Are you or a loved one suffering from lung cancer? Respire is ready to help.
With the exception of skin cancer, lung cancer is the second most common cancer in both men and women and accounts for roughly 14% of all newly diagnosed cases of cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, more people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast and prostate cancers combined.
While these statistics are certainly overwhelming, the good news is that most lung cancers are preventable. Additionally, recent advances in research has led to the development of a test that can screen for lung cancer in those who are at high risk. As is this case with many other types of cancer, early detection of lung cancer is critical and can significantly lower the risk of death.
It is important to be aware of your family medical history, risk factors that may increase your likelihood of developing lung cancer, and the most common symptoms.
Lung Cancer Risk Factors
The following are known risk factors that can make you more likely to develop lung cancer:
- Tobacco Smoke, including cigarettes, cigars and secondhand smoke
- Exposure to radon
- Exposure to asbestos
- Exposure to cancer-causing agents in the workplace such as radioactive ores (ex. uranium), diesel exhaust, or inhaled chemicals or minerals (ex. arsenic, silica, chloride, coal products, mustard gas, etc.)
- Air pollution
- Arsenic in drinking water (common in Southeast Asia and South America)
- Previous radiation therapy to the lungs
- Personal or family history of lung cancer
- Certain dietary supplements (ex. beta-carotene supplements)
Other risk factors with uncertain or unproven effects on developing lung cancer include marijuana smoke and exposure to talc or talcum powder.
Symptoms of Lung Cancer
The most common symptoms of lung cancer are:
- A persistent cough that does not go away or progressively worsens
- Coughing up blood or rust-colored spit or phlegm
- Chest pain
- Unexplained weight loss and loss of appetite
- Shortness of breath
- Chronic or persistent lung-related infections such as bronchitis or pneumonia
When to See a Physician
Many of the common symptoms of lung cancer are also symptoms of other lung-related conditions or diseases. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, it is important to consult a physician as soon as possible in order to obtain an accurate diagnosis.
Due to the complex nature of this disease, you will need a team of medical professionals who will work together to deliver the highest level of care throughout your treatment process.
As a board-certified pulmonologist, I am [link to About page] committed to serve as a partner in your care alongside your oncologist(s), radiologist, pathologist and surgeon to help with other breathing problems that may arise during the course of your lung cancer treatment.
Schedule an appointment to learn more about how Respire can help.