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LUNG CANCER AWARENESS

According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death and the second most common cancer among both men and women in the United States. The most important thing you can do to lower your lung cancer risk is to quit smoking and avoid secondhand smoke.  

 

Facts

 
  • Each year, about 200,000 people in the United States are told they have lung cancer and more than 150,000 people die from this disease.  
  • About 90% of lung cancers are linked with cigarette smoking.  
  • When a person breathes in secondhand smoke, it is like he or she is smoking. In the United States, about 7,300 people who never smoked die from lung cancer due to secondhand smoke every year.  
  • After increasing for decades, lung cancer rates are decreasing nationally, as fewer people smoke cigarettes.  
  • Smoking can cause cancer almost anywhere in the body. Smoking causes cancers of the lung, mouth, nose, throat, voicebox (larynx), esophagus, liver, bladder, kidney, pancreas, colon, rectum, cervix, stomach, blood, and bone marrow (acute myeloid leukemia).  
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    Risk Factors

     

    Smoking 

    Cigarette smoking is the number one risk factor for lung cancer. In the United States, cigarette smoking is linked to about 90% of lung cancer diagnosis. Using other tobacco products such as cigars or pipes also increases the risk for lung cancer. Tobacco smoke is a toxic mix of more than 7,000 chemicals. Many are poisons. At least 70 are known to cause cancer in people or animals.  

    People who smoke cigarettes are 15 to 30 times more likely to get lung cancer or die from lung cancer than people who do not smoke. Even smoking a few cigarettes a day or smoking occasionally increases the risk of lung cancer. The more years a person smokes and the more cigarettes smoked each day, the more risk goes up.  

    People who quit smoking have a lower risk of lung cancer than if they had continued to smoke, but their risk is higher than the risk for people who never smoked. Quitting smoking at any age can lower the risk of lung cancer.  

    Cigarette smoking can cause cancer almost anywhere in the body. Cigarette smoking causes cancers of the lung, mouth, nose, throat, voicebox (larynx), esophagus, liver, bladder, kidney, pancreas, colon, rectum, cervix, stomach, blood, and bone marrow (acute myeloid leukemia).  

     

    Secondhand Smoke  

    Smoke from other people’s cigarettes, pipes, or cigars (secondhand smoke) also causes lung cancer. When a person breathes in secondhand smoke, it is like he or she is smoking. In the United States, two out of five adults who don’t smoke and half of children are exposed to secondhand smoke, and about 7,300 people who never smoked die from lung cancer due to secondhand smoke every year.  

     

    Radon  

    Radon is a naturally occurring gas that comes from rocks and dirt and can get trapped in houses and buildings. It cannot be seen, tasted, or smelled. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), radon causes about 20,000 cases of lung cancer each year, making it the second leading cause of lung cancer. Nearly one out of every 15 homes in the U.S. is thought to have high radon levels. The EPA recommends testing homes for radon and using proven ways to lower high radon levels.  

     

    Other Substances  

    Examples of substances found at some workplaces that increase risk include asbestos, arsenic, diesel exhaust, and some forms of silica and chromium. For many of these substances, the risk of getting lung cancer is even higher for those who smoke.  

     

    Personal or Family History of Lung Cancer  

    If you are a lung cancer survivor, there is a risk that you may develop lung cancer again, especially if you smoke. Your risk of lung cancer may be higher if your parents, brothers or sisters, or children have had lung cancer. This could be true because they also smoke, or they live or work in the same place where they are exposed to radon and other substances that can cause lung cancer.  

     

    Radiation Therapy to the Chest  

    Cancer survivors who had radiation therapy to the chest are at higher risk of lung cancer.  

     

    Diet  

    Scientists are studying many different foods and dietary supplements to see whether they change the risk of getting lung cancer. There is much we still need to know. We do know that smokers who take beta-carotene supplements have increased risk of lung cancer. Also, arsenic in drinking water (primarily from private wells) can increase the risk of lung cancer.  

     

    Symptoms

     

    Different people have different symptoms for lung cancer. Some people have symptoms related to the lungs. Some people whose lung cancer has spread to other parts of the body (metastasized) have symptoms specific to that part of the body. Some people just have general symptoms of not feeling well. Most people with lung cancer don't have symptoms until the cancer is advanced. Lung cancer symptoms may include:  

  • Coughing that gets worse or doesn’t go away.  
  • Chest pain.  
  • Shortness of breath.  
  • Wheezing.  
  • Coughing up blood.  
  • Feeling very tired all the time.  
  • Weight loss with no known cause.  
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    Other changes that can sometimes occur with lung cancer may include repeated bouts of pneumonia and swollen or enlarged lymph nodes (glands) inside the chest in the area between the lungs.  

    These symptoms can happen with other illnesses, too. If you have some of these symptoms, talk to your doctor, who can help find the cause.  

     

    Help Lower Your Risk

     

    You can help lower your risk of lung cancer in the following ways:  

  • Don’t smoke. The most important thing you can do to prevent lung cancer is to not start smoking, or to quit if you smoke. Smoking suppressants can help you quit smoking.  
  • Avoid secondhand smoke. Smoke from other people’s cigarettes, pipes, or cigars is called secondhand smoke. Make your home and car smoke-free.  
  • Get your home tested for radon. The second leading cause of lung cancer is radon, a naturally occurring gas that comes from rocks and dirt and can get trapped in houses and buildings.  
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    To learn more about lung cancer, please visit The Centers for Disease Controls and Prevention.  

     

    Source: http://www.cdc.gov/ cancer/lung/index.htm

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