November is Lung Cancer Awareness month. According to the CDC, and several other sources, Lung Cancer is the number one killer in the United States for both men and women occurring mostly between the ages of 55 and 65. One out of every 6 deaths will occur from lung cancer. Even if you combined all of the major cancers such as breast cancer, colon cancer and prostate cancer, more people will die from lung cancer comparatively. Many people around the world are very unaware of this extreme tragedy.
WHAT IS LUNG CANCER?
Each human has two lungs in their body. The function of both lungs within a human body is to enable a person to breathe in oxygen. Lung cancer destroys this function when the body begins to develop abnormal cells and creates a tumor within the tissue of the lungs. Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer and Small Cell Lung Cancer are the two different forms of lung cancer, with non-small cell lung cancer being the most common. However, Small Cell Lung Cancer is more likely to spread throughout the entire body. A person generally dies if the cancerous cells spread throughout the body, including the brain. It is entirely possible that an individual can have lung cancer in one lung and it spreads to the other. The number one cause of lung cancer is smoking. Over 85% of those who develop lung cancer were smokers. Before the 20th century, lung cancer was extremely rare. After smoking became popular, cases began popping up everywhere.
The risk of lung cancer is over 20 times higher for men who smoke and 13 times for women. Also, many people are under the false impression that the use of cigars and pipes are safer. This is not true. Not only are they primarily at risk for lung cancer, but also for throat cancer, mouth cancer and other forms of cancer. There is also a direct correlation between how long and how much a person smokes and the chance of developing lung cancer. For example, a person who has been smoking for 15 years is far more likely to fall prey to lung cancer then an individual who has been smoking for 5 years. Quitting smoking is the number one thing doctors recommend to reduce the risk of lung cancer. It has also been proven that a former smoker who has not smoked for years has already done damage to their body and can still develop cancer, but by quitting, they are prolonging their life. Other risks for developing lung cancer include the following:
- Being exposed to second hand smoke
- Radon gas in the home
- Exposing yourself to radiation
- Medical exposure to radiation in the chest area
- Emphysema or Chronic Bronchitis
- Diesel exhaust and pollutants in the air
- People who work in hazardous conditions (i.e. mining jobs)
Symptoms of lung cancer include:
- Excessive coughing
- Severe Chest pains
- Coughing up blood
- Trouble breathing
- Developing Bronchitis
- Developing pneumonia or other chest infections
Treatment for lung cancer may include the following (depending on how severe the case is):
What you need to know!
For more information contact the Cancer treatment centers of America, 24/7.
Written By: Te-Shandra Haskett, MBA
Written By: Te-Shandra Haskett, MBA
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