Lung cancer is one of the most common, and deadliest, cancers. However, there is a lot that people don’t know about lung cancer. This month is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, which is a great opportunity to learn more about lung cancer and its risk factors.
This information can be helpful to those who have been diagnosed with the disease or who know someone who has been diagnosed. And it can also be helpful for anyone who wishes to be more informed about lung cancer and about who is at risk of developing the disease.
What is lung cancer?
There are two types of lung cancer – small cell and non-small cell. Cancer occurs when cells in the lungs change and grow incorrectly. These cells group together and form tumors. Both men and women can get lung cancer, and it is important to detect the disease early, so that a patient can receive treatment as soon as possible.
Doctors typically describe lung cancer in four different stages, with cancer in the first stage being most treatable and cancer in the last stage being the furthest along, most serious, and least treatable. Lung cancer is one of the deadliest cancers, so it is crucial to identify it while it is still in its earliest stages.
Who can get lung cancer?
Lung cancer can occur in anyone. However, there are certain factors that may put some people at a higher risk of developing lung cancer than others. These factors include:
- Smoking: if you are a smoker, your chances of developing lung cancer are significantly higher than those of a non-smoker. 90% of lung cancer cases are linked to inhaling cigarette smoke.
- Genetics: If someone in your family history has been diagnosed with lung cancer, you may be at a higher risk of developing the disease.
- Radon exposure: Radon, a radioactive gas that comes from the earth, can sometimes leak into homes. The gas is odorless and colorless, which means that people often aren’t aware if they are being exposed to radon gas.
- Air Pollution: People who live in areas with a lot of air pollution are at a higher risk for developing lung cancer.
How do you prevent lung cancer?
You can lower your chance of developing lung cancer by quitting smoking and reducing your other risk factors. You should also receive lung cancer screenings periodically, especially if you are at a high risk for lung cancer. Screenings usually involve a CT scan, which can detect lung cancer before a patient experiences any symptoms. This early detection is extremely important in ensuring that the cancer can be successfully treated.
This month may be the perfect opportunity for you to receive a lung cancer screening and encourage your loved ones to do the same. Screenings can identify cancer in its earliest stages and provide you with peace of mind about your health.