Free radicals can damage the basic structure of cells and thus lead to chronic disease like cancer. (Wellness Guide to dietary supplements, Beta Carotene, http://www.berkeleywellness.com/html/ds/dsBetaCarotene.php)(Ellen Brown, and FDA Consumer, Waging War on Lung Cancer, Volume: 33. Issue: 3, May 1999, Page Number: 7)
The constant assault of cigarette smoke wears away cilia, the tiny hair like structures that line the lungs' air passages and sweep out foreign material trapped inside by mucus. Without this cleaning mechanism, the lungs are particularly vulnerable to compounds brought into air passages. Most lung cancers crop up in the cells that are directly exposed to inhaled air. People who smoke or who live with a smoker breathe air that may harbor more than 50 cancer -fostering chemicals, including benzopyrene and formaldehyde, as well as a radioactive compound called polonium-2 I 0. One researcher, in the September 1993 edition of the journal Pediatrics, estimates that the lungs of a person who smokes a pack of cigarettes a day, are exposed to as much radiation a year as they would absorb from 250 chest x-rays. (Prevention Best Treating Lung Cancer, Margie Patlak, FDA Consumer. Volume: 29. Issue: 5, June 1995. Page Number: 24)
Th The risk of developing lung cancer increases with the number of cigarettes smoked and the number of years of smoking. People who smoke filtered low-tar cigarettes may have a somewhat lower lung cancer risk than those who smoke regular cigarettes.
Cigar and pipe smoking can also boost the risk of developing lung cancer, but because people usually inhale less smoke with this type of tobacco use. The tobacco smoke nonsmokers breathe, also called secondhand smoke, has been classified by the Environmental Protection Agency as one of the most dangerous environmental contaminants.
Exposure at high levels to certain compounds like asbestos, nickel, chromium, coal gas, mustard gas, arsenic, vinyl chloride, beryllium, hydrocarbons, ionizing radiation, and the radon byproducts of uranium mining can also cause lung cancer. Some people often feel they are genetically protected from lung cancer as recent studies aimed at the lung cancer are consistent with the molecular and cellular levels, now suggests that early exposure enhances DNA damage and is associated with the induction of DNA alterations in specific chromosomal regions.
Prevention of Lung Cancer
The treatment plan for lung cancer patients depends on the size, location and type of lung cancer as well as the patient's general health. The three main weapons doctors can wield against lung cancer are surgery, radiation directed at the chest, and chemotherapy with anti- cancer drugs. (PDQ Cancer Information, http://www.acor.org/cnet/62825.html)
Surgery involves removing part or the entire lung, depending on the extent of the tumor. Patients recovering from surgery usually need to use an artificial respirator to help them breathe for a few days. Patients with lung conditions that impair breathing, such as emphysema, may not tolerate lung cancer surgery.
Radiation therapy is usually given five days a