November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. Lung Cancer Awareness Day started back in 1995 to increase awareness and educate people on this disease.
What is Lung Cancer?
Lung cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in one or both lungs. As these abnormal cells grow, they can form tumors and interfere with the functioning of the lung, which provides oxygen to the body.
There are three main types of lung cancer:
- Non-small cell lung cancer: About 85 percent of lung cancers are non-small cell lung cancers, making this type of lung cancer the most common.
- Small cell lung cancer: This type of lung cancer is also called oat cell cancer and tends to spread quickly. About 10 to 15 percent of lung cancers are small cell lung cancers.
- Lung carcinoid tumor: This is the least common type of lung cancer. Fewer than five percent of lung cancers are lung carcinoid tumors. Most of these tumors grow slowly and rarely spread.
Key Statistics About Lung Cancer
Lung cancer (both small cell and non-small cell) is the second most common cancer in both men and women (not counting skin cancer). In men, prostate cancer is more common, while in women breast cancer is more common.
According to The American Cancer Society, 2015 estimates show:
- About 221,200 new cases of lung cancer (115,610 in men and 105,590 in women).
- An estimated 158,040 deaths occur from lung cancer (86,380 in men and 71,660 among women).
- Lung cancer accounts for about 13 percent of all new cancers.
- Lung cancer accounts for about 27 percent of all cancer deaths and is by far the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women. Each year, more people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined.
- Lung cancer mainly occurs in older people. About two out of three people diagnosed with lung cancer are 65 or older.
- Fewer than two percent of all cases are found in people younger than 45.
- The average age at the time of diagnosis is about 70.
- Overall, the chance that a man will develop lung cancer in his lifetime is about one in 13; for a woman, the risk is about one in 16. These numbers include both smokers and non-smokers.
- For smokers the risk is much higher, while for non-smokers the risk is lower.
Today, we honor Lung Cancer Awareness month with a round-up of four posts about this disease.
Lung Cancer Awareness: What You Need to Know
Lung Cancer Fact Sheet: Lung cancer awareness begins with understanding the facts. Learn the facts about lung cancer here including prevalence and incidence, gender differences, ethnic differences, causes, and survival rates.
Should I be Screened for Lung Cancer? Currently, lung cancer screening is recommended (and covered by most insurance plans and Medicare) for individuals between the ages of 55-80, who have a smoking history of 30 years or more (an average of one pack a day for 30 years, two packs a day for 15 years), and who are current smokers or have quit in the past 15 years. Find out about the benefits and risks of being screened for lunch cancer here.
Lung Cancer Treatment and Drugs: There are several ways to treat lung cancer. Generally, options include one or more treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or targeted drug therapy. Learn more about lung cancer treatment and drugs here.
Lung Cancer Prevention: Most lung cancers are caused by smoking, so if you are a smoker, you can help prevent lung cancer by quitting. You can also make other changes in your lifestyle to reduce your risk of getting lung cancer. Find out more prevention tips here.
Lung Cancer Awareness month aims to educate individuals about this disease. If you don’t know enough about lung cancer, this may be a good time to learn more. Having the knowledge can help you understand your risk of getting the disease as well as show you ways to prevent it.
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