Eight Facts About Lung Cancer
The American Cancer Society estimates that about 234,000 people will be diagnosed with lung cancer in the United States this year. If you’re a current or former smoker, or someone at risk for developing lung cancer, that can be a startling statistics. Dr. Angel Yu, physician at CaroMont Hematology & Oncology in Gastonia, shares eight facts about lung cancer.
FACT: Lung cancer is the most common form of cancer in the world.
Nearly 14% of newly-diagnosed cancers will be lung cancer.
FACT: Despite advances in cancer care and treatment, the mortality rate for lung cancer is still high.
More people die as a result of lung cancer than colon, breast and prostate cancers combined, accounting accounts for approximately 27% of all cancer deaths. This high mortality rate could be attributed to later diagnosis, both in the stage of the disease and/or the patient’s life, as well as the aggressive nature of the disease.
FACT: People younger than 45 are rarely diagnosed with lung cancer.
The average age of a patient diagnosed with lung cancer is 70.
FACT: Smoking is the leading risk factor, but there are other causes that can put you at risk.
Smoking is the single greatest contributing factor to the development of lung cancer, but other factors such as air pollution, second hand smoke, genetic susceptibility and exposure to other hazardous chemicals can increase your risk of developing lung cancer.
FACT: Small cell lung cancer is the most aggressive form of lung cancer.
While Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC) is the most aggressive form of lung cancer, it is also the least common. It is rare that a non-smoker is diagnosed with SCLC.
FACT: On average 16 North Carolinians die of lung cancer every day.
And, 22 people are diagnosed with lung cancer every day in North Carolina.
FACT: Some symptoms of lung cancer can present as other illnesses.
Persistent cough, shortness of breath, back or chest pain, hoarseness and unexplained weight loss could all be symptoms of lung cancer. If you have any of these persistent symptoms, it is important to visit your primary care physician as soon as possible.
FACT: Screenings are available and covered by most insurances for high-risk individuals.
If you’re a smoker of more than 30 years, talk to your primary care doctor about your risk factors to determine if a CT Lung Screen is right for you. This painless screen can help identify lung cancer, or lung nodules that could become cancer, sooner, when cancer is most treatable. CaroMont Health offers a comprehensive lung screening program that includes a multi-disciplinary team of Pulmonologists, Radiologist and Oncologists. This expert team works to actively identify and monitor issues to help patients get the treatment they need, when they need it. To learn more about CT Lung Screening, please talk with your primary care physician or visit caromonthealth.org.
Dr. Angel Yu is board certified in Hematology and Oncology. She is currently accepting new patients in the Gastonia office. Read more about CaroMont Hematology & Oncology and our comprehensive, compassionate approach to cancer treatment.