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Lung Cancer

August 5, 2015

Lung cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the lung.

The lungs are a pair of cone-shaped breathing organs inside the chest. The lungs bring oxygen into the body when breathing in and send carbon dioxide out of the body when breathing out. Each lung has sections called lobes. The left lung has two lobes. The right lung, which is slightly larger, has three. A thin membrane called the pleura surrounds the lungs. Two tubes called bronchi lead from the trachea (windpipe) to the right and left lungs. The bronchi are sometimes involved in lung cancer. Small tubes called bronchioles and tiny air sacs called alveoli make up the inside of the lungs.

There are two types of lung cancer: small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer.

Risk factors for lung cancer include the following:
* Smoking cigarettes, cigars, or pipes now or in the past.
* Being exposed to second-hand smoke.
* Being exposed to asbestos or radon.

One test that is commonly used to screen for lung cancer is:

Chest x-ray

A chest x-ray is an x-ray of the organs and bones inside the chest. An x-ray is a type of energy beam that can go through the body and onto film, making a picture of areas inside the body.

Other tests are being studied in clinical trials such as the:

Sputum cytology

Sputum cytology is a procedure in which a sample of sputum (mucus that is brought up from the lungs by coughing) is viewed under a microscope to check for cancer cells.

Spiral CT scan

Spiral CT scan is a procedure that makes a series of very detailed pictures of areas inside the body using an x-ray machine that scans the body in a spiral path. The pictures are made by a computer linked to the x-ray machine. This procedure is also called a helical CT scan.

These tests can all be done at Belize Medical Associates, 5791 St. Thomas Street, Belize City, Belize C.A. Tel#: 223-0302/03/04