November Is Lung Cancer Awareness Month
According to the CDC, lung cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world, and is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States for both men and women. Southwest Diagnostic Center for Molecular Imaging recommends that everyone understands the known risk factors for lung cancer and takes preventative action against them by implementing simple lifestyle changes.
Get to Know the Stats on Lung Cancer
- About 200,000 people in the US have lung cancer and more than 150,000 die from lung cancer annually.
- Lung cancer is the most common type of cancer in the world with 1.8 million new cases in 2012.
- 80-90% of lung cancers are associated with cigarette smoking.
- Smoking can cause cancer anywhere in the body including in the mouth, throat, esophagus, stomach, colon-rectum, liver, pancreas, voicebox, trachea, bronchus, kidney and renal pelvis, urinary bladder and cervix.
- The lung cancer five-year survival rate is 17.7%.
Types of Lung Cancer
There are three main types of lung cancer that individuals diagnosed with the condition are likely to encounter. Southwest Diagnostic Center for Molecular Imaging recommends that patients get to know the specific type they have in order to obtain a better understanding of their treatment options.
Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is by far the most common kind diagnosed with about 85% of all lung cancer cases belonging to this category. Some examples of non-small cell lung cancer include squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, and large cell carcinoma.
Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is a more aggressive type of lung cancer that appears as small and oval-shaped mass. Also called oat cell cancer, this type accounts for roughly 10-15% of lung cancers.
Lung carcinoid tumors are responsible for about 5% of all lung cancer cases. These tumors are typically characterized by very slow growth, and rarely spread. Lung carcinoid tumors may also be referred to as lung neuroendocrine tumors.
There are also instances of extremely rare forms of lung cancer, as well as cancer that originated elsewhere in the body and eventually metastasized (spread) to reach the lungs.
What Can You Do to Prevent Lung Cancer
With a low survival rate compared with other types of cancers, it is important to take preventative measures in your day-to-day life to avoid a later diagnosis of lung cancer. Follow these three best practices to drastically decrease your risk of being affected by lung cancer:
- Quit Smoking! The most important thing to do is quit smoking or avoid picking up the habit altogether. If you need help quitting, visit smokefree.gov or call 1 (800) QUIT-NOW.
- Avoid secondhand smoke. Surrounding yourself with cigarette smoke and other tobacco product’s smoke can be just as dangerous as lighting up yourself. Try your best to avoid environments that would expose you to secondhand smoke.
- Get your home tested for radon. Did you know the second leading cause of lung cancer is radon? Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is often found in rocks and dirt, and can easily become trapped in houses and buildings.
If you belong to the group of 8.6 million Americans who are at high risk for lung cancer, it is important to see Southwest Diagnostic Center for Molecular Imaging for a screening. With earlier detection, you have the potential to drastically improve your lung cancer survival rates.
If you would like to schedule a consultation, please call (214) 345-8300 or request an appointment online today!