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Lung Cancer Research and Breakthrough

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Lung cancer is one of the major causes of concern for people all over the world. Maximum numbers of cancer cases are registered under lung cancer. The reason is addiction to cigarettes. Statistics reveal that about 70 to 80 percent of people develop lung cancer because of smoking cigars. The cancerous tumor that originates or develops in the lungs is called as primary lung cancer. The cancer that has spread to the lungs from other body parts is called as malignant lung cancer.

Bronchus are the two major air passages that further divide and become smaller in size to form bronchioles. Bronchioles have tiny sac like structure at its end where the exchange of gases takes place. This tiny sac like structure is called as alveoli. When a tumor is developed in the lung, it affects the flow of air passage leading to hoarseness and shortness of breath. Shortness of breath is one of the major symptoms of lung cancer and must not be ignored. The condition must be treated as early as possible.

Lung Cancer Research:

  • Diet, Medicines and Nutrition:

    Research is going on to check whether vitamins and minerals can play an important role in preventing lung cancer. Until now, no such results have been proved. However, consuming at least five servings of fresh fruits and vegetables per day and maintaining proper height-weight ratio can be beneficial in achieving overall good health. Enhancing your immune system will increase your resistive power and keep many diseases at bay.

  • Prevention:

    Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer deaths. It accounts for almost seven to eight deaths from lung cancer. Smoking not only increases the chances of developing lung cancer but also reduces the resistive power of the body by making it prone to illness. It also reduces the amount of vitamin C in the body. Hence, many new methods are being worked out to help people quit smoking. Awareness about the hazardous effects of smoking must be spread amongst the youth. Many rehabilitation centers for smoking addicts have been built to help them get rid of their habit.

  • Treatment:

    1. Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT):

      This therapy is new and is used when the tumor is very small and surgery cannot be considered as an option. Hence, this remedy can be used to treat cancer in its initial stage. In this therapy, high focused beams of powerful radiation are given on one or few days instead of giving low dosage radiation every day. This therapy is very effective and promising and does not show many severe side-effects. However, research is still going on and it is not fully in practice.

    2. Vaccines:

      Vaccines have been developed to treat lung cancer tumor. They boost the body's immune system and show very few side-effects. These vaccines are not yet used in by medical practitioners. However, they are available only during clinical trials.

    3. Target Therapies:

      Researchers are working towards developing new target therapies that kill lung cancer cells by understanding their multiplication pattern. This will save other surrounding normal cells from killing by the radiation.

Lung Cancer Breakthrough:

Two studies have shown dramatic effect in treating lung cancer. A new drug has been developed based on the genetic make-up. Since, cancer is caused due to changes in the function of genes such as oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes.

A new drug called as Crizotinib has been developed that blocks the abnormal gene called as ALK gene which promotes the growth of cancerous cells. Thus, this new drug can prove as a boon for treating and preventing cancer.

Thus, lung cancer research and breakthrough provides us a better understanding of the cancer and we get to know new methods and technologies that help prevent the development of the cancer and different ways to treat it.

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