Cancerous Lungs

Ugly, Isn't it?

This is a larger squamous cell carcinoma in which a
portion of the tumor demonstrates central cavitation,
probably because the tumor outgrew its blood
supply. Squamous cell carcinomas are one of the more
common primary malignancies of lung and are most often
seen in smokers.

The most horrible fact in the history of Lung Cancer, is that it was very, very rare before the invention of cigarettes.

If one goes into a medical library and pages through old medical texts from the nineteenth century, one finds almost no reference to Lung Cancer. If one searches through the medical literature up to the year 1900, there are only references to a total of 100 cases of Lung Cancer. Even as late as 1912, only 374 cases could be found . 100 years worth of autopsies in Dresden, Germany, were reviewed, and found that the incidence of Lung Cancer had gone from 0.3% in 1852 to 5.66% in 1952.

In the Nineteenth Century, tobacco was smoked by gentlemen only in the form of cigars . Cigarettes, which were basically the sweepings off the floor of the cigar factory, were only smoked by the very poor.

As machines to mass produce cigarettes came into affect, in the 1880s, smoking cigarettes became more common, but the number of cigarettes smoked was still, relatively small. During World War I, tobacco companies gave away free cigarettes to millions of soldiers, and it was only after the war that large numbers of Americans smoked cigarettes.

Since there is a time lag of approximately 20 to 30 years between the onset of smoking and the development of Lung Cancer, the damage done was not immediately apparent. Doctors were surprised to see a sudden epidemic of Lung Cancer cases in the 1930s. They quickly discovered the association between smoking and Lung Cancer. Large statistical studies in England and the United States in the 1950s, conclusively proved beyond any shadow of a doubt, that cigarette smoking markedly increased the chances of developing Lung Cancer.

By the 1970s, Lung Cancer had gone from one of the rarest of cancers, to the number one killer cancer, in the Western world.

Women did not smoke in the early twentieth century U.S.A.. They were therefore, targeted by an intense marketing campaign in the 1930s, featuring elegant women in evening dresses smoking Lucky Strikes in cigarette holders. Later they were the target of Virginia Slims. In the early 1970s, Lung Cancer in women was still unusual, but by 1985, Lung Cancer had became the number one cause of cancer death in women.

The 1990s are the era of discovery, as defectors from the tobacco industry provide an inside view of the treacherous behavior of the tobacco industry, and our elected officials. Hopefully, the 1990s will end as the era of tobacco CONTROL.

A normal, healthy set of lungs, below top, that is nice, red and pink. On the bottom, are lungs from a heavy smoker. Notice how black the lungs are, except where the cancerous tumors have formed.

A normal, healthy lung, with heart in place.

A smokers lung

Small Cell Lung

Arising centrally in this lung and spreading extensively is a small cell anaplastic (oat cell) carcinoma. The cut surface of this tumor has a soft, lobulated, white to tan appearance. The tumor seen here has caused obstruction of the main bronchus to left lung so that the distal lung is collapsed. Oat cell carcinomas are very aggressive and often metastasize widely before the primary tumor mass in the lung reaches a large size.

Another Small Cell Lung

Here is an oat cell carcinoma which is spreading along the bronchi. The speckled black rounded areas represent hilar lymph nodes with metastatic carcinoma. These neoplasms are more amenable to chemotherapy than radiation therapy or surgery, but the prognosis is still poor. Oat cell carcinomas occur almost exclusively in smokers.

Normal Lung

The chest and abdominal cavities are opened here at autopsy. The lungs in the chest have a normal pink aerated appearance with minimal anthracotic pigmentation, because this 80 year old male never smoked and never allowed smoking in his workplace. The mediastinum contains mostly fat. The pericardial sac around the heart has not been opened.The diaphragmatic domes extend upward to the level of the 6th ribs.

This is a picture of a cancer cell being attaked by your immune system attacking the cancer cell. Notice the tenticles of the cancer cell. If you can get your immune system strong enough to attack the cancer, you can see what happens to the cancer in the picture below.

Notice how the cancer is completely flattened and totally destroyed. Mission complete for this one horrible invading cell.
During the killing process, granules in a T-Cell, fuse with the Cell Membrane and release units of the protein PERFORIN. These combine to form pores in the target Cell Membrane. Thereafter fluid and salts enter so that the target cell eventually bursts.

Cancerous Lung 2

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