Lungs

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lungs

What are the lung?

The lungs are the primary organs of the respiratory system in humans. Their function in the respiratory system is to extract oxygen from the atmosphere and transfer it into the bloodstream, and to release carbon dioxide from the bloodstream into the atmosphere, in a process of gas exchange.

Air travels from the trachea, the bronchi, bronchioles, alveolar ducts and alveoli (site of gas exchange).

Each lung is enclosed within a pleural sac which allows the inner and outer walls to slide over each other whilst breathing takes place, without much friction. This sac also divides each lung into sections called lobes. The right lung has three lobes and the left has two.

What is lung cancer?

Lung cancer is a malignant tumour characterized by uncontrolled cell growth which can spread beyond the lung. The two main types are small-cell lung carcinoma (SCLC) and non-small-cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC).

Lung cancer may be seen on chest radiographs and computed tomography (CT) scans. The diagnosis is confirmed by biopsy which is usually performed by bronchoscopy or CT-guidance.

Common treatments include surgerychemotherapy, and radiotherapy. NSCLC is sometimes treated with surgery, whereas SCLC usually responds better to chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Who might experience it?

Worldwide, lung cancer is the most common cancer among men in terms of both incidence and mortality, and among women has the third highest incidence, and is second after breast cancer in mortality. Risk factors include:

References

Adapted from Wikipedia

For more information please visit the CRUK website

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