Lung cancer

The most common form of cancer in the UK. Tobacco- smoking is the main cause. Passive smoking (the inhalation of tobacco smoke by nonsmokers) and environmental pollution (for example, with radioactive minerals or asbestos) are also risk factors. The first and most common symptom is a cough. Other symptoms include coughing up blood, shortness of breath, and chest pain. Lung cancer can spread to other parts of the body, especially the liver, brain, and bones. In most cases, the cancer is revealed in a chest X-ray. To confirm the diagnosis, tissue must be examined microscopically for the presence of cancerous cells (see cytology). If lung cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, pneumonectomy (removal of the lung) or lobectomy (removal of part of the lung) may be possible. Anticancer drugs and radiotherapy may also be used.


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