Lung cancer has been estimated to account for nearly one in five deaths globally in both men and women. It is responsible for claiming more lives than colorectal, breast, and pancreatic cancers combined which makes it the leading cancer killer in the United States. To bring attention to these staggering statistics, each November individuals and organizations come together to raise awareness and recognize the challenges presented when someone is diagnosed with the disease.
What is Lung Cancer?
Lung cancer is a group of diseases classified by the type of tissue the abnormal cells originated from in the lungs. There are two main types: small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Non-small cell lung cancer is the more common form of the disease which has many common subtypes such as squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinomas.
Smoking is the most common cause of lung cancer. Other risk factors include being exposed to secondhand smoke, having a family history of lung cancer, being treated with radiation therapy to the breast or chest, exposure to asbestos, radon, chromium, nickel, arsenic, soot, or tar in the workplace. When smoking is combined with other risk factors, the risk of lung cancer is increased.
There are two stages of small cell lung cancer: Limited and Extensive. Limited is when the cancer is only in one lung or in nearby tissue. Extensive is when the cancer has spread to tissue and organs outside the original lung which can be in the opposite lung or in a distant organ.
The Signs & Symptoms
According to the American Lung Association, in the early stages of lung cancer, symptoms may not manifest because there are few nerve endings in the lungs. Many early detections are diagnosed as an incidental finding from another test for a different purpose. So, knowing the early signs and symptoms can allow for a treatment plan for a better success rate.
If you experience any of these symptoms for an extended amount of time, please see a trusted physician to determine a diagnosis and a treatment plan.
- Persistent Cough
- Shortness of Breath
- Raspy Voice
- Chronic Bronchitis, Pneumonia, or Emphysema
- Chest Pain
- Unexplained Weight Loss
- Bone Pain
Jupiter Medical Specialists are here to make your healthcare journey simple and bring further awareness to the community. Contact us today at (561)972-5709 to schedule a consultation.