Lung Cancer : The Common Type Of Cancer

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According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer is the most common type of cancer in the world and has a mortality rate higher than colon, prostate, ovarian, and breast cancers combined.1 There are 3 types of lung cancer including non-small cell lung cancer, small-cell lung cancer, and lung carcinoid tumor. Approximately 85% of lung cancer cases are non-small cell, which include subtypes of squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, and large cell carcinoma.2 Although less common, making up 10-15% of lung cancers, small-cell lung cancer is known for its rapid growth and spread.2 The types of lung cancer vary greatly in the prognosis and management of disease, as rate of growth, risk of metastasis, rate of recurrence, and treatment options are different with each.2 Physical therapy serves an integral role in the management of patients with lung cancer by providing interventions to optimize pulmonary and cardiovascular function.
Risk factors that increase the chances of developing lung cancer include smoking, exposure to secondhand smoke, exposure to radon gas, exposure to asbestos or other chemicals, and family history of lung cancer.1 Above all others, cigarette smoking is the most strongly correlated and preventable risk factor in lung cancer development.1,2 Approximately 80-90% of the deaths from lung cancer are the result of smoking, accounting for 90% of the lung cancer deaths in men and 80% of the deaths in women.1,2 Cancer cells are formed by DNA-mutating
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