Born on January 26, 1925, Paul Newman is most remembered for his accomplished acting career. During his life Newman was also an entrepreneur, humanitarian and professional race car driver. He won countless awards including an Academy Award, three Golden Globe Awards and an Emmy Award. He also won several championships as a driver in sports car road racing and several championships in Indy Car racing. Newman was also a co-founder of Newman's Own, a successful food company in which Newman donated all its profits to charity. Paul Newtown died on September 26, 2008 from lung cancer.

Lung Cancer
Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Small Cell Lung Cancer

Lung Cancer is a tumor that forms in tissues of the lung, usually in the cells lining air passages. The two main types are small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. These types are diagnosed based on how the cells look under a microscope. Non-small cell cancers include squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, and large cell carcinoma. Adenocarcinoma, the most common type of lung cancer, is usually located on the outer surface of the lungs and can spread easily to the bloodstream and other organs. Squamous cell carcinoma may be found in the lining of the large bronchi of the lung. Large cell carcinoma usually occurs in the periphery of the lung. Small cell lung cancer usually develops in the central areas of the lung. It can spread aggressively and almost always occurs in current or former smokers.

Causes of Lung Cancer

Cigarette smoke is the primary risk factor for developing lung cancer. Radon exposure is the second-greatest risk, followed by many other toxins, including asbestos.

According to the American Lung Association (ALA) African-American males have 34 percent higher incidence rate of smoking-related lung cancer.

People with a mutated CYP2D6 gene have a lower risk of developing lung cancer even when exposed to cigarette smoke. The rest of the population is at a high risk from tobacco exposure.

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Cancerous Lung


The signs and symptoms of lung cancer are usually not noticed until the lung cancer has progressed into its latter stages. People may report fatigue and cough, even chills and fever. Symptoms can also include frequent coughing with blood-tinged sputum, shortness of breath and pain with breathing. Doctors may notice decreased breath sounds in an area of the lung if a tumor has developed, or hear wheezes when the patient breathes. Presence of a tumor will cause dullness in the chest when providers tap the lung over the tumor.

Lung Cancer Epidemiology

More people in the United States die from lung cancer than any other type of cancer. This is true for both men and women.

In 2007 (the most recent year numbers are available)—
· 203,536 people in the United States were diagnosed with lung cancer, including 109,643 men and 93,893 women.
· 158,683 people in the United States died from lung cancer, including 88,329 men and 70,354 women.

5-Year survival rates for 4 different cancers (USA)
(Source - The Lung Cancer Alliance)

Breast Cancer
1974-1976 - 75%
1996-2004 - 87%

Prostate Cancer
1974-1976 - 67%
1996-2004 - 99%

Colon Cancer
1974-1976 - 50%
1996-2004 - 64%

Lung Cancer
1974-1976 - 13%
1996-2004 - 15%
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Treatment options

Surgeons can perform lung cancer surgery with the help of a specialized surgical team. Non-small cell lung cancer that has not spread outside of the chest can usually be treated successfully with surgery by removing the tumor and some of surrounding healthy tissue.

Surgery for non-small cell lung cancer can be performed using several procedures:
· Mediastinoscopy — a procedure used to sample the lymph nodes along the main airway to determine how far the tumor has spread.
· Thoracoscopy — a procedure used to diagnose and treat lung cancer by accessing the chest through small incisions.
· Wedge resection — removing a small section of one lung.
· Segmentectomy — removing a segment of one lung.
· Lobectomy — removing an entire lobe of one lung.
· Sleeve resection — removing a part of the airway and reattaching the remaining ends to preserve lung tissue and avoid a larger resection.
· Pneumonectomy — removing a lung.

Radiation therapy
Radiation specialists can develop an individualized treatment plan for each patient based on cancer stage and the patient's overall health. Treatments are sometimes given in combination with surgery and chemotherapy. Stereotactic body radiotherapy is a treatment that focuses many beams of radiation on a tumor. It is very successful at destroying small tumors while reducing the injury to surrounding healthy tissue. This treatment is used for patients who have small tumors and who are qualified for surgery because of other health problems.

Chemotherapy is a form of drug treatment that can be given in the form of a pill or by IV solution. Chemotherapy may increase the effectiveness of radiation treatment when both are administered together.

Future Hope for Lung Cancer Patients

Extensive clinical trials have found that patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer who received cetuximab (Erbitux) in addition to chemotherapy lived on average 5 weeks longer than patients who received chemotherapy alone. Cetuximab is an antibody that binds to the tumor and prevents it from growth. The benefit of the combination therapy was seen in patients with adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Scientists believe the survival increase shown in this study is an important step for future patients’ survival.

The National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) is a randomized national trial involving more than 53,000 current and former heavy smokers ages 55 to 74. They compared the effects of two screening procedures for lung cancer -- low-dose helical computed tomography (CT) and standard chest X-ray -- on lung cancer mortality and found 20 percent fewer lung cancer deaths among trial participants screened with low-dose helical CT. This study used rigorous scientific methods to test ways to prevent death from lung cancer by screening. Future discoveries could lead to a significant reduction in lung cancer mortality.

A potential alternative to standard chemotherapy is the drug erlotinib (Tarceva®). This drug more specifically targets cancer cells and so does less damage to normal cells. Erlotinib targets a protein called the epidermal growth factor receptor. EGFR, which helps cells to divide, is found at abnormally high levels on the surface of many types of non-small cell lung cancer. Researchers think that by interfering with EGFR, erlotinib may keep tumors from growing.

Paul Newman's Battle with Lung Cancer

Paul Newman, during the time of his acting, was a very heavy chain smoker. Newman would smoke in movies to portray a perfect movie character; however it was the terrible effects of smoking were unknown, and years of smoking had a harmful effect on Newman’s body. He quit smoking thirty years ago, but the risk of lung cancer can stay with a person for ten years prior, he soon began to develop a tumor.

Unfortunately, Newman was highly secretive about his lung cancer treatment and status. After it had been speculated, he had denied it until June of 2008, when it was confirmed that he had obtained lung cancer. The only information that that was known is that he had been receiving treatment from the Weill-Cornell Cancer Center in New York City. Before his death Newman founded Hole in the Wall, which provides eight locations for children with cancer or other life threatening illnesses to attend summer. Hundreds of millions of dollars have also gone to Newman's Own providing donations to charity organizations.


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