More people die from Lung Cancer than
Colon, Breast, and Prostate Cancers combined


What are Lung Cancers?

Lung Cancers are, in their most basic form, tumorous growths located in the lungs. Their influence can involve anything from taking over the membrane of the lung to disrupting air holes inside the lung. The impact of Lung Cancer is tremendous, with the disease claiming 27% of all cancer deaths combined. This makes it the leading cancer in terms of mortality. Despite the seriousness of Lung Cancer, early location of the disease can go a long way in terms of making sure that it does not become life threatening. There are three primary types of Lung Cancer: Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (also called NSC Lung Cancer), Small Cell Lung Cancer (also called SC Lung Cancer), and Lung Carcinoids. Details of each type will be throughly dicussed below.

The lungs are one of the most important organs in the body. They are responsible for processing air as well as providing a place for oxygen to enter the bloodstream. When you breathe, air goes through your nose and down your windpipe into your lungs. From here, it spreads through tubes called Bronchi. The majority of Lung Cancers begin in the cells that line these tubes. To put it simply, Lung Cancer hinders typical lung functioning, something which effectively disrupts the patient's ability to process oxygen and maintain a healthy blood compositon as they normally would.

While a reliable method of identifying the cause of Lung Cancer has yet to be discovered, there are some factors that influence a particular individual's chances of contracting the disease. The most important of these factors is the use of cigarettes or other carcinogenic inhalents. In fact, cigarette smoking has been linked to nearly 90% of all Lung Cancer cases. This knowledge means that people everywhere have a way to actively combat Lung Cancer through avoiding harmful substances such as these.

Let's begin by going through the specifics of each type of Lung Cancer as highlighted above. The graph below reveals the 3 primary types of Lung Cancer and their relative prevalence in total Lung Cancer cases. The clear leader is NSC Lung Cancer, with SC Lung Cancer and Lung Carcinoids consisting of only 20% of total Lung Cancer cases.

NSC Lung Cancer SC Lung Cancer Lung Carcinoids

NSC Lung Cancer

Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (also called NSC Lung Cancer for short) is by far the most common type of Lung Cancer, accounting for around 85% percent of total Lung Cancer cases. To fully appreciate the impact that NSC Lung Cancer has on the body, it is important to first grasp a basic understanding of lung functioning.

When you breathe in, fresh oxygen is directed towards your bronchi. The bronchi consists of two large tubes that feed into the lungs, eventually branching off into smaller brances called bronchioles. The clean oxygen is held in tiny sacks in these bronchioles, and the blood pumping through your body absorbs that oxygen and replaces it with non-reusable carbon dioxide. Once the carbon dioxide is held in the alveoli sacks, you breathe it out, thus keeping your body running properly with the oxygen and blood composition it needs to survive.

When NSC Lung Cancer is formed, it almost always starts in the tiny branches of the bronchioles. The disease typically remains very low profile at these early stages, with scientific instruments being required to detect the abnormal cells. Over time, the abnormal cells may acquire other gene changes, something which can cause them to progress to true cancer. As the cancer develops, the tumerous cells may produce chemicals that causes new blood vessels to form nearby. These blood vessels nourish the cancerous cells, which can continue to grow and form a tumor large enough to be seen on imaging tests such as x-rays.

As noted above, body processes blood through tiny sacs called alveoli. This system is extremely effective in carrying the cancer cells to other parts of the body. The survival rates associated with NSC Lung Cancer reflect this, as early detection and removal of the disease is essential in terms of guaranteeing an effective recovery. For instance, the five-year survival rate for cases in which the cancer is discovered in stage I is 45% or higher, whereas stage IV patients only meet this same milestone about 1% of the time.

The symptoms of NSC Lung Cancer worsen in direct proportion to the amount of time that the tumor remains untreated. Because the cancer restricts oxygen transfer to the blood, the symptoms of NSC Lung Cancer can include raspy sounding breathing, coughing up blood or other substances, and lasting lung problems like Pneumonia and Bronchitis.

SC Lung Cancer

Small Cell Lung Cancer (also called SC Lung Cancer for short) is different from NSC Lung Cancer in a few different ways. As is apparent from the name, the actual size of the cancerous cells are much smaller in size, and typically require sophisticated scientific instruments to examine properly. While NSC Lung Cancer starts in the bronchioles, SC Lung Cancer almost always originates in the bronchi. Because the bronchi are the key pipes that lead into your lungs, the cancer is able to quickly spread throughout the body when compared with NSC Lung Cancer.

SC Lung Cancer has been described as the most aggressive form of Lung Cancer due to its tendancy to rapidly spread throughout the body. This description is reflective of the survival rates that patients who contract the disease face. In fact, only 31% of those lucky enough to discover the disease in stage I survive beyond 5 years. Representing the worst case scenario, 2% of stage IV patients achieve the same success. While the issue is grave, some comfort can be taken in the fact that every case is different, and factors such as overall health and the type of treatment recieved can go a long way in terms of maximizing survival chances.

SC Lung Cancer is relatively rare, accounting for just 10% of total Lung Cancer cases. While its exact cause is difficult to pinpoint, it is known that the majority of cases have been closely associated with the consumption of tobacco.

Lung Carcinoids

Accounting for just 5% of total cases, Lung Carcinoids are by far the least common form of Lung Cancer. Lung Carcinoids are different from the two other types of Lung Cancer in that they typically don't affect the physical pathways of the lungs, but rather special types of cells called nueroendocrine cells that produce hormones such as adrenaline in order to regulate and control the energy levels of lung cells.

Lung Carcinoids also vary from NSC and SC Lung Cancers in terms of their rate of growth. Lung Carcinoids develop extremely slowly when compared to other types of Lung Cancers. The reason for this is because the other two types utilize the circulatory system to carry cancer cells, and blood moves very rapidly throughout the body. Carcinoids take longer because they mimic the movement of hormones, which are inherently slower than the blood transportation system.

This means that the 5-year survival rates that Lung Carcinoid patients experience is very positive when compared to other forms of lung cancer. In fact, 93 percent of patients whose cancer is discovered in stage I survive 5 years or more. Additionally, the slow development rate of Lung Carcinomas means that patients sometimes go relatively long periods of time without the cancer worsening significantly, thus affording them additional leniency in discovering the disease before it becomes life threatening.

Advancements in Treatment

The relentless march of scientific advancement combined with the efforts of ever-committed medical staff have contributed greatly to the decrease in mortality rates that has been observed over the past few decades. While the situation is certainly better than it once was, Lung Cancer remains the number one source of cancer related deaths due to its prominence and ability to aggressively spread throughout the body. We will now highlight some of the successes that have been seen in recent years in an effort to draw attention to the work of those attempting to make a change and to underscore what remains to be done.

Percentage of Lung Cancer Mortality Rates

Why the Increase?

The increase in survival rates can be attributed not only to the development and application of innovative new medical procedures but also to the increased public awareness that has been seen in public years regarding the risk factors of Lung Cancer. It is only through promoting these public outreach and scientific efforts that we can mitigate the threat of this disease and its influence over individual lives.

Medical Staff

A medical team is established as soon as a patient is diagnosed with any form of Lung Cancer. While the structure of this team can vary based on the stage of the disease and the general health of the patient, there are 3 primary doctors that are typically involved with Lung Cancer treatment.

The most fundamental of these doctors is the Oncologist, the doctor that establishes an optimal treatment plan for the patient in accordance with the specifics of their situation. If the situation calls for it, a Pulmonologist may also be called in. A Pulmonologist is a doctor who specializes in treating diseases of the lungs. In the case of Lung Cancer, the Pulmonologist aids in diagnosis and sometimes is involved in recommending specialized treatments. Finally, the Thoracic surgeon specializes in surgery of the chest. They perform operations on the throat, lungs, and heart, something that makes them a crucial part of effective Lung Cancer treatment.

Depending on the type and stage of the cancer and other factors, treatment options for Lung Cancer can include: Surgery, radiation therapy, laser therapy, chemotherapy, and certain types of targeted therapy. Because of the multi-faceted way in which Lung Cancer attacks the body, it is not uncommon for more than one type of treatment to be used. Choosing which treatment plan is best for the patient can prove to be a difficult decision, and is often informed by the location and stage of the cancer, the patient's overall health, the chances of curing the disease, and the possible impact of the treatment on the lungs and the rest of the body.


Lobectomies are a form of Lung Cancer surgery that has been greatly improved in recent years. A Lobectomy is a fairy intensive surgery, and typically involves one of the lobes of a lung being removed. To provide a frame of reference for that fact, a normal pair of lungs contains a total of 5 lobes. While the specifics of the surgery are subject to change in adherance to the specifics circumstances surrounding the patient's case of Lung Cancer, it is typically favored for being a less aggressive option than the removal of an entire lung.

The constant evolution in medical knowledge that has been experienced over the past decade and a half has allowed the prognosis for patients of Lobectomies to be improved greatly. Although the effectivenesss of the operation depends on factors such as the stage of the cacner, the general health of the patient, and the specifics of the procedure employed by the surgeon, successful efforts can offer a chance for long-term survival free from the recurrence of the cancer.

A Lobectomy is not a simple procedure, and as such side effects and complications are not uncommon. This can include anything from infections to heart problems, something that can compromise the long-term effectiveness of the surgery. However, things are certaintly better than they once were, and medical professionals are confident that the effectiveness and safety of this surgery will continue to grow alongside the tide of accumulating medical knowledge.

Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA)

Radiofrequent Albation is a method of cancer treatment that us unique to the lungs due to the inherant nature of their structure. It is an image-guided technique that heats and destroys cancer cells, thus making it minimally invasive when compared to other, more drastic procedures.

While it is designed only as a supplement to other forms of treatment, RFA offers an effective treatment option for patients who either wish to circumvent the necessity of traditional surgical procedures or are too ill to undergo them. In this way, RFA gives options to patients who otherwise have very few, thus serving as a profound example of how medical advancements have benefitted individual lives.

Similarly positive is the relative lack of persisting effects of the procedure after it is conducted. Although the chance for lung collapse does exist, this problem usually be effectively dealt with in a matter of days by inserting a tube between the collapsed lung and the chest wall. The vast majority of patients are able to resume their normal lives about a week after the surgery, and only 1 in 10 patients report experiencing pain after this same timeframe.

How to Help

Despite the efforts to promote Lung Cancer as a national issue that have been made in recent years, the disease still remains at large as the single largest contributor to cancer-related deaths. The overwhelmingly aggressive nature of Lung Cancer has made it a difficult adversary to face. Fortunately, all of the organizations detailed below have made it their mission to topple this tremendous obstacle through the means of ensuring that Lung Cancer is allocated the research that it deserves and requires.

A Breath of Hope Lung Foundation

A Breath of Hope Lung Foundation is an organization of like-minded individuals that has been selflessly dedicated to the betterment of Lung Cancer education and medical practices since its inception in 2008. They seek to extend their influence beyond individual patients by providing families with the emotional and financial support systems that they need to overcome the diagnoses of their loved ones in a healthy, productive way.

Although the maximation of awareness and support of all positive endeavours of Lung Cancer treatment are the broad goals of this foundation, they do detail the specific steps that they plan to take to turn this ambitious vision into reality. It starts with research, where financial support is provided to medical professionals who push the boundary of Lung Cancer research. The next step is increased outreach, which allows us to collectively reap the benefits sown by such research through the widespread appreciation of its benefits. Finally, they seek to increase support for patients who face Lung Cancer with little or no support, thus giving hope to those who otherwise would have none.

A Breath of Hope Lung Foundation is a fully registered tax exempt organization that proudly meets all of the standards outlined by the Charities Review Council. All donations are tax deductible to the full extent of the law. This means that those who donate to the foundation can rest assured that their money is being spent in a responsible manner that is consistent with the needs of those who suffer from Lung Cancer. You can click the button below to donate and change someone's life forever.


Lung Cancer Foundation of America

The Lung Cancer Foundation of America is an organization based in the United States that has set their sights on one tremendous goal: establishing groundbreaking results in the field of Lung Cancer treatment. They hope that their work will one day improve the lives of the hundreds of thousands of Lung Cancer patients on both national and global levels.

In order to accomplish this, the LCFA works to raise both the funds and the national profile of Lung Cacner in order to substantially increase support of innovative research efforts that save lives. They strive to communicate their goals in a way that is both direct and exceedingly clear, and as such have created a promotional video that details the specifics of this wonderful center for transformative science in the area of Lung Cancer treatment.

As worthy as their cause is, this foundation would be ultimately unable to make an impact without the support of the public. None of the services that they provide are possible without the continued support of people like you. Click the button below to their donation page, and change the world as we know it for the better.

Donate is a little bit different from the other organizations that we've promoted in that it doesn't actually cater to the treatment of Lung Cancer specifically. Rather, it attempts to undermine the #1 cause of Lung Cancer: smoking. Smoking is easily the most dangerous and most prevalent cause of Lung Cancers, increasing the risk of contracting the disease by a factor of 15 to 30 in some cases. While smoking, the body inhales 7000 different chemicals, 70 of which have been directly linked to cancer in humans.

This wonderful resource provides many tools and resources, but they all link back to one central purpose: to ensure that you and the people around you are able to stay free of smoking, and as such are able to live a healthy life free from worry. They provide all the guides and advice necessary to accomplish this goal, and strive to make it easy to develop a simple "quitting plan" that is uniquely suited for the individual in question.

A short description of the website is insufficient in demonstrating the excellence of its purpose. You can click the button below to be directed to the website, and find guides and tips to help bring smoking and its harms to an end.

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