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By Elizabeth McNeil and Gemma Singer

Respiratory Diseases

6. Does lung cancer affect a particular ethnic group?

5. What age range is it common to be diagnosed with lung cancer?

2. What are the symptoms?

3. Can lung cancer be cured? What treatment options are avaliable?4. Does lung cancer affect any other body systems?

1. What is lung cancer?


What is lung cancer?

Staging is a way of describing how much cancer is in a person’s body and where it is located. This information can help doctors know what type of lung cancer it is and what the appropriate treatment should be.

Lung cancer is a disease caused by uncontrolled cell division in the lungs, damaged cells dividing creates masses/tumors. Lung cancer usually begins in airways. There are two main types of lung cancer, non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and small cell lung cancer (SCLC). NSCLC is the most common lung cancer, accounting for almost 80 percent of cases. However SCLC accounts for about 20 percent of lung cancer cases, but it grows rapidly and is harder to treat.

Lung Cancer

Lung cancer symptoms are very similar to non serious illnesses. It's important to know the difference. Many patients have reported to not have symptoms until the disease has advanced. Symptoms include coughing, wheezing, chest pain, and shoulder pain. More serious symptoms can be unexpected weight loss, hemoptysis (coughing up blood) and swelling in the face, neck, arms and upper chest area.


As you may know, there are no cures for any types of cancer. However, there are many other treatments to try and help terminate the cancer. People with non-small cell lung cancer can have surgery, undergo chemotherapy, radiation, and targeted therapy. Small cell lung cancer patients are mostly treated with radiation and chemotherapy. Immunotherapy is the most effective treatment for lung cancer, success rates being as high as 68 percent.


There are multiple treatments for lung cancer. Local treatments which just target the organs with cancer and systemic treatment which works through your whole body. These treatments are very effective if the cancer is caught early.

This image shows an example of what can happen in stage 4 of lung cancer. The cancer has grown or spread to other parts of the lungs, body or lymph nodes.

Yes, cancer can affect any part of the body, except the heart. Cancer commonly moves to your lymph nodes, bones, liver and lungs. Cancer can move away from its original tumor and begin to travel through the blood or lymph system to other parts of the body.


Does lung cancer affect a particular ethnic group?

Yes, compared to other ethnic groups, cancer has higher rates in African American people. African American people have a higher death toll compared to caucasians and asian americans. They also have a lower overall 5-year cancer survival rate than white people.


The most common age of the people who have been diagnosed with lung cancer are 65 and older. The average age of when someone is diagnosed is 70 years old. And a small percentage of people diagnosed with lung cancer are younger than 45 years old.


Sources:1.https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/4375-lung-cancer2.https://www.cancer.gov 3.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov › articles › PMC55186374.https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/health-equity/groups/african-american.htm5.https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/lung/basic_info/index.htm6.https://www.cancer.org/cancer/types/lung-cancer/about/what-is.htmlPicture sources:7.https://treatcancer.com/blog/what-are-the-stages-of-lung-cancer/ 8.https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/lung-cancer/stages-types-grades/stage-4 9.https://onco.com/blog/what-are-the-new-advancements-in-the-treatment-of-lung-cancer/