Oncology & Cancer

New drug limits cancer spreading

A research team that recently invented a drug to stop blood vessels from forming a treatment resistant barrier around some cancers has now discovered the drug can be used to prevent the cancer from spreading.

Oncology & Cancer

Changing cancer care, one organoid at a time

A patient-specific tumor organoid platform developed by Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM) researchers and their cancer center colleagues could someday take the guessing game out of immunotherapy treatments. ...

Radiology & Imaging

Look what's inside: Full-body movies from EXPLORER scanner

Positron Emission Tomography, or PET scanning, a technique for tracing metabolic processes in the body, has been widely applied in clinical diagnosis and research spanning physiology, biochemistry and pharmacology. Now researchers ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Obesity, heart disease, and diabetes may be communicable

Non-communicable diseases including heart disease, cancer and lung disease are now the most common causes of death, accounting for 70 percent of deaths worldwide. These diseases are considered "non-communicable" because they ...

Health

Why you need more vitamin D in the winter

Winter is upon us and so is the risk of vitamin D deficiency and infections. Vitamin D, which is made in our skin following sunlight exposure and also found in oily fish (mackerel, tuna and sardines), mushrooms and fortified ...

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Lung cancer is a disease characterized by uncontrolled cell growth in tissues of the lung. If left untreated, this growth can spread beyond the lung in a process called metastasis into nearby tissue and, eventually, into other parts of the body. Most cancers that start in lung, known as primary lung cancers, are carcinomas that derive from epithelial cells. Worldwide, lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer-related death in men and women, and is responsible for 1.3 million deaths annually, as of 2004. The most common symptoms are shortness of breath, coughing (including coughing up blood), and weight loss.

The main types of lung cancer are small-cell lung cancer (SCLC), also called oat cell cancer, and non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The most common cause of lung cancer is long-term exposure to tobacco smoke. Nonsmokers account for 15% of lung cancer cases, and these cases are often attributed to a combination of genetic factors, radon gas, asbestos, and air pollution including secondhand smoke.

Lung cancer may be seen on chest radiograph and computed tomography (CT scan). The diagnosis is confirmed with a biopsy. This is usually performed by bronchoscopy or CT-guided biopsy. Treatment and prognosis depend on the histological type of cancer, the stage (degree of spread), and the patient's general wellbeing, measured by performance status. Common treatments include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy. NSCLC is sometimes treated with surgery, whereas SCLC usually responds better to chemotherapy and radiation therapy. This is partly because SCLC often spreads quite early, and these treatments are generally better at getting to cancer cells that have spread to other parts of the body.

Survival depends on stage, overall health, and other factors, but overall 14% of people in the United States diagnosed with lung cancer survive five years after the diagnosis.

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