Lung cancer persists as No. 1 killer
By the time symptoms appear, it’s too late for medical treatment to save most patients
There are three main types of lung cancer.
This is the most common type of lung cancer. About 85% of lung cancers are non-small cell lung cancers. Squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, and large cell carcinoma are all subtypes of non-small cell lung cancer.
Small cell lung cancer is also called oat cell cancer. About 10%-15% of lung cancers are small cell lung cancers. This type of lung cancer tends to spread quickly.
Fewer than 5% of lung cancers are lung carcinoid tumors. They are also sometimes called lung neuroendocrine tumors. Most of these tumors grow slowly and rarely spread. Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Signs and symptoms of lung cancer
Most lung cancers do not cause any symptoms until they have spread, but some people with early lung cancer do have symptoms. If you go to your doctor when you first notice symptoms, your cancer might be diagnosed at an earlier stage, when treatment is more likely to be effective. The most common symptoms of lung cancer are:
- A cough that does not go away or gets worse
- Coughing up blood or rust-colored sputum (spit or phlegm)
- Chest pain that is often worse with deep breathing, coughing, or laughing
- Weight loss and loss of appetite
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling tired or weak
- Infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia that don’t go away or keep coming back
- New onset of wheezing
American Cancer Society ACS
What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk
You can help lower your risk of lung cancer in the following ways—
- Don’t smoke. The most important thing you can do to prevent lung cancer is to not start smoking, or to quit if you smoke.
- Avoid secondhand smoke. Smoke from other people’s cigarettes, pipes, or cigars is called secondhand smoke. Make your home and car smoke-free.
- Get your home tested for radon. The second leading cause of lung cancer is radon, a naturally occurring gas that comes from rocks and dirt and can get trapped in houses and buildings.
Too many continue to be diagnosed with and die from lung cancer. My dad was only 66 when he died and amazing Mike who cut my hair for decades was only 63 when he passed away, both from lung cancer. Do not smoke and avoid second-hand smoke. My hope is this information may set you on the path of developing a “Quit Smoking” plan today!