6.4 - C - Cancer & Emphysema
Normally, tumors in the lung are not discovered until they are already large, which results in a lung cancer having a high mortality rate. If discovered early, though, the mass can be surgically removed followed by treatment with radiotherapy or chemotherapy.
Emphysema occurs when alveoli in the lungs are replaced by fewer larger sacs that have thicker walls. Consequences of this are:
These factors negatively affect the effectiveness of gas exchange. The lungs also become less elastic, which makes ventilation more difficult. The molecular cause of emphysema are not fully understood, however evidence points towards the following cause: