What is Lung Cancer and What Causes It? (Definition)

Lung cancer is a form of cancer which begins in the lungs. There are 2 primary classifications of lung cancer. Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and small cell lung cancer (SCLC). Non-small cell lung cancer is the most common type of lung cancer and contributes to 80-85% of all cases. NSCLC does not grow or spread as fast as small cell lung cancer, which can rapidly spread to other parts of the body. The most common forms of non-small cell lung cancer include adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and large cell carcinoma. A third type which represents fewer than 5% of lung cancers are called lung carcinoid tumors. They are also sometimes called lung neuroendocrine tumors. Most of these tumors grow slowly and rarely spread.

According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer is the second most common cancer in both men and women, accounting for about 13% of all new cancers. The average age at time of diagnosis is 70 years old (primarily a disease affecting the elderly).

Lung cancer is serious business and is largely attributed to smoking. The American Lung Association reports on their website that active smoking is responsible for close to 90% of lung cancer cases (estimated). According to the American Lung Association and based on a report from the U.S. Surgeon General, “Smoking, a main cause of small cell and non-small cell lung cancer, contributes to 80 percent and 90 percent of lung cancer deaths in women and men, respectively. Men who smoke are 23 times more likely to develop lung cancer. Women are 13 times more likely, compared to never smokers.” Stopping smoking at any age may lower the risk of lung cancer.

Lung Cancer Symptoms

Lung cancer will often have no symptoms until it has spread. As lung cancer stages advance, lung cancer symptoms include coughing (that does not go away), coughing up blood or rust-colored phlegm, wheezing, hoarseness, shortness of breath, lung infections such as pneumonia or bronchitis that keep returning or don’t go away, chest pain that worsens with coughing or deep breathing, fatigue, and bloody mucus. If lung cancer has spread to different organs, new symptoms will present themselves.

Treatment includes surgery, chemotherapy, and/or radiation.

See below for updated news and information regarding Lung Cancer including new medical research, treatment options and advancements. 

Latest Lung Cancer News Articles

Lung Cancer Treatment News: Study suggests best order of treatment for brain metastases in EGFR lung cancer

(SOURCE: UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO ANSCHUTZ MEDICAL CAMPUS) - About 10 percent of lung cancers in the United States and as many as 40 percent in Asia are driven by mutations in the EGFR gene. EGFR targeted treatment advances over the previous decade now result in multiple options for controlling the disease in the body, but due to the reduced ability of many ...
Read More

Lung Cancer Research News: Mayo researchers identify mechanism of oncogene action in lung cancer

(SOURCE: MAYO CLINIC) - Researchers at Mayo Clinic have identified a genetic promoter of cancer that drives a major form of lung cancer. In a new paper published this week in Cancer Cell, Mayo Clinic researchers provide genetic evidence that Ect2 drives lung adenocarcinoma tumor formation. “This paper demonstrates, for the first time, that Ect2 is required for tumor formation in vivo and identifies ...
Read More

Lung Cancer Research News: Advanced Stage NSCLC Patients Receiving Treatment Have Better OS than Untreated Patients

(SOURCE: INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR THE STUDY OF LUNG CANCER) - Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with advanced disease receiving standard of care treatment have a higher overall survival (OS) than similar patients not receiving treatment. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide, causing more deaths than breast, colon, and prostate cancers combined. NSCLC is the most common type ...
Read More

Lung Cancer Research: Blood test could provide cheaper, better way for doctors to manage lung cancer

(SOURCE: STANFORD UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER) - A technique developed at Stanford for detecting the genetic profiles of tumor cells sifted from the bloodstream could offer a valuable tool for the clinic and the lab. Profiling the genes of lung-tumor cells from patient blood samples may be a cheap, noninvasive way to help doctors choose the right treatments, according to a study ...
Read More

Lung Cancer Treatment News: New application of existing drug offers personalized therapy for lung cancer

(SOURCE: CEMM RESEARCH CENTER FOR MOLECULAR MEDICINE OF THE AUSTRIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES) - A subset of lung tumors is exquisitely sensitive to a class of recently approved anti-cancer drugs. Researchers at the CeMM Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna and the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in Oxford published this finding in the journal ...
Read More

Lung Cancer Treatment News: Blood test could predict best treatment for lung cancer

(SOURCE: UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER)  A blood test could predict how well small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) patients will respond to treatment, according to new research published in Nature Medicine. Scientists, based at the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute at The University of Manchester, isolated tumour cells that had broken away from the main cancer - known as circulating tumour cells (CTCs) - from ...
Read More

Lung Cancer Treatment News: New Research Shows How Lung Cancer May Spread

(UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS M. D. ANDERSON CANCER CENTER) According to a recent press release, a cellular component known as the Golgi apparatus may play a role in how lung cancer metastasizes, according to researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center whose findings were reported in the Nov. 21 online issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation ...
Read More

Cancer News: Researchers Discover Method to Block Certain Cancer Genetic Mutations

(UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT CHICAGO) According to a recent press release, researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have identified a new way to block the action of genetic mutations found in nearly 30 percent of all cancers ...
Read More

Lung Cancer News: Study Finds Experimental Evidence that High BCX Foods May Help Lower Lung Cancer Risk

(TUFTS UNIVERSITY, HEALTH SCIENCES CAMPUS) According to a recent press release, beta-cryptoxanthin (BCX), a carotenoid pigment compound found primarily in plants, reduces the number and invasiveness of tumors in mouse and cell models of lung cancer, report scientists from the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University (USDA HNRCA). The findings were published in the ...
Read More

Synthesized Antibody Triggers Immune System to Attack Lung Cancer Tumor Cells

(Medical Daily) According to an article recently published in Medical Daily, researchers presented results from their phase three clinical trial at the European Society for Medical Oncology congress. Using an experimental synthesized antibody treatment that triggers the immune system into attacking tumor cells, proved to be a clear winner over conventional chemotherapy for patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) ...
Read More