Lung Cancer Awareness Month: 6 Facts About the Most Commonly Misunderstood Cancer by Joyce Knestrick, CRNP, FAANP
More than half a million people have lung cancer today, but ironically, most people don’t know a lot about it. Here are six facts you should know about the most common cancer in the world:
- Anyone can get it. One in 16 people will be diagnosed, and they won’t all be smokers. This year, 30,000 people who never smoked a single cigarette will get lung cancer.
- It’s the deadliest cancer. Lung cancer claims more lives than breast, colon and pancreatic cancer combined.
- Symptoms are hard to detect. Cough, shortness of breath and chest pain are all symptoms, but they don’t usually occur until the later stages.
- Smoking isn’t the only cause. Radon, asbestos, air pollution and family history are all risk factors.
- Most new diagnoses are non-smokers. Sixty percent either quit smoking a long time ago or have never smoked.
- Screening can be life saving. People over 55 who are or have been recent excessive smokers should talk to their provider about their options.
Every day, 641 people are diagnosed with lung cancer, and early detection is key to saving their lives. If you’re concerned about your lung cancer risk, schedule a visit with your provider!