Lung cancer is the second most common form of cancer after skin cancer and is becoming one of the biggest health threats facing the world. Annually, nearly 170,000 men and women are diagnosed with the disease. It is the most common form of cancer found in both women and men. New research indicates that the rise in lung cancer among women may be due to an increase in smoking.
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People over the age of 50 are at an increased risk of lung cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, tobacco use causes more than 80 percent of all lung cancers because cigarettes, cigars and other tobacco products contain many dangerous carcinogens. Other causes include inhalation of asbestos and radon, among other chemicals and pollutants including arsenic, chromium, silica and beryllium. People with a history of tuberculosis and other lung diseases, including emphysema and asthma, have an increased risk of developing lung cancer.
Smokers, former smokers and those exposed to second-hand smoke over the course of many years are also at greater risk, but smokers can lower their risk by quitting.
There are four types of lung cancer:
- Small lung cancer, sometimes called oat cell cancer, accounts for about 20 to 25 percent of all lung cancer cases. It is found predominantly in people who are heavy smokers and most often develops in the bronchial submucosa. This form of lung cancer spreads rapidly and is more likely to metastasize than the other three forms of lung cancer.
- Squamous cell carcinoma, also called epidermoid cancer, makes up 25 to 30 percent of all lung cancer cases and is the most common form of lung cancer. It often begins in the bronchi and may remain in the lungs without spreading for a longer period of time than the other forms of lung cancer.
- Adenocarcinoma is a form of lung cancer with cancerous cells shaped as cubes or columns, which usually grow in patterns in the glands, along the tissue that lines the bronchi and along the outer edges of the lungs. It makes up 25 to 30 percent of all lung cancer cases.
- Large cell carcinoma is the rarest form of lung cancer, making up approximately 10 to 20 percent of cases. It is found most often in the bronchi and is made up of cancer cells that are not small lung cancer, squamous, or adenocarcinoma.
Have you become a victim of Lung Cancer Misdiagnosis? Contact a Lung Cancer Misdiagnosis lawyer today for a free consultation on your lung cancer case.
Symptoms of lung cancer often include:
- Coughing /wheezing
- Bloody sputum
- Chest pain/ pain when breathing
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty swallowing
- Swelling of neck, face and upper extremities
- Weakness and pain in the shoulder, arm and hand
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Behavioral changes
- Speech problems
- Memory lapses
- Pain in other body parts
- Bone fractures
- Blood clots
To diagnose lung cancer, a physician looks for enlargement of the lymph nodes, liver and abdomen, and for other symptoms of a lung mass. A complete diagnosis requires a chest x-ray to look for growths, a sputum test, involving coughing up phlegm, for lung cancer cell detection, and a spirometry, which tests a patient’s pulmonary function to determine if there is an obstruction or narrowing of the airways. A diagnosis of lung cancer may include a biopsy, of which there are two kinds, bronchoscopy and percutaneous needle biopsy, for tissue examination. Bronchoscopy involves insertion of a bronchoscope, a flexible lighted tube, into the patient’s mouth or nose and guiding it to the bronchi. A percutaneous needle biopsy involves inserting a needle into the lung through the skin. After a lung cancer diagnosis is made, a doctor will determine the stage of the cancer in order to establish the proper course of treatment. Staging the cancer usually involves use of computerized tomography, bone scans and pulmonary angiography. Unfortunately, standard lung cancer treatments available, including surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, have limited success rates, and thus patients are often encouraged to participate in clinical trials which may provide them with better chances of survival.
We can offer cancer patients assistance with cases of negligence including:
- Cancer Attorney
- Failure to Diagnosis Breast Cancer
- Colorectal Cancer
- Lung Cancer Delayed Diagnosis
- Prostate Cancer
- Vaginal Cancer
- Cervical Cancer
- Vulva Cancer
Have you become a victim of Lung Cancer Misdiagnosis? You may have a legal claim. Contact us for a free consultation on your Lung Cancer Misdiagnosis today!
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Michael Gunzburg is a New York Lung Cancer Misdiagnosis Attorney serving the New York Metropolitan area, including New York City, Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Rockland and Orange County.