NCCN Guidelines for Patients
: Lung Cancer Screening
Part 1: About lung cancer
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Why get screen d?
The lungs are organs of the body that are vital to life.
They move important gases in and out of the blood. See
Figure 1. Lung cancer is a disease of the cells that make
up the lungs. Normal cells make new cells when needed,
die when old or damaged, and stay in place. Cancer cells
don’t do this. They have uncontrolled cell growth and
invade other tissue. Without treatment, cancer cells can
grow to be a large mass (tumor) and can spread to other
organs. Over time, cancer cells replace normal cells and
cause organs to stop working.
Lung cancer causes more deaths than any other cancer.
More people die from lung cancer than all the people
who die from colon, breast, or prostate cancer combined.
See Figure 2. Of all causes of death, lung cancer ranks
second behind heart disease. The high number of deaths
is due in part to lung cancer being found after it has
spread. Cancer screening can help find lung cancer
at an early stage when it can be cured.
Figure 1. The lungs
Illustration Copyright © 2013 Nucleus Medical
Media, All rights reserved.
Figure 2. Cancer deaths in the United States
Cancer Facts & Figures 2012