History of Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is now one of the most widespread diseases in human history, but it has not always been that way. The history of lung cancer seemingly follows the history of cigarette smoking, which makes sense seeing that smoking is the number one cause of lung cancer in the world. Looking over the history of lung cancer may allow people to get a better understanding of why this problem is so prevalent nowadays and what can be done to correct it. Here is a brief overview of what has sparked the spread of this disease.

Early Years in Lung Cancer History

Before the production of cigarettes, lung cancer was not a common occurrence at all. In fact, it was not until 1761 when lung cancer was finally recognized as a disease. From that time until 1810, scientists aimed to discover more information about this disease and various aspects about it. Reports from 1878 showed that only 1% of all malignant cancer autopsies were from the lung. That number rose to close to 15% by the time the 1900s came around.

By the year 1912, there had only been 374 case reports of lung cancer on record. However, the time until then did show substantial growth in lung cancer numbers. In 1852, only 0.3% of the population had lung cancer. Then by 1952, the numbers had gone as high as 5.66%. This growth has continued until now.

Smoking and Lung Cancer

It was not until 1929 that a physician finally noticed that smoking may be a prominent factor in the development of lung cancer. His name was Fritz Lickint, and it was his discovery that first sparked public awareness about the dangers of smoking. From there, a worldwide antismoking campaign went into effect, attempting to get the population to realize that the dangers were real and they were not going to go away.

In the 1950s, a report in the British Doctors Study showed that there was a link between lung cancer and smoking by studying patterns in society. This was the first study of its kind, and it sealed the idea that smoking was in fact a big determining factor in a person’s health and safety. The Surgeon General of the US finally made the recommendation that people should stop smoking to improve their health.

Radon and Lung Cancer

Radon exposure is a common cause of cancer, and it was linked to it in the 1870s. At that time, scientists looked over data from the mines in Ore Mountains, which are near Schneeberg, Saxony. This area has a high content of radon in the tunnels because the area has been mined since the 1470s. In the 1870s, researchers finally discovered that 75% of the miners from that area had died from lung cancer. Unfortunately, this discovery did not shut down mining in the area until the 1950s because the USSR had a high demand for uranium at the time, an element that was also located in the tunnels.

Lung Cancer Treatments

In 1933, doctors completed the first successful pneumonectomy, which is the surgical removal of an entire lung from the body. This surgery is not used for serious cases of lung cancer where the disease is spread throughout the lung. Up until that time, palliative radiation had been the only source of treatment for lung cancer. In the 1950s, scientists introduced radical radiotherapy, which was often used to reduce the size of cancer cells in the body. This was mainly employed in patients who could not go through surgery but were still in need of relief for early lung cancer.

Chemotherapy for small cell lung cancer came about in the 1970s, after several attempts at using surgery and radical radiotherapy were unsuccessful. Scientists made an improvement to traditional radical radiotherapy in 1997 with the creation of continuous hyperfractionated accelerated radiotherapy, now known as CHART. Even today, scientists are working on potential developments to improve lung cancer and help cancer patients survive.

Modern Day Cancer Detection

The history of lung cancer has led to incredible developments in the way cancer is diagnosed and treated. A modern day lung cancer patient has a much higher chance of survival than one would have a century ago, and improvements come along every year to make those rates even better. Early cancer screenings and improved lung cancer risk awareness has allowed for the growing number of cancer patients in the world to be treated properly for the problems they have. Suffering does not look the same anymore.

A cancer diagnosis usually starts with a screening of some sort, where a doctor will look at a digital image of a patient’s chest to see if there are any potential tumors around the lungs. The images can come from chest X-rays, MRIs, PET scans, CT scans, or a similar medical procedure. These are simply used to detect the possibility of cancer in the body. They cannot decipher good cells from bad cells, and they cannot determine for sure that a tumor is present. The images act as a guide for further examination.

With the possibility of cancer in place, a doctor will gather a sample of the tumor tissues to test for cancer. He or she can then look over the cells under a microscope to determine if they are cancerous so not. At that time, the doctor will also be able to see what kind of cancer cells are present, and further testing will help the doctor see what stage of cancer the patient is in. The earlier this happens, the sooner can go about the treatment he or she needs for lung cancer.

Smoking may have grown into a huge problem over the years, but there are many anti-smoking campaigns now that warn people about the dangers of cigarettes. The number of lung cancer victims still grows every year, but additional awareness information may help to improve those numbers for the future. Only time will tell what impact the history of lung cancer plays on the future of it.

History of Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is now one of the most widespread diseases in human history, but it has not always been that way. The history of lung cancer seemingly follows the history of cigarette smoking, which makes sense seeing that smoking is the number one cause of lung cancer in the world. Looking over the history of lung cancer may allow people to get a better understanding of why this problem is so prevalent nowadays and what can be done to correct it. Here is a brief overview of what has sparked the spread of this disease.

Early Years in Lung Cancer History

Before the production of cigarettes, lung cancer was not a common occurrence at all. In fact, it was not until 1761 when lung cancer was finally recognized as a disease. From that time until 1810, scientists aimed to discover more information about this disease and various aspects about it. Reports from 1878 showed that only 1% of all malignant cancer autopsies were from the lung. That number rose to close to 15% by the time the 1900s came around.

By the year 1912, there had only been 374 case reports of lung cancer on record. However, the time until then did show substantial growth in lung cancer numbers. In 1852, only 0.3% of the population had lung cancer. Then by 1952, the numbers had gone as high as 5.66%. This growth has continued until now.

Smoking and Lung Cancer

It was not until 1929 that a physician finally noticed that smoking may be a prominent factor in the development of lung cancer. His name was Fritz Lickint, and it was his discovery that first sparked public awareness about the dangers of smoking. From there, a worldwide antismoking campaign went into effect, attempting to get the population to realize that the dangers were real and they were not going to go away.

In the 1950s, a report in the British Doctors Study showed that there was a link between lung cancer and smoking by studying patterns in society. This was the first study of its kind, and it sealed the idea that smoking was in fact a big determining factor in a person’s health and safety. The Surgeon General of the US finally made the recommendation that people should stop smoking to improve their health.

Radon and Lung Cancer

Radon exposure is a common cause of cancer, and it was linked to it in the 1870s. At that time, scientists looked over data from the mines in Ore Mountains, which are near Schneeberg, Saxony. This area has a high content of radon in the tunnels because the area has been mined since the 1470s. In the 1870s, researchers finally discovered that 75% of the miners from that area had died from lung cancer. Unfortunately, this discovery did not shut down mining in the area until the 1950s because the USSR had a high demand for uranium at the time, an element that was also located in the tunnels.

Lung Cancer Treatments

In 1933, doctors completed the first successful pneumonectomy, which is the surgical removal of an entire lung from the body. This surgery is not used for serious cases of lung cancer where the disease is spread throughout the lung. Up until that time, palliative radiation had been the only source of treatment for lung cancer. In the 1950s, scientists introduced radical radiotherapy, which was often used to reduce the size of cancer cells in the body. This was mainly employed in patients who could not go through surgery but were still in need of relief for early lung cancer.

Chemotherapy for small cell lung cancer came about in the 1970s, after several attempts at using surgery and radical radiotherapy were unsuccessful. Scientists made an improvement to traditional radical radiotherapy in 1997 with the creation of continuous hyperfractionated accelerated radiotherapy, now known as CHART. Even today, scientists are working on potential developments to improve lung cancer and help cancer patients survive.

Modern Day Cancer Detection

The history of lung cancer has led to incredible developments in the way cancer is diagnosed and treated. A modern day lung cancer patient has a much higher chance of survival than one would have a century ago, and improvements come along every year to make those rates even better. Early cancer screenings and improved lung cancer risk awareness has allowed for the growing number of cancer patients in the world to be treated properly for the problems they have. Suffering does not look the same anymore.

A cancer diagnosis usually starts with a screening of some sort, where a doctor will look at a digital image of a patient’s chest to see if there are any potential tumors around the lungs. The images can come from chest X-rays, MRIs, PET scans, CT scans, or a similar medical procedure. These are simply used to detect the possibility of cancer in the body. They cannot decipher good cells from bad cells, and they cannot determine for sure that a tumor is present. The images act as a guide for further examination.

With the possibility of cancer in place, a doctor will gather a sample of the tumor tissues to test for cancer. He or she can then look over the cells under a microscope to determine if they are cancerous so not. At that time, the doctor will also be able to see what kind of cancer cells are present, and further testing will help the doctor see what stage of cancer the patient is in. The earlier this happens, the sooner can go about the treatment he or she needs for lung cancer.

Smoking may have grown into a huge problem over the years, but there are many anti-smoking campaigns now that warn people about the dangers of cigarettes. The number of lung cancer victims still grows every year, but additional awareness information may help to improve those numbers for the future. Only time will tell what impact the history of lung cancer plays on the future of it.

References:

Oxford Journals
PubMed Health

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