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CANCER INFORMATION

Non Small Cell Lung Cancer

Non small cell lung cancer is when cancerous cells form in the tissue of the lungs. Our lungs are cone like organs that help transport oxygen into the body as we breathe. Without lungs, we would not survive. Our lungs are a complex organ made up of all different parts and vessels. Each part must work together and be clean in order for the lungs to operate efficiently and correctly. Non small cell lung cancer is one of two main forms of the disease. The other form is called small cell lung cancer. In non small cell lung cancer, each type of cancerous cell is different. The squamous cell carcinoma cells are thin and flat. They resemble the look of fish scales and can sometimes also be called epidermoid carcinoma. The next type of cell is called large cell carcinoma. The name means exactly what it says: these cells are much larger cancerous cells. The third most common cancerous cell found in non small cell lung cancer is the adenocarcinoma. These cancerous cells form in the lining or aveoli of the lungs and create mucus. These can be very dangerous because they embed themselves in the mucus, which then can just sit in the lung lining for a long time, causing the cells to mutate and spread. There are a few other cells known to qualify as non small cell lung cancer, but they are much more rare than the others. In non small cell lung cancer, symptoms are not often noticeable until the later stages of the disease. This can be dangerous and can often cause a high fatality rate, since the problem is not diagnosed until the cancer has spread.

A basic physical exam should be the first step in determining whether or not you have non small cell lung cancer. Your doctor will most likely ask you basic questions about your lifestyle such as if you smoke or not. In addition, your blood pressure will be measured and you will be weighed, and the doctor will ask you if you have been experiencing any unusual symptoms. The usual logical next step is to have a chest x-ray taken. A chest x-ray can help the doctor see inside your lungs and look for any unusual masses or tumor growths. Sometimes, a CT or PET scan will need to be done in order to get a clearer view. These tests are much more effective in finding cancer because they use the latest technology and provide doctors with a much clearer picture inside the body. Blood and urine samples will also be taken, and sometimes the doctor may even recommend a biopsy based on what has been found in the previous tests. If you are ever in doubt about your test results, always get a second opinion from another doctor to be certain. Non small cell lung cancer, or any form of lung cancer for that matter should never go untreated and should be diagnosed as early as humanly possible.

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