Pathophysiology of COPD and Lung Cancer-Case Study Student`s

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Pathophysiologyof COPD and Lung Cancer-Case Study


Pathophysiologyof COPD and Lung Cancer-Case Study

Severalstudies have associated the presence of chronic obstructive pulmonarydisease to the development of lung cancer, irrespective of the dosageof cigarette smoking. The explanation of this scenario is relativelyweak because of the heterogeneous nature of the diseases each of thedisorders is typified by multiple subphenotypes of diseases. Both ofthese disorders are preventable burdens linked to smoking that pose aglobal challenge (McCance,&amp Huether, 2015).The disorders may be regarded as different aspects of the samedisease owing to the same underlying predispositions. While thetrouble of smoking is sufficiently dealt with by the defenses of thebody, however, when they fail, lung cancer is developed if mutationsoccur and COPD occurs if there is considerable damage to the cellsand proteins. It has also been established that COPD could be one ofthe factors that drive the development of lung cancer as there is aclose link between inflammation and cancer (Durham,&amp Adcock, 2015).

Thereis a strong association of COPD and lung cancer as both are caused bysmoking tobacco. Lung cancer is up to five times likely to develop inpersons that have airflow obstruction due to smoking compared withthose with normal lung functions. This high prevalence suggestscommon underlying mechanisms for the development of the disorders.Both disorders are considered the diseases of the aging lung whichdeclines the standard functionality of the lung. Aging of the lungsis accelerated in persons with COPD (Durham,&amp Adcock, 2015).

Justlike in the case study, research has established a geneticpredilection to COPD and lung cancer. This familial vulnerability isnot necessarily associated with the common use of cigarettes(McCance,&amp Huether, 2015).From the case study, the 74-year old exhibits symptoms for thedevelopment of COPD-like a cough with sputum and a wheeze while hereports that his brother died of lung cancer. The geneticsusceptibility indicates that the predisposition to both disordersshows a link between the immune system, inflammation, and cancer.Besides, epigenetic changes like methylation of DNA, nucleosomeremodeling, and microRNAs expression have been found to play a rolein lung cancer and COPD development significantly (Barnes,&amp Adcock, 2011).

Themain difference between the two disorders stems from their diagnosis.For COPD, spirometry is used to assess the occurrence of airflowlimitation that cannot be reversed by a bronchodilator. By contrast,lung cancer occurs in various diverse histological types broadlygrouped into small cell lung carcinoma and non-small cell lungcarcinoma. This perhaps tells of the high complexity of the organfrom which it derives (Barnes,&amp Adcock, 2011).

Thereis a close link between COPD and lung cancer as both disorders showsimilar symptoms. Indeed it can be argued that the diseases aredifferent aspects of the same illness. It is important to know notethat both disorders are dangers of smoking and early detection ofCOPD is critical in preventing the development of lung cancer.


Barnes,P. J., &amp Adcock, I. M. (2011). Chronic obstructive pulmonarydisease and lung cancer: a lethal association.

Durham,A. L., &amp Adcock, I. M. (2015). The relationship between COPD andlung cancer. LungCancer,90(2),121-127.

McCance,K. L., &amp Huether, S. E. (2015). Pathophysiology:The biologic basis for disease in adults and children.Elsevier Health Sciences.