ABOUT LUNG CANCER: The lungs are sponge-like organs found in the chest
cavity. When we breathe, air goes into the lung through the windpipe
(trachea), which is divided into smaller branches leading to tiny air
sacs called alveoli. These contain tiny blood vessels that absorb oxygen
from the inhaled air into the bloodstream and release carbon dioxide.
Most lung cancers start in the lining of the smaller branches, developing
over several years. The cancer cells produce chemicals that cause new
blood vessels to form, which feed the cells until they form a tumor.
Cells can break away from the original tumor and spread to other parts
of the body, a process called metastasis. About 90 percent of lung cancers
develop in smokers or former smokers. Symptoms of lung cancer include
coughing up blood, shortness of breath or wheezing; chest pain; repeated
chest infections, asthma, or fluid around the lung; and swelling in the
neck or face.
MACHINE LEARNING: A computer that learns to recognize lung cancer or
a car that interprets the behavior of its driver and can offer alerts
about when that driver seems to be impaired is an example of machine
learning. Typically, this concept refers to a computer that can gather
and interpret data via an algorithm and then improve the performance
over time. Many consider machine learning an attempt to automate the
scientific method. If a well-programmed machine encounters enough examples
it will begin to recognize certain patterns and be able to identify or
diagnose problems. Machine learning algorithms are used in everything
from computer vision to search engines, and credit card fraud detection
to handwriting recognition.