According to the American Cancer Society, non-small cell lung cancer is the most common type of lung cancer, accounting for approximately 84% of diagnoses. Specifically, adenocarcinoma is the most prevalent form of non-small cell lung cancer.
Lung cancer affects hundreds of thousands of people every year in the United States alone. The American Cancer Society estimated that over 225,000 new cases of lung cancer would be diagnosed in 2020 alone, with over 135,000 fatalities. While these numbers are estimates, it is easy to see the scope of the problem.
If you or a loved one has lung cancer or exhibits symptoms of lung disease, you should seek immediate medical attention. Understanding the causes, risk factors, and symptoms of lung cancer is an important way to prevent or treat lung disease as soon as possible.
Different Types of Lung Cancer
There are many different types of lung cancer, but they generally fall under two categories: non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer.
Non-small cell lung cancers can occur in smokers and non-smokers alike. Adenocarcinoma is the most common type of lung cancer in the non-small cell category. Other types of non-small cell lung cancers include squamous cell carcinoma (also called epidermoid carcinoma) and large cell carcinoma.
Small cell lung cancers, meanwhile, almost exclusively result from heavy smoking or second-hand smoke exposure. They are more aggressive in the way they metastasize. Due to the rapid rate that small cell cancers can spread, surgery is sometimes not an option for treatment.
Another form of lung cancer is mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is very rare and affects the lining of the lungs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that this form of cancer has been linked to long-term exposure to asbestos, a fibrous substance common in building materials.
Of all the different forms of lung cancer, adenocarcinoma is the most common, accounting for about 40% of all non-small cell lung cancers.
Although it is the most common non-small cell lung cancer, adenocarcinoma can also occur in several organs in the body. This form of cancer attacks the glandular cells of the body that are responsible for producing mucus. Adenocarcinoma can be treated with chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation.
Causes of Lung Cancer
Genetics, lifestyle choices, exposure to harmful substances, or a combination of all these factors can cause lung cancer. Exposure to substances like asbestos and other carcinogens can cause or increase the chance of developing lung cancer. While no one can control their family history, you can take steps to avoid the risk factors that put you more at risk for lung cancer.
Some of the risk factors that the National Cancer Institute explains can contribute to the likelihood of lung cancer include:
- Smoking cigarettes, cigars, or pipes
- Exposure to secondhand smoke
- Exposure to radon gas
- Exposure to asbestos and other carcinogens (i.e., chromium and arsenic)
- Radiation exposure
Researchers constantly study lung cancer and seemingly learn more about this disease every year. It is important to continually learn more about lung cancer, prevention, and risk factors if you want to decrease your risk of this serious form of cancer.
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Symptoms of Lung Cancer
The symptoms of lung cancer include:
- Chest pain
- Coughing that does not go away or worsens with time
- Coughing that produces blood
- Fatigue, weight loss, or loss of appetite
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
You should seek immediate guidance from a medical professional if you or someone you love exhibits any signs of lung disease or cancer. Every day is crucial in the treatment and fight against cancer.
Understanding Your Legal Options
While lung cancer can occur naturally due to a family history of the disease, external factors can also contribute to the likelihood of contracting this disease. Lifestyle choices, such as diet and exercise, can have an impact on cancer development, and researchers continuously learn more about this tragic disease.
Another reason lung cancer can form is exposure to dangerous substances like asbestos. This exposure can cause adenocarcinoma and other forms of non-small cell lung cancer.
Some individuals are exposed to asbestos and other carcinogens in high quantities for a prolonged period without even realizing it. You could be eligible for financial compensation if you or a loved one was exposed to a dangerous substance such as asbestos because of the negligence of another party.
If you would like to learn more about your legal options, the team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm is available to answer your questions. Call (800) 794-0444 today to discuss your situation with a team member and learn more about legal action you can take.