August 1st is World Lung Cancer Day! Of all cancers, lung cancer causes the most deaths and is also one of the most diagnosed cancers. In observance of this day, here’s some information about lung cancer to help educate on this pervasive disease.
The number one risk factor for lung cancer is smoking. About 80% of lung cancer related deaths in the United States can be linked to smoking cigarettes. In addition, second hand smoke can contribute to the development of lung cancer.
Lung cancer can also occur in those who have never smoked before. Genetic predisposition, air pollutants, and other factors can lead to the development of lung cancer. Visit cdc.gov/cancer/lung/nonsmokers/ for information on lung cancer in nonsmokers.
While many symptoms of lung cancer don’t occur until the cancer is in an advanced stage, there are still some symptoms to look out for! These include: persistent coughing, coughing up blood, excessive and perpetual fatigue, wheezing, and continued shortness of breath. If you are at-risk for lung cancer, look out for these symptoms.
It is recommended that those between the ages of 50 and 80 who smoke or quit in the last 15 years be screened for lung cancer. People whose family has a history of lung cancer should talk to their health provider to determine if screening is necessary.
If you or a loved one is concerned about lung cancer, talk to a healthcare provider about steps to stay safe and healthy!