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Lung Cancer


  • Cancer that starts in the lungs
  • May spread to lymph nodes or other organs in the body
  • Cancer from other organs may spread to the lungs
  • Metastasis: when cancer cells spread from one organ to another
  • Two types:
    • Small cell
    • Non-small cell
  • The two types grow differently and are treated differently
  • Non-small cell is more common than small cell

Risk Factors

  • Smoking
  • Secondhand smoke
  • Radon
  • Other substances:
    • Asbestos
    • Arsenic
    • Diesel
    • Exhaust
    • Silica
    • Chromium
  • Personal or Family History of Lung Cancer
  • Radiation Therapy to the Chest
  • Diet


  • Chronic coughing or coughing that worsens
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing up blood
  • Abnormal tiredness
  • Abnormal weight loss

Reducing Risk

  • Do not smoke
  • Avoid secondhand smoke
  • Get your home tested for radon
  • Be careful at work for exposure of cancerogenic materials (ship building, roofing, plumbing, aerospace, sandblasting, foundries, mines, coal workers)


  • Non-small cell: surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy
  • Small cell: radiation therapy, chemotherapy
  • Complementary medicine: acupuncture, dietary supplements, massage therapy, hypnosis, meditation
  • Alternative medicine: special diets, megadose vitamins, herbal preparations, special teas, magnet therapy


  • 2018:
    • 218,520 new cases in the United States, 142,080 deaths in the United States
    • For every 100,000 people, 54 new cases and 35 deaths
  • 5-Year Relative Survival: 21.7%

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