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Help with a class report, please


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I have to do a report on a disease/condition, and have chosen lung cancer.

It will mainly be on small cell, but I also want to be sure and correct the myth that only smoker's get lung cancer.

Does anyone have the latest statistics on how many new cases of lung cancer (in general) there are per year, and of those, how many are non-smoker's? If I'm not mistaken, there are basically 4 different types of lung cancer?? (That's what I'm "thinking", but please correct me if I'm wrong).

Is there a webpage or chart somewhere that you know of, that has information like this?


Hope you all have a good day.


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Lung cancer is a growing global epidemic. Worldwide, lung cancer is the second most common cancer among both men and women and is the leading cause of cancer death in both sexes. The worldwide mortality rate for patients with lung cancer is 86%. Of the 160, 000 deaths from lung cancer that occur annually in the United States, about 40, 000 are caused by small cell lung cancer. Although there are differences in mortality rates between ethnic groups, this is mainly due to differences in smoking habits.


Tobacco smoking accounts for nearly 90% of all lung cancers. The risk of developing lung cancer is increased for smokers who start at a young age, and for those who have smoked for a long time. The risk also increases as more cigarettes are smoked, and when cigarettes with higher tar content are smoked. Smoking marijuana cigarettes is also a risk factor for lung cancer. These cigarettes have a higher tar content than tobacco cigarettes.

Certain hazardous materials that people may be exposed to in their jobs have been shown to cause lung cancer. These include asbestos, coal products, and radioactive substances. Air pollution may also be a contributing factor. Exposure to radon, a colorless, odorless gas that sometimes accumulates in the basement of homes, may cause lung cancer in some patients. In addition, patients whose lungs are scarred from other lung conditions may have an increased risk of developing lung cancer.

Although the exact cause of lung cancer is not known, people with a family history of lung cancer appear to have a slightly higher risk of contracting the disease.

ALSO try this Link for more information !!!!!


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I do not have the exact statistics but I do know that my onc told me there is an alarming increase in women being dx'd with lung cancer who never smoked, husband never smoked and parents never smoked so, in essence, was never really exposed to a lot of "second hand" smoke. Maybe Dr. West could help you at www.onctalk.com. He's the best!!

Good luck with your report.

Patti B.

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There are two main types of lung carcinoma, categorized by the size and appearance of the malignant cells seen by a histopathologist under a microscope: non-small cell (80.4%) and small-cell (16.8%) lung carcinoma.

The non-small cell lung carcinomas are grouped together because their prognosis and management are similar. There are three main sub-types: squamous cell lung carcinoma, adenocarcinoma and large cell lung carcinoma.

Smoking, particularly of cigarettes, is by far the main contributor to lung cancer. In the United States, smoking is estimated to account for 87% of lung cancer cases (90% in men and 85% in women).[30] Among male smokers, the lifetime risk of developing lung cancer is 17.2%. Among female smokers, the risk is 11.6%. This risk is significantly lower in non-smokers: 1.3% in men and 1.4% in women.[31]

Statistics from the American Cancer Society

- Lung cancer is by far the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women. There will be an estimated 160,390 deaths from lung cancer (89,510 among men and 70,880 among women) in 2007, accounting for around 29% of all cancer deaths.

- In 2007 there will be about 213,380 new cases of lung cancer (both small cell and non-small cell) in the United States: 114,760 among men and 98,620 among women. About 160,390 people will die of this disease in 2007: 89,510 men and 70,880 women.

Hope this helps. Good luck with your report.

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Two types SCLC and NSCLC (which includes many sub-types). Go the the Lung cancer alliance site here:

http://www.lungcanceralliance.org/press ... tsheet.pdf

They have a wonderful fact sheet that shows:

Smokers: 35-40% of new diagnosis

Former smokers: 50% of new diagnosis

Never smokers: 10-15% of new diagnosis (although I've seen stats that go as high as 20% for never smokers)

Here is another site from the LCA with more fact info:


Good luck!


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We have an add on tv going on here in Minnesota saying. "Radon is the SECOND leading cause of lung cancer." Then they showed a website but I can't remember what that was. BUT, I do know that the EPA is part of the add. I think it's Radon.com or something like that. Or Check the EPA.

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Jon Echternacht, Hudson Star-Observer

Published Friday, October 19, 2007

Although smoking leads the list of contributors to lung cancer, second place belongs to a natural element ahead of second-hand smoke.

Radon, an odorless, tasteless, invisible and naturally occurring gas, has become the second leading cause of lung cancer, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The radioactive gas gets into the air and, when taken into the lungs, causes disease, the EPA said.

The EPA estimated about 21,000 lung cancer deaths were caused by radon in a 2003 assessment of risks. The U.S. surgeon general lists radon as the second leading cause of lung cancer - behind smoking - in the country today.

The number represented more deaths than those caused by drunken driving, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control.

Radon is found all over the country. It enters the home through the indoor air, water supply and soil. Radon entering through the soil is usually a much larger risk than through water, said the EPA.

Radon is a radioactive gas that comes from the natural breakdown (radioactive decay) of uranium. Most soils contain varying amounts of uranium. It is usually found in igneous rock and soil, but in some cases, well water may also be a source of radon

We wanted to know more so engaged in an e-mail conversation with Ian Williams, a geophysicist and geology professor at UW-River Falls.

Professor Williams claimed not to be an expert on radon, but as a rock scientist we were sure he knew a heck of a lot more than the average Joe about the subject.

"Radon gas is colorless, tasteless, odorless and actually inert, but very soluble and radioactive. It emits alpha particles, which is what causes the cell damage that leads to cancer," he replied. Lung cancer often has a 10-25-year gestation period.

Professor Williams said that we absorb radon from groundwater, construction materials and directly via our basements if we live on rocks that contain significant amounts of uranium, particularly basement rocks (i.e. metamorphic and igneous rocks).

"In the Twin Cities area we live directly on platform sedimentary rocks such as dolostones, sandstones and thin shales - it's the shales that may contain minerals that could contribute to radon," he said.

The professor said Taylors Falls to the north sits on a bed of basalt which probably contributes more radon. Living on granite such as in North Central Wisconsin, is probably even a worse scenario for radon.

The EPA estimates 8 million homes in the country may have hazardous radon levels. And the element could contribute to about one-seventh of the total lung cancer deaths each year. The American Cancer Society estimated the number of deaths from smoking at 160,000 a year in 2004. The EPA urges that all homes be tested for radon regardless of geographic location.

For more information on radon risks and testing, consult www.epa.gov/radon.

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Thank you for that article.

How scary is that???? I wouldn't have known it (Radon) was the second leading cause of lung cancers.....

Can't even breathe the air anymore, without worrying about what you're inhaling..... or have a vegetable garden without wondering what's in the soil.... How sad.

Thank you!

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Oh Nova!

I'm sorry that you didn't know about radon. Diesel fumes are also right up there as a known carcinogenic for the lungs. Tony spent a lot of time in our basement before his diagnosis and I worry about radon because our county has 30-40% higher percentage than the average. I have checked with my neighbors and no red flags were raised when they did their home purchases. Most states publish info on the radon levels, Illinois did one county by county. Even if you have radon, there is an abatement process that can be done to drive the basement air outside so no one is at risk in the household.

Good luck with that report.


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The statistics include anyone that was ever a heavy smoker. I quit over 35 years ago and according to some your lungs get back to normal over that period of time. I was considered a heavy smoker. I think that some one that has not smoked for over 25 years may have another reason for their cancer.

Stay positive, :)


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The old theory that once you quit smoking your lungs go back to normal in about 10 years has been debunked. (See the LCA info sheet.) Tony and I bought into that whole myth at one time too, before I learned so much about lung cancer. Smoking causes irreparable mutation/damage to the DNA and their lungs remain at an elevated risk. That's why you see a large percentage of former smokers with lung cancer, often it is a matter of time and age for that particular group.

The interesting part is why some quit and never get lung cancer or how some people smoke all of their lives and also never get lung cancer.

It may be that exposure to other carcinogens following smoking cessation (radon, diesel) is a factor that exacerbates already damaged lungs and is the switch that kicks people into actually developing lung cancer. I've always suspected that the coup de grace for Tony was working around diesel fumes for 35 years, despite the fact that he quit smoking 23 years before diagnosis and was healthy as a horse.

A bigger issue is why does Congress allow the tobacco companies to ratchet up the nicotine (and by association, the toxins) in cigarettes by 20% over the last 10+ years? (Rhetorical question.) With this happening, the occurrences of lung cancer among former smokers (those who picked up the habit in more recent years and then quit) will remain high. We will see dips occur in the stats by virtue of people not smoking and through attrition. I fear a whole new generation of smokers will be at great risk 20-40 years out.

More fodder for the paper. :wink:


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That's a very interesting thought.

I too, have always wondered how some folks can smoke "forever", and not get lung cancer.

My former neighbor started smoking at age 7..... (can you imagine?? SEVEN years old???) He passed away from an infection he got at the hospital, while having a Pace Maker put in. It had nothing to do with smoking.

I don't mean, of course, that it's "okay" to smoke, because it's a horrible, nasty, unhealthy habit ~~ it's just like you said though... it's a wonder that not EVERYONE ends up with it.

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