Essay about Lung Cancer Research

1879 Words Nov 4th, 2013 8 Pages
“Lung cancer continues to be the leading cause of death in both men and women in the US, with over 158,900 deaths in 1999. Worldwide, lung cancer kills over 1 million people a year. Extensive prospective epidemiologic data clearly establish cigarette smoking as the major cause of lung cancer. It is estimated that about 90% of male lung cancer deaths and 75–80% of lung cancer deaths in the US are caused by smoking each year” (Hecht, 1999). Clearly, lung cancer is an important and widespread disease that constitutes a major public health problem. This was not always so. Some 150 years ago, it was an extremely rare disease. In 1878, malignant lung tumors represented only 1% of all cancers seen at autopsy in the Institute of Pathology of the …show more content…
In the 1950s Doll and Hill in England and Cuyler Hammond and Ernest Wynder in the U.S. provided further evidence for a causal association between smoking and lung cancer. Yet, it took a long time until the truth was fully accepted. Smokers, including many physicians, who enjoyed cigarettes could or would not want to imagine or refused to believe that the habit (addiction would be more appropriate) was detrimental to their health. In this context it is interesting to note that 2 personalities who helped like few others to make us aware that chemicals in the environment could cause cancer, strangely failed to grasp the impact of smoking. Wilhelm C. Hueper started out as a physician in industry. By repeatedly and doggedly pointing out possible links between exposure to chemicals in manufacturing processes and the increased incidence of cancer in workers he became unpopular with management, to the extent that on some occasions he was barred from presenting or discussing his findings and conclusions. And yet he maintained that smoking was not a factor in the etiology of lung cancer in humans. Rachel Carson, who in her Silent Spring warned of impending disaster of cancer caused by environmental chemicals never mentions tobacco smoke. Since then, tobacco smoke has become not only the most important carcinogen in our environment, but probably also the only one where we could accomplish—and in many places actually already have

More about Essay about Lung Cancer Research

Open Document