A case study: LUNG CANCER:
Definition: Uncontrolled growth of tumours in the lungs
Causes: There is a obvious link between smoking and lung cancer. Tobacco smoke contains many carcinogens such as benzene
Effect: As the tumour grows, the air sacs in the lungs are destroyed and breathing becomes difficult. The lungs collapse and abscess and the patient may begin coughing up blood
- Mass production of cigarettes began in 1880 - free cigarettes were given to WWI soldiers
- In the 1930s there was a sudden lung cancer epidemic
- The first epidemiological studies which showed a relationship between smoking and lung cancer were in the 1950s, but they did not have conclusive results - they just showed a reduced live expectancy
- In 1964 the Surgeon's General Advisory Committee concluded that cigarette smoking was causally responsible for lung cancer.
- In the 1970s, as the numbers of female smokers began to increase, lung cancer became the number one cause of cancer death.
- Studies have shown a correlation between the number of cigarettes smoked each day and the risk of contracting lung cancer at an earlier stage
* Also, a gradual decrease in the numbers of people smoking in the past 20 years has been mirrored by a decrease in sufferers of lung cancer