Lung and Esophageal Cancer

Lung cancer is common and becoming more so, especially among women. Lung cancer is the leading cause of death from cancer in the United States. Worldwide, its incidence is increasing at a rate of half a percent each year—a rapid growth rate for a disease. Lung cancer has the tendency to spread (metastasize) early in the course of the disease. Therefore, it is a life-threatening form of cancer and one of the most difficult to treat.

Esophageal cancer occurs in about 11,000 Americans per year. This accounts for less than 1 percent of all cancers. However, the incidence of esophageal cancer is increasing. Cancer can develop in any part of the esophagus. It can spread to surrounding lymph nodes, the windpipe, the large blood vessels in the chest, and other nearby organs. Treatment for esophageal cancer depends on a number of factors, including its exact location, size, extent and type of cancer cells. It's also important to consider age and general health to develop a treatment plan to fit each patient's needs.

Malignant mesothelioma is an uncommon form of cancer that can occur in several areas of the body, but most commonly in the chest. The name is derived from the fact that this cancer originates in body tissue known as the mesothelium, a layer of cells that lines and protects many internal organs, primarily within the chest and abdominal cavities. Occurrence of mesothelioma is closely linked to environmental or occupational exposure to asbestos. Difficult to diagnose, mesothelioma is frequently discovered after many years of growth.
For more information on lung and esophageal cancer, visit University of Minnesota Cancer Care