Understanding lung cancer

Understanding lung cancer

Lung cancer is serious medical condition that affects many Australian individuals and their families. Most researchers across the globe consider lung cancer to be a a human cell oriented disease, and as such, lung cancer is known to interfere with the human body cells. The reason why lung cancer is such a notorious disease is because it affects so many people, and the diagnosis of it may lead to death.

Medically, lung cancer is referred to as the wild growth of atypical cells. The abnormal cells advance drastically into tumours. The tumours become large in size and numerous in quantity, hence preventing the lung from functioning properly.

Lung cancer is one of the most common type of cancer among people in Western society, including Australia. The condition and its symptoms can cause great physical unease, as well as emotional anxiety and distress. There are two major categories of lung cancer, and they include: non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), which is the predominant form of cancer, and small cell lung cancer (SCLC), which covers approximately 20% to 25% of all lung cancers.

Small cell lung cancer

Small cell lung cancer is the most hostile kind of lung cancer. This particular lung cancer begins in the bronchi, which is challenging since post-pneumonia as well as atelectasis occur very commonly. The involved cells in this circumstance are small and they are destructive in nature, and they are accompanied by a large growth factor. This is the reason why the tumours are found to have metastasized to adjacent body organs and parts at the time a diagnosis is conducted.

This type of cancer mainly has two stages. Firstly, there is the limited stage, where the lung cancer is situated on one side of the chest. It only affects a particular portion of the lung, and also affects the lymph nodes nearby. The other stage is referred to as the extensive stage. During this extensive phase, the lung cancer would have already spread all over, including in other parts of the chest and the body.

Non-small cell lung cancer

On the other hand, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) involves the following conditions: large cell carcinomas, squamous cell carcinoma, and adenocarcinoma. NSCLC does basically refer to any other type of epithelial lung cancer. Beware that this type of cancer grows as well as spreads, but it does so at a lower rate than small cell cancer of the lung. Non-small cell lung cancer involves four main stages. During the first stage, the cancer is situated in the lungs only. It then extends to other fragments of the lungs and lymph nodes nearby in the second stage.

Non-small cell lung cancer later develops into the third stage which is known as the locally advanced disease. This phase consists of two subtypes, the stage three A and the stage three B. During the stage three A, the cancer is only situated on one side of the chest and spreads only to the lymph nodes. When the cancer extents to the other adjacent parts of the chest and affects the lymph nodes there, then it is described as stage three B. During this phase the cancer may also affect parts that are above the collar bone.

Stage four of NSCLC is the last phase. It is known to be the advanced stage of the disease. The cancer spreads to other portions of the human body and lungs. At this stage, the cancer is at its most serious, often leading death.


1. Cancer Government Lung Cancer: http://www.cancervic.org.au/about-cancer/cancer_types/lung_cancer

2. Better Health Lung Cancer: http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Lung_cancer