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Lung cancer is not just one disease but rather a group of diseases All forms of cancercause cells in the body to change and grow out of control Most types of cancer cells forma lump or mass called a tumor Cells from the tumor can break away and travel to otherparts of the body where they can continue to grow This spreading process is calledmetastasis When cancer spreads it is still named after the part of the body where itstarted For example if breast cancer spreads to the lungs it is still breast cancer not lungcancer Another word for cancerous is malignant so a cancerous tumor is referred to asmalignant But not all tumors are cancer A tumor that is not cancer is called benignBenign tumors do not grow and spread the way cancer does They are usually not a threatto life A few cancers such as blood cancers leukemia do not form a tumor Mostcancers are named after the part of the body where the cancer first starts Lung cancerbegins in the lungs The lungs are two sponge-like organs in the chest The right lung hasthree sections called lobes The left lung has two lobes It is smaller because the hearttakes up more room on that side of the body The lungs bring air in and out of the bodytaking in oxygen and getting rid of carbon dioxide gas a waste product The lining aroundthe lungs called the pleura helps to protect the lungs and allows them to move duringbreathing The windpipe trachea brings air down into the lungs It divides into tubescalled bronchi which divide into smaller branches called bronchioles At the end of thesesmall branches are tiny air sacs known as alveoli Most lung cancers start in the lining ofthe bronchi but they can also begin in other areas such as the trachea bronchioles oralveoli Lung cancer often takes many years to develop Once the lung cancer occurscancer cells can break away
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