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All About Lung Cancer

The Basics


Updated March 29, 2010

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

All About Lung Cancer
The diagnosis of lung cancer can be devastating. If it happens to you or a loved one, you'll want accurate information and answers to your questions in terms you can understand.

Use the resources below as a starting point in your research to understand what cancer is, how lung cancer symptoms present themselves, and how lung cancer is diagnosed and treated.

Lung Cancer Risk Factors

According to the American Cancer Society, 87 percent of all lung cancer cases involve tobacco. Cigarette smoking, cigar smoking and secondhand smoke can all contribute to both non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer.

Lung Cancer Symptoms

Early diagnosis of lung cancer can be difficult because symptoms don't often present themselves aggressively until the disease is in advanced stages.

Diagnosing Lung Cancer

A doctor will evaluate several factors when diagnosing lung cancer. A patient's smoking history, exposure to occupational hazards and family history will be taken into account.

Staging Lung Cancer

If cancer is present, the doctor will want to determine whether it has spread to other parts of the body, what is known as staging. Lung cancer often spreads to the brain or bones. Staging helps the doctor decide on a plan for treatment.The particulars of lung cancer stages from About.com Lung Cancer.

Treating Lung Cancer

Surgery may be chosen as the best course of treatment for non-small cell lung cancer, especially if the cancer is detected in its early stages and hasn't spread to other areas of the body.

Side Effects of Lung Cancer Treatments

Side effects from lung cancer treatments vary from person to person, and are often temporary. Doctors and nurses can explain possible side effects of a particular treatment plan, and ways to alleviate discomfort during and after treatment.
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