About lung cancer

This video tells you all about lung cancer. The information in this video was correct as of 1st October 2012.

What are the Lungs?

The lungs are two organs found in your chest and form part of your respiratory system. This system is responsible for your breathing. The right lung is slightly bigger than the left and contains three areas called lobes. The left lung contains two lobes.

When you breathe in, air passes through your nose or mouth into your trachea (windpipe) and separates into two further tubes (bronchi). Each of these bronchi connects to a lung. The bronchi divide even further into much smaller tubes called bronchioles. Air passes through these bronchioles and into tiny air sacs called alveoli. In the alveoli, oxygen is absorbed from inhaled air into your bloodstream and is sent around your body.

Oxygen is needed in every cell of your body for various activities. During these activities, the waste gas, carbon dioxide, is made. It passes back through the alveoli and leaves your body when you breathe out.

What is lung cancer?

When cancer develops in the lungs, the cells change and grow in an abnormal way. Many lung cancers begin in the wall of the bronchi. As the cancer grows it forms a collection of cells (tumour). This tumour can then cause a blockage and result in symptoms, for example, difficulty in breathing.

How common is lung cancer?

Lung cancer can occur in men and in women. In Ireland it is the fourth most common cancer. About 2,000 Irish people are diagnosed with lung cancer every year. Sadly, more Irish men and women die from lung cancer than any other type of cancer.

Call our National Cancer Helpline

Freephone 1800 200 700 to talk to a specialist cancer nurse
It's open Monday-Thursday from 9am to 7pm and Friday from 9am to 5pm