have the cancer removed, 96 percent found that the disease did not return.

Meanwhile, a government study through the National Cancer Institute is following 50,000 people who were assigned to undergo either CT scans or chest X-rays annually for three years. Researchers will track the participants mortality rates through 2009 to determine whether a spiral CT scan is an effective screening tool for lung cancer.

The spiral CT scan is controversial, however, because it is so powerful that it can pick up nodules that may not be cancerous, leading to potentially unnecessary surgeries. And even when the scan picks up smaller tumors, it's possible that the cancer cells have already spread to other parts of the body. Surgery could remove the tumor in the lung, but wouldn't affect parts of the body where the cancer cells have spread.

"The screening predisposes that we have effective treatment that would kill off microscopic tumor cells," says Keller. "But chemotherapy is not at the point where can wipe out whatever tumor cells that have spread elsewhere."

In addition, the tests cost hundreds of dollars and aren't usually covered by insurance.

Does quitting pay off?

But researchers aren't giving up. Studies are looking at alternative detection tools that would analyze chemicals in a patient's sputum and blood, which could indicate the presence of cancer cells. Another method would examine a person's exhaled breath with an "electronic nose" for cells from the lung that might contain cancer DNA.

If Jennings had not started smoking again, would he have still developed the disease? Stopping smoking doesn’t eliminate the risk but it can cut the odds, research shows.

It takes about 10 years to cut the risk for lung cancer, although it never decreases to the level of people who have never smoked, according to the American Cancer Society.

"For the most part, risk is due to cumulative effects of smoking, how many packs multiplied by number of years," although after 20 years of quitting his risk would have declined, says Edelman.

In Jennings case, "he just wasn’t lucky."

Beyond improved detection and treatment, the best way to reduce lung cancer deaths is to convince people not to smoke cigarettes.

"It’s clear that an ounce of prevention here is worth a pound of cure," says Keller. "Without smoking, 90 percent of lung cancer would go away."
Source: www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8870485

Racial differences in lung cancer risks


Genes may explain why blacks are more likely to develop disease. Blacks who smoke up to a pack a day are far more likely than whites who smoke similar amounts to develop lung cancer, suggesting genes may help explain the racial differences long seen in the disease, researchers say.

The largest study ever done on the subject also found that Hispanic and Asian smokers were less likely than black smokers to develop the disease — at least up to a point. The racial differences disappeared among heavy smokers, or those who puffed more than a pack and a half per day.

Doctors have long known that blacks are substantially more likely than whites to develop lung cancer and more likely to die from it. But the reasons for the disparity are unclear.

Some say the difference is a matter of genetics, while others contend smoking habits may play a role. For example, researchers say blacks tend to puff more deeply than whites, which may expose them to more carcinogens. Smoking rates are also slightly higher among blacks, but whites tend to smoke more cigarettes a day.

In the latest study — published in Thursday’s New England Journal of Medicine — researchers compared the lung cancer risk among ethnic groups who smoked the same amount.

Genes factor

While the study did not address the possible reasons for the racial disparity, lead researcher Christopher Haiman, an assistant professor of preventive medicine at the University of Southern California, said the findings suggest genes may be one of the factors that explain the phenomenon.

The study involved more than 180,000 people, more than half of them minorities. Patients filled out questionnaires about their smoking habits, diet and other personal information.

Researchers from USC and University of Hawaii analyzed lung cancer cases over an eight-year period. After adjusting for diet, education and other factors, the researchers found that whites who smoked up to a pack a day had a 43 percent to 55 percent lower risk of lung cancer than blacks who smoked the same amount. Hispanics and Japanese-Americans were 60 percent to 80 percent less likely than blacks to develop the disease.

The study found no difference in lung cancer risk among the various ethnic groups for those who smoked more than three packs a day.

Black, Hispanic and Japanese-American men who never smoked had higher risks of lung cancer than white men, but hardly any difference was seen in women in the same ethnic groups.

According to the American Lung Association, black men are 50 percent more likely to develop lung cancer and 36 percent more likely to die from the disease than white men.

Previous studies have suggested that black smokers tend to absorb more nicotine and tobacco carcinogens than whites, geneticist Neil Risch of the University of California, San Francisco noted in an accompanying editorial.

The effect of race on the risk of disease is controversial, in part because race was used to discriminate in human experiments. Now it is increasingly being exploited in the emerging field of medicine that tailors drugs to a person’s genetics. Last year, the Food and Drug Administration approved a heart-failure drug specifically for blacks. Different response rates also have been seen among certain ethnic groups to cancer drugs.

Two other reports in the journal link ethnic groups to increased risks of another disease — Parkinson’s.

Researchers found that Eastern European Jews and North Africans of Arab descent were far more likely to have a gene mutation linked to the neurological disease than whites and other ethnic or racial groups.

The studies were separately done by scientists at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City and INSERM, the French equivalent of the National Institutes of Health.

If larger studies confirm the findings, it could lead to the offering of genetic testing to high-risk groups, as is done now for breast cancer gene mutations among Eastern European Jewish women.
Source: www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11024379/

Symptoms of Lung Cancer in Non-Smokers


Why Do They Differ From Those in Smokers?

Lung cancer in nonsmokers appears to be increasing, and, at the present time anyway, we don't have a screening test for nonsmokers.

Symptoms of lung cancer in non-smokers may be different from lung cancer in people who smoke. Sometimes the symptoms may be more subtle, such as shortness of breath with activity, or hard to define, such as fatigue. What are some common symptoms of lung cancer in non-smokers and why might they be different from those in smokers?

As a quick aside, talking about lung cancer in non-smokers is more important than ever. Currently 20% of women who develop lung cancer in the United States are lifelong non-smokers. In addition, the majority of people, both men and women, who develop lung cancer at this time are former, not current smokers.

Why Might Symptoms of Lung Cancer in Non-Smokers Differ From Those in People Who Smoke?

One of the reasons that the symptoms of lung cancer in non-smokers and smokers may differ is that the most common types of lung cancer vary depending upon smoking status –- and different types of lung cancer tend to have different symptoms.

Another reason may be that women who develop lung cancer are more likely than men to have never smoked –- and the types of lung cancer found commonly in women and men can differ.

Symptoms of Lung Cancer in Non-Smokers Related to Lung Cancer Type

There are two main types of lung cancer. Non-small cell lung cancer accounts for roughly 80% of lung cancers and is broken down into three subtypes that vary among non-smokers and people who smoke.

Search multiple engines at once for symptoms of lung cancer

Small cell lung cancer is responsible for around 20% of lung cancer, and is found more commonly among people who have smoked.

Non-Small Cell Lung Cancers

The three main types of non-small cell lung cancer include:•Lung Adenocarcinoma

The most common type of non-small cell lung cancer in non-smokers is adenocarcinoma. Lung adenocarcinomas tend to grow in the outer regions of the lungs. Due to their location away from the large airways, these tumors often grow quite large or spread before they cause any symptoms. Initial symptoms may include:

In contrast, squamous cell carcinoma of the lungs is much more common in people who have smoked. These tumors tend to grow in or near the large airways of the lungs and often cause symptoms early on in the disease. These symptoms may include coughing up blood, a persistent cough, and infections (such as recurrent bronchitis or pneumonia) due to obstruction of the airways by the tumor.

Small Cell Lung Cancers

Small cell lung cancers occur more often in men and people who smoke. These tumors frequently begin near the large airways causing a persistent cough or coughing up blood, and spread early, often to the brain.

One form of non-small cell lung cancer is seen more commonly in young women and people who have never smoked, and appears to be increasing in incidence in the United States. Bronchioloalveolar Carcinoma (BAC) may cause symptoms similar to other lung cancers, but it has also been coined the “masquerader.” It is not uncommon for BAC to be misdiagnosed first as pneumonia or other lung disease.

Common Symptoms of Lung Cancer in Both Non-Smokers and Smokers

It is helpful to review common symptoms of lung cancer that are found in both non-smokers and in people who smoke. These may include:

Less Common Symptoms of Lung Cancer in Non-Smokers

As noted above, the most common types of lung cancer in smokers tend to grow near the central airways. These tumors tend to cause symptoms earlier on in the course of the disease, with symptoms related to the presence of the tumor near the airway. As such, coughing up blood, obstruction leading to lung collapse (atelectasis), and coughing might be seen earlier in lung cancers found in smokers than they would be in non-smokers.

Another group of symptoms that are seen occasionally with lung cancer is something called paraneoplastic syndrome. Paraneoplastic syndrome is a group of symptoms caused by hormone-like substances secreted by tumors, and is seen most often with small cell lung cancers, squamous cell lung cancers and large cell carcinomas –- cancers that are found more often in people who smoke.

Paraneoplastic symptoms may include an elevated calcium level in the blood, a low sodium level, weakness in the upper limbs, loss of coordination and muscle cramps among other symptoms.

Sources:

Bryant, A. and R. Cerfolio. Differences in epidemiology, histology, and survival between cigarette smokers and never-smokers who develop non-small cell lung cancer. Chest. 2007. 132(1):185-92.

Rudin, C. et al. Lung cancer in never smokers: molecular profiles and therapeutic implications. Clinical Cancer Research. 2009. 15(18):5646-61.

Samet, J. et al. Lung cancer in never smokers: clinical epidemiology and environmental risk factors. Clinical Cancer Research. 2009. 15(18):5626-45,

Scagliotti, G. et al. Nonsmall cell lung cancer in never smokers. Current Opinion in Oncology. 2009. 21(2):99-104.

Subramanian, J. and R. Govindan. Molecular genetics of lung cancer in people who have never smoked. Lancet Oncology. 2008. 9(7):676-82.

Wakalee, H. et al. Lung cancer incidence in never smokers. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2007. 25(5):472-8.

Yano, T. et al. Non-small cell lung cancer in never smokers as a representative ‘non-smoking-associated lung cancer’: epidemiology and clinical features. International Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2011. 16(4):287-93.
Source: lungcancer.about.com/od/whatislungcancer/a/Symptoms-Of-Lung-Cancer-In-Non-Smokers.htm?utm_content=20150915&utm_medium=email&utm_source=cn_nl&utm_campaign=healthsl&utm_term=Health%20Channel%20Newsletter

Symptoms of Lung Cancer in Men


Symptoms of lung cancer in men can differ from symptoms of lung cancer in women. Just as men are more likely to have “typical” heart attack symptoms than women, men may be more likely to have “typical” symptoms of lung cancer.

That said, some of the symptoms of lung cancer in men can be misdiagnosed as other conditions, and in order to detect lung cancer in the early, more curable stages, it is important to be aware of some of these less common symptoms as well.

Why are Symptoms of Lung Cancer in Men Different than Symptoms of Lung Cancer in Women?

One reason that symptoms of lung cancer differ between men and women is that the most common types of lung cancer are different in men and women –- and different types of lung cancer tend to have different symptoms.

Another reason for the difference is that a higher percentage of men who develop lung cancer have smoked in the past, and some types of lung cancer are linked more strongly with smoking.

Symptoms Related to Lung Cancer Type

Non-Small Cell Lung Cancers

Non-small cell lung cancers account for roughly 80% of lung cancers. There are three main types of non-small cell lung cancers:

In men, squamous cell carcinoma of the lungs is more common. Squamous cell carcinomas tend to grow in or near the major airways and often create symptoms early on in the disease. These symptoms may include:

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In contrast, the most common type of lung cancer in women is adenocarcinoma. Lung adenocarcinomas tend to grow in the outer regions of the lungs. These tumors can grow quite large or spread before they cause any symptoms. Initial symptoms may include shortness of breath with activity, fatigue, and back and shoulder pain rather than typical symptoms, such as coughing.

Small Cell Lung Cancers

The vast majority of small cell lung cancers are related to smoking, and small cell lung cancers occur more often in men than in women. Unlike non-small cell lung cancers (which are more common in women), symptoms are often present for only a short time before a diagnosis is made.

Small cell lung cancers usually begin near the large airways and spread early, often to the brain. It’s not uncommon for the first symptoms of small cell lung cancer to be related to brain metastases, and these may include headaches, changes in vision, weakness on one side of the body, or changes in behavior.

Symptoms Seen More Commonly in Men

As noted above, the most common types of lung cancer in men tend to grow near the central airways. These tumors often cause symptoms earlier in the course of the disease, with symptoms related to the presence of the tumor near the airway. As such, coughing up blood, obstruction leading to lung collapse (atelectasis), and coughing might be seen earlier in lung cancers found in men than they would be in women.

Another group of symptoms that are seen occasionally with lung cancer is something called paraneoplastic syndrome. Paraneoplastic syndrome is a group of symptoms caused by hormone-like substances secreted by tumors, and is seen most often with small cell lung cancers, squamous cell lung cancers and large cell carcinomas –- cancers that are found more often in men.

Paraneoplastic symptoms may include an elevated calcium level in the blood (hypercalcemia), a low sodium level, weakness in the upper limbs, loss of coordination, and muscle cramps, among other symptoms.

Less Common Symptoms

One form of non-small cell lung cancer is seen more commonly in young women and people who have never smoked. Bronchioloalveolar Carcinoma (BAC) may have symptoms similar to other lung cancers, but it has also been coined the “masquerader.” It is not uncommon for BAC to be misdiagnosed first as pneumonia or other lung diseases.

Sources:

Harichand-Herdt, S. and S. Ramalingam. Gender-associated differences in lung cancer: clinical characteristics and treatment outcomes in women. Seminars in Oncology. 2009. 36(6):572-80.

National Cancer Institute. Lung Cancer. Accessed 03/22/13. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/lung

Olak, J. and Y. Colson. Gender differences in lung cancer: Have we really come a long way, baby?. Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. 2004. 128:346-351.
Source: lungcancer.about.com/od/whatislungcancer/a/Symptoms-Of-Lung-Cancer-In-Men.htm

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