How common is lung cancer?

According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer is the second most common cancer, but by far the leading cause of cancer death among men and women. Each year, more people die of lung cancer than colon, breast, and prostate combined. In 2018, it is estimated there will be 234,030 new cases and about 154,050 deaths in the United States.

 

Who can get lung cancer?

It is not just a smoker’s cancer. The American Cancer Society states as many as 20% of lung cancer patients have never smoked or used any tobacco products. Many others quit smoking long before they are diagnosed. Awareness that anyone can get lung cancer, knowledge that it does not discriminate, and understanding that no one deserves it will help erase the stigma so we can work to reduce the deadly statistics of this disease.

 

What are the symptoms?

In many cases, there are no symptoms at all until the disease is in it’s later stages. Early detection is the best chance for survival. However, here is a list of just a few early symptoms that may be present:

  • A dry cough that doesn’t go away
  • Hoarseness
  • Constant chest pain with deep breaths
  • Shortness of breath or wheezing
  • Frequent lung infections
  • Bloody or red tinged spit or phlegm

What causes lung cancer?

Aside from smoking being the #1 cause, radon exposure ranks #2. Some other causes include workplace chemicals, Asbestos exposure, second hand smoke and genetic susceptibility. Click here to learn more about testing your home for radon or pick up a free testing kit at the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department.