Lung Cancer Awareness
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. for both men and women, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The American Lung Association (ALA) says that the rate of lung cancer has been dropping among men while the rate for women is increasing.
Our LUNG CANCER RISK ASSESSMENT can help you learn more about your own risk factors, based on guidelines from the National Cancer Institute.
Simply click on the link for the form. Fill it out online to learn more about how specific things affect the risk of developing lung cancer. When you’re done, you may want to print it out and share it with your doctor. (Any information you enter will NOT be saved once you close the window. This is to protect your privacy. When you’re done, simply close the form window, and continue reading.)
Though not all cases of lung cancer are caused by smoking, the majority are, according to the National Institutes of Health. In fact, ALA says 87 percent of cases can be traced to tobacco use. It’s not just cigarettes, either. The American Cancer Society (ACS) says cigar and pipe smokers have a higher risk of lung cancer too. The number of years a person smokes, the amount smoked per day and how deeply the person inhales all affect the risk of developing lung cancer. In addition, ACS says the chance of developing lung cancer is increased by second-hand smoke, i.e. exposure to the smoke in the air when someone else smokes. ACS, ALA and NCI all agree the best way to reduce the risk of getting lung cancer is to quit smoking – or never start in the first place.
Lung Cancer Screening
ACS, ALA and NCI, United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) and several other medical societies recommend annual lung cancer screening with a low-dose Computed Tomography (LDCT) scan of the chest in adults aged 55-74 years who have a 30 pack-year history of smoking and currently smoke or have quit within past 15 years. National Lung Screening Trial showed 20% reduction in lung cancer mortality with annual screening done by LDCT compared to chest radiography. LDCT screening is offered at Union Hospital of Cecil County. Please talk to your healthcare provider to discuss lung cancer screening if you or your loved one meets the above criteria.
Lung Cancer Symptoms:
Anyone who notices symptoms that can indicate the presence of lung cancer should see a doctor right away. The American Lung Association says these symptoms can include:
- persistent cough, especially coughing up blood
- persistent hoarseness
- chest pain
- shortness of breath and wheezing
- swelling of the neck and face
- loss of appetite or fatigue
These symptoms, of course, may also be caused by a number of other conditions such as pneumonia, so it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible for an examination and evaluation. To visit Union Pulmonology, call 410.398.0451.