Lung cancer is responsible for nearly one in every five cancer deaths per year and Comprehensive Cancer encourages people to reduce risks.

Every year, the team at Comprehensive Cancer Centers notes World Lung Cancer Day, held on the first day of August. Lung cancer is responsible for nearly one in every five cancer deaths, per year, according to the World Health Organization, underscoring the wide-spread and dangerous nature of the disease.

There are numerous cancer risk factors, but many can be reduced by lifestyle changes, such as stopping smoking, and making changes in workplaces to reduce exposure to toxic chemicals. The following are recommendations related to the disease and may be shared by you and yours:

  • Get Informed – It’s important to remember that anyone can get cancer. The best way to reduce your risk for the disease is to take steps to avoid exposure to the dangerous substances most likely to cause it. Risk factors for lung cancer include smoking, exposure to radon gas, air pollution and exposure to secondhand smoke.
  • Get Screened – A low-dose CT scan, is now recommended for individuals at high risk for lung cancer and has the potential to dramatically improve survival rates. A person is considered high risk if they are between 50 and 80 years old, have a 20 pack-year history of smoking, and are a current smoker or have quit within the last 15 years. If the estimated 8 million Americans at high risk for lung cancer were to be screened, about 25,000 lives could be saved.
  • Get Active – Join the fight. Lung cancer is the number one cancer killer in the U.S. We can all change this statistic by acting and make a difference by contacting elected officials in Congress and urge them to support more research and efforts to protect people from lung cancer.

Know the Signs and Symptoms of Lung Cancer
On a local and personal level, Comprehensive Cancer Centers’s physicians encourages everyone to know more about symptoms to ensure early diagnoses. Comprehensive urges everyone to be mindful of these signs, as well as look out for them in family and friends who may not be aware:

  • Cough that does not go away
  • Chest pain, made worse by deep breathing, coughing or laughing
  • Hoarseness that persists
  • Weight loss and loss of appetite
  • Bloody or rust colored sputum (found in saliva when you cough)
  • New onset of wheezing or shortness of breath
  • Reoccurring infections, such as bronchitis and pneumonia

If signs and symptoms occur, Comprehensive Cancer Centers offers screening with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) for high-risk individuals. As noted, these tests are the only recommended screenings for the disease. LDCT is used to find nodules in the lungs and takes many pictures of the inside of your body from different angles using x-rays. The amount of radiation used is much lower than standard doses of a CT scan and contrast dye should not be used.

From diagnosis and treatment experience, Comprehensive is aware the single greatest risk factor for this cancer is smoking. Eighty percent of all lung cancer cases are found to be caused by smoking. Additionally other risk factors including environment and genetics also play a role in lung cancer. Exposure to toxins including asbestos, radon, arsenic and uranium each have been linked to lung cancer. Lung cancer risks also increases with history of cancer in other parts of the body. Other factors include age, family history, lung diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and exposure of radiation to the chest.

Comprehensive Cancer Centers Can Help
Physicians at Comprehensive Cancer Centers provide a variety of options for lung cancer care including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, as well as clinical research for the treatment of cancer. To schedule an appointment with the team at Comprehensive, please call 702-952-3350.

The content is this post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.