Second most common cause of cancer death
Lung cancer is the second most common cancer among men and women, and is the most common cause of death among those with cancer. It usually affects those over 50 with a history of lung-related illnesses. Lung cancer now claims the lives of more women than even breast cancer. More than 164,000 new cases of lung cancer are diagnosed in the U.S. each year.
Symptoms of lung cancer include:
- Chronic cough
- Loss of weight and appetite
- Shortness of breath and chest pains.
When these symptoms do appear, lung cancer is usually in an advanced stage. While lung cancer appears to be on the decline among white and black men, it continues to rise among women of both races. Doctors estimate that because smoking is the most common cause, up to 80% of lung cancer cases could be prevented. Lung cancer takes many years to develop, but changes in the lung can begin almost immediately upon exposure to cancer-causing substances.
Second-hand smoke is another important cause of lung cancer, and is attributable to 3,000 deaths annual of those who never picked up a cigarette!
Studies show that those who stop smoking can cut the risk of lung cancer in half.
Exposure to radon gas, asbestos, uranium, arsenic, and certain petroleum products can also lead to lung cancer. Treatments range from radiation therapy to chemotherapy and surgery.