Smoking and Lung Cancer, Term Paper Example

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Term Paper

Back ground and significance

Lung cancer is the most common type of cancer found among people and majority of deaths due to cancer occur due to lung cancer. It is reported that in United States during 2008 lung cancer was diagnosed among 208, 493 people and 158, 592 of them died due to this. As per reports 90% of deaths due to lung cancer among man are caused by smoking while this is 80% among women. It is also found that smokers are at an increased chance of 10% – 20% to catch lung cancer. Of those diagnosed with lung cancer during 2008, 111,886 were men and women counted to 96,607 (U.S. Cancer Statistics Working Group).

Lung cancer estimates and types

One of the most common types of cancer leading to death in both men and women is lung cancer. Studies have proven that smoking is the sole reason that has increased the number of lung cancer in last half century. Among deaths caused by lung cancer smoking is responsible for 90% of them. It is also found that incidence of death by lung cancer keeps on rising and it is responsible for highest number of deaths caused by cancer than any other cancers like prostate cancer, breast cancer, and colorectal cancer combined. It is usually people above the age of 45 that is affected by lung cancer. By this age a person who is used to smoking will develop the symptoms and cancer will spread (Alberg, Ford and Samet).

There are two types of lung cancers. Non-small cell carcinoma including adenocarcinoma, carcinoma the large cell and squamous. This type is seen among 85% of lung cancer patients. Among them most common is adenocarcinomas and secondly squamous. Nonsmall cell carcinoma can be treated effectively if detected at early stage and surgery will have to be performed in this case as part of treatment. Next type is Small cell carcinomathat is found among 15% patients. This is characterized by dissemination and growth in a rapid form. Only treatment method available for this is radiation therapy and chemotherapy (Alberg, Ford and Samet).

Relation of smoking

It is proved by various studies that lung cancer is directly related to smoking. It is in early 1920’s that health care providers began to suspect the relation of lung cancer to smoking of cigarette. Health care providers of Great Britain found that most patients having lung cancer are smokers. Though their observation was an astute one, they were not having any scientific evidence to prove or justify their argument. Later during 1930 – 1960 several epidemiological studies were conducted in this regard and this quantified the relationship between lung cancer and smoking (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services).

The study conducted by Sir Richard Doll in 1947 and A. B. Hill in 1951 are the most relevant and they are considered as classic studies in this regard. In his research Doll used the method of case-control study. Smoking history of some patients who were hospitalized with lung cancer were compared to another group with lung cancer but with out any smoking history. Hill in his experiment used the method of cohort study. He categorized a group of physicians from Britain and analyzed the reason behind their death.  Physicians were categorized on the basis of smoking history and he analyzed whether there is chance for cigarette smokers to cause lung cancer. Both these studies proved smoking as the major cause of lung cancer and thus are directly related to the disease leading to death (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services). In cigarette smoke there are more than 40 carcinogens. From these studies it was also found that risk of lung cancer development is related directly to quantity of cigarettes smoked(Alberg, Ford and Samet).

Statement of Problem

According to estimates it is found that 32% men and 27% women of US are having the habit of smoking. Of them 12% are graduate students, 20% students of various colleges other than graduates, 31% high school students and 3% physicians (US Cancer Statistics Working Group). This study aims to understand the relation between smoking and lung cancer and its present prevalence in society.

Research questions and sub questions

Research questions

How far smoking acts as the major cause of lung cancer in present day society?

Sub questions

  • What is the prevalence of smoking among people of various ages?
  • What is the factors (social, political, economic) effecting smoking among various sections of society?
  • How far smoking leads to lung cancer among people of various ages?
  • What is the role played by government in creating awareness of relation between lung cancer and smoking?
  • Do legislations have any impact on smoking and lung cancer estimates among people?

Hypothesis

Smoking is the major cause of lung cancer and deaths due to lung cancer.

Study objectives

This study aims to understand the direct relation between smoking and lung cancer in present day society. It further aims to estimate smoking frequency among people of various age limits. With this study researcher also tries to analyze the impact of various political, social and economic factors over the habit of smoking. It also aims to understand the impact of legislations on smoking pervasiveness among people and thus its impact on lung cancer incidence.

Research methodology

After conducting literature review as per research questions it is necessary that the methods used for collection of data used in research is described in detail. It will help those readers of research to understand the method in which data was collected and how far the data is accurate and reliable. It is this chapter that provides the results an authentication. In research methodology chapter researcher describes the research strategy that he has adopted in every stage of research. This strategy is used by the researcher for answering research questions and also to examine the specific topic which is likely to effect and influence the quality provided by results. Thus the research design used for whole research will be given in this chapter. This chapter aims to explain in detail the method in which research was completed. Thus it gives the reader a clear idea as to how the objectives of research were achieved.

Research Methods

Research Methodology can be described as a compromise of various choices and options available to researcher. This is because there are several approaches to a research which can be relied on for achieving research objectives. According to Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill research methodology can be described as the theory as to how a research was undertaken. He also provides with various tools and techniques that can be used in a research for obtaining data.

Present research will be conducted as a descriptive research study.  In a descriptive research study an initial hypothesis will be formed in such a way to portray actual and accurate profile of situations, persons or events. For using this method it is necessary that there exists a clear picture of phenomenon o which research is being conducted by researcher even before the collection of data.

Research Strategy

Research strategy is fixed on the basis of research questions that are created by researcher, researcher’s control over actual behavioural events and his focus on historical and modern phenomenon. In this research researcher do not have any control over actual events or behaviour. Hence his research strategy is based on research questions and historical and modern phenomenon.

Researcher for the purpose of this research relies on both deductive and inductive approach. Research is a mix of both these approaches. A deductive approach is used by the researcher for he relies on a general theory that smoking is directly related to lung cancer. He thus derives a hypothesis based on this general theory for testing its trust worthiness. Further this research is also based on quantitative data and hence this approach is the best and most effective method.

General data is collected from previous research studies and this is used in inductive approach by researcher. It is based on this data that the researcher has formed research objectives. Researcher believes that smoking is likely to cause lung cancer. He is also of the opinion that smoking even in mild form is likely to lead to lung cancer. Though it is commonly believed that smoking of low tar filtered cigarette will reduce the risk of cancer it is not right. According to researches those smoking low tar filtered cigarette is likely to catch adenocarcinoma while those smoking high tar unfiltered cigarette will have squamous cell carcinoma. Even if a person quits smoking, it will take a long time for him to get rid of bad effects of smoking and thus from risk of lung cancer related to smoking. It is also found that 40% of lung cancers that are newly diagnosed are found among people who have quitted smoking. A minimum of nine years is required for a person to get rid of residues of smoking that are collected in his body (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services).

It is based on these facts that the researcher has framed research statement and hence uses a deductive approach in reaching research objectives to certain extent. It is believed that inductive and deductive approaches to research are having opposite logic and presented as research modes that are alternative in form. These two approaches can be combined together in a research process as demanded by research objectives.

Thus in this research researcher will be using a mix of these two research approaches for it is found most appropriate for this research.

According to Saunders, Lewis and Thornhillthere are 8 different strategies available for a researcher to carry out objectives of research and they are: Grounded theory, experiment, longitudinal, ethnography, survey, action research, exploratory-descriptive-explanatory studiesand case study. According to him it is the research questions and objective of research that decides as to which strategy or which of these strategies can be used for conducting a research(Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill).

Researcher for the purpose of this research uses a mix of survey and case study research strategy. This is because researcher feels this as the best and most appropriate strategy that can be used for answering his research questions and thus carries out his research objective.

Case study

One of the research strategy used by the researcher is that of case study. With the aid of this strategy, researcher aims to obtain clear understanding and in-depth information about lung cancer and its relation to smoking. Case study was described by Yin (2003) as the investigation of a contemporary phenomenon within its real-life context, especially when the boundaries between phenomenon and context are not clearly evident”. According to Yin (2003) case study approach is best suitable for answering questions like why and how and when researcher is having little control over the subjects or events of case study.

Single or multiple case studies can be selected on the basis of objective so research and here the researcher selects the method of multiple case studies. He is conducting case study for understanding the death prevalence due to lung cancer, to understand how far smoking leads to lung cancer, relation between filtered, non filtered, low tar and high tar cigarettes on lung cancer and whether quitting of smoking has an effect on lung cancer.

Survey

Survey method provides with more control over process of research for results are collected from a sizeable population. Method is more economical and helps to reach respondents even if they are dispersed widely in geography. Through a survey researcher can draw generalisations even if the sample size is small. Above all it helps to avoid interviewer bias. This is why researcher has relied to survey method for collecting data about smoking habit among various sections of society and also to understand factors leading to this (Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill). Survey has also been used for understanding effect of legislations on smoking habit and its impact on deaths due to lung cancer.

Survey design

Survey will be conducted among general public. Sample population will be divided in to various age groups beginning from teenagers to old age. Survey will be conducted through questionnaire and this will be used to understand smoking prevalence among various age groups in society. They will also be asked about the factors leading to smoking and quitting of smoking. Those with and with out lung cancer among these age group will also be categorised in a way to reach research objectives.

Population

A sample population of 50 people belonging to each age group will be chosen for the purpose of survey.

Sampling plan

There will be five age groups, starting from 13 – 18 (teenagers), 19 – 25 (college students), 26 – 40 (middle aged), 41 – 55 (seniors) and 56 – 70 (Old age). To conduct survey among teenagers and college students some schools and colleges will be approached and with their permission researcher will conduct survey. Middle aged and seniors will be found from one or two institutions and old age from some institutions for old people.

Survey instrument

Survey will be conducted with the help of a questionnaire. There will be 30 questions in each questionnaire that is designed according to literature review in order to reach research objective by finding answers of research questions. Questions will be straight forward and some questionnaire will be in the form of multiple choice questions. Questions are attached as Appendix 1.

Evaluation plan

Data analysis will help to examine and determine patterns and to explore the relation among variables. Data analysis will be conducted in three steps. Data reduction; where data collected and written down as field notes is selected, simplified, focused and transformed. In the next step called data display information is organised and assembled in a compressed form so that conclusions can be drawn from it. Third and last step is drawing of conclusions and verification where researcher explains the actual phenomenon and verifies the same.

Out line of statistical analysis

Analysis of data will be conducted with the aid of SPSS statistical analysis method. Answers given by each group will be analysed separately to get a clear picture of present situation. Various factors other than age group will be analysed and this includes factors leading to smoking, quitting of smoking and awareness of relation between smoking and lung cancer. Grouping will be conducted in such a way to get the answer for all research questions and thus to reach to research objective.

Statistical issues related to survey

Though survey is considered as an economic and easy method for collection of actual data it is also facing some issues. One of the issues is that data collected through survey might not be wide ranging in comparison to data collected by means of qualitative research methods. Number of questions is limited in this method. If there occurs any misunderstanding with regard to survey questions there is no method by which it can be corrected. Yet another issue is that answers given in a survey questionnaire might not be real for those participating in a survey can merely answer the questions with out giving much importance to reason for which that survey is conducted.

Strengths and weakness

This research can be of use in various fields of social studies for it tries to identify the relation between smoking and lung cancer. Other than merely identifying whether there is any relation between lung cancer and smoking, this research tries to get an elaborate view of various factors leading to smoking and smoking prevalence among various age groups of society. It also tries to find out the awareness among these age groups about the relation between smoking and lung cancer. Thus this research is beneficial for various purposes including social studies as well as medical science. It is helpful for those seeking ways to educate society about bad effects of smoking as well as to those researching about impact of legislations on smoking prevalence.

One of the major weaknesses of this research is that it is not relevant for those conducting research in medical field with regard to relation between smoking and lung cancer. This is a general study conducted among social groups and is hence useful for social studies only. Next issue is that the main method adopted for this research is survey methodology which can not be relied on completely. It is not necessary that teenagers answer the questions of survey seriously and truly as they might not feel the importance associated to this. Same is with other age groups who might not take this study seriously even though they are aware of the fact that smoking is likely to lead to lung cancer.

References

Alberg, A, J, F, G Ford and J, M Samet. “Epidemiology of lung cancer: ACCP evidence-based clinical practice guidelines (2nd edition).” Chest (2007): 29S–55S.

U.S. Cancer Statistics Working Group. “United States Cancer Statistics: 1999–2008 Incidence and Mortality.Atlanta (GA): Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and National Cancer Institute.” 2012. www.cdc.gov. 17 June 2012 <http://www.cdc.gov/uscs>.

Saunders, M, P Lewis and A Thornhill. Research Methods for Business students. England: Prentice Hall, 2003.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease.” A Report of the Surgeon General. 2010.

Yin, R, K. Case study research: Design and methods. . Thousand oaks: California: Sage publications, 2003.

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