Although I don't treat lung cancer, I wanted to bring attention to this disease. You see, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, among both men and women. Lung cancer claims more lives each year than do colon, prostate, ovarian and breast cancers combined. My grandmother died of lung cancer when I was about 20. She was a long time smoker, like many of her generation. One Easter holiday, we watched her pass away in her home. It wasn't a fun death to watch. She coughed, she weighed 70 pounds, and I thought she looked like an alien with no hair. I was young and didn't understand her suffering like I do now. The good news is that lung cancer can be preventable and can be detected early if you avoid risk factors and know the symptoms.
People who smoke have the greatest risk of lung cancer, though lung cancer can also occur in people who have never smoked. This happened to my friend Ted who was only age 35 at the time of his diagnosis. The risk of lung cancer increases with the length of time and number of cigarettes you've smoked. If you quit smoking, even after smoking for many years, you can significantly reduce your chances of developing lung cancer. The bottom line is don't smoke!!!
Lung cancer typically doesn't cause signs and symptoms in its earliest stages. However, we often detect lung cancer incidentally like Ted, who had a chest X-ray due to a car accident.
Signs and symptoms of lung cancer may include:
Risk factors for lung cancer include:
There's no sure way to prevent lung cancer, but you can reduce your risk if you: