Lung Cancer Research Lung cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the lung. Normal lung tissue is made up of cells that are programmed by genes to create lung tissue in a certain shape and to perform certain functions. Lung cancer develops when the genetic material responsible for production of lung cells is damaged (genetic mutations). Repeated exposure to carcinogens such as tobacco smoke may cause damage in lung cells. While tobacco, is the leading cause of lung cancer, some other carcinogens linked to lung cancer include radon and asbestos. These mutations in the genetic material of the lung cells cause the instructions for those cells to go askew. Consequently, those cells and their offspring reproduce wildly, without regard for the normal shape and function of a lung. That wild reproduction causes the formation of tumors that block air passages in the lung and make it stop functioning as it should.
Lung cancer is usually divided into two major types. The first type is small cell lung cancer (SCLC). The second type is non-small cell lung cancer NSCLC. Sometimes a lung cancer may have characteristics of both types. This is called mixed small cell/large cell carcinoma. About 20% of all lung cancers are is small cell lung cancer (SCLC). It is named for the size of the cancer cells. Although each of the cells is small, they can multiply quickly and form large tumors, and can spread to lymph nodes and other organs such as the bones, brain, adrenal glands, and liver. This type of cancer often starts in the bronchi and toward the center of the lungs. Smoking almost always causes small cell lung cancer. It is very rare for someone who has never smoked to have small cell lung cancer. Other names for SCLC are oat cell carcinoma... More: lung cancer research paper