While smoking can cause lung cancer, it isn't the only risk factor. Lung cancer is also diagnosed in people who have never smoked. There are several important factors, besides tobacco use, that increase the risk of developing lung cancer. These factors can cause lung cancer even if you've never smoked or chewed tobacco in your entire life.
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The air we breathe is what keeps us alive. And the quality of that air is critical. Anything that’s smoked or vaped, whether it’s you or someone you’re near, changes the air quality. And that impacts how well your lungs can function, especially over time.
If you’re a smoker or used to smoke, live with a smoker, or are facing a lung cancer diagnosis, here's what you need to know about tobacco and lung cancer, its causes, symptoms, and treatment options.
Because lung cancer develops in the lungs, as you’d probably expect, its most common symptoms involve the lungs. Persistent coughing, coughing up blood or excess mucus, shortness of breath, and chest pain are all common signs of lung cancer. The presence of these symptoms doesn’t definitively mean you have lung cancer, though, as they can also be caused by other conditions. That’s why it’s important to be evaluated by your doctor sooner rather than later.
Lung cancer is the second-most common form in men and women. The American Cancer Society reports that disease accounts for 13% of all newly diagnosed cases, and their researchers made the following estimates for 2019 in the United States. There will be:
The Compass Oncology lung cancer specialists encourage everyone to take a moment on March 20th to observe "National Kick Butts Day.” This day focuses on the health risks of tobacco use, including smoking, as a part of our practice’s efforts to reduce the number of lung cancer cases diagnosed each year. According to the National Cancer Institute, that’s close to 700 cases each year in the Portland-Vancouver area.
What is the American Cancer Society's Great American Smokeout? It's an annual event, held the third Thursday of every November, a date on which smokers nationwide are asked to give up smoking. This year, 2017, that means it’s on November 16th. Quitting for just one day helps you take action toward a healthier life, and reduce your lung cancer risk.
Each year, the Great American Smokeout calls attention to the deaths, lung cancer diagnoses and other chronic diseases that smoking causes, and how to prevent them. As a result of this event, there have been actions taken towards reducing the health impacts that smoking can have on smokers and non-smokers including:
- Many states and local governments have banned smoking in restaurants, public spaces, and workplaces.
- Increased taxes on cigarettes
- Limiting of cigarette advertisements and product placements.
It’s common for cancer patients and their families to feel helpless, as if their futures and those of their loved ones are entirely dependent on physicians and medications. Genetic testing is one way for cancer patients and their relatives to regain a sense of control over the disease, and make a valuable contribution toward improving its detection, treatment and prevention.
One of the most effective ways for cancer researchers to learn why a type of cancer occurs (an important step in discovering treatments) is to study the genes of patients and those who share their DNA profile.
New cases of lung cancer in Oregon were down by 3% between 2009 and 2013. That's great news! But as one of the most preventable types of cancer, there is more work to be done.
At Compass Oncology, we're participating in Lung Cancer Awareness Month by helping raise awareness of this often preventable disease. Lung cancer is the second most common type of cancer diagnosis in both men and women. We encourage you to educate yourself and join us in spreading the word about the prevalence of lung cancer and the best ways to reduce the risks of developing it.