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CANCER INFORMATION

Lung Cancer

Lung cancer strikes many Americans each year. It is one of the most common forms of cancer, and is often fatal. It causes 3 million deaths each year, making it one of the most deadly cancer types in existence. Only about one in ten patients who are diagnosed with lung cancer survive for the next five years following their original diagnosis. Because of these facts, it is very important that people are aware of both the risks and symptoms that are associated with lung cancer, as well as how to detect it and treatment available. An interesting fact to know is that more women die of lung cancer than from ovarian, uterine, and breast cancer combined every year. Women are much more in danger of getting lung cancer, and scientists think this is due to the uniqueness of women's genetic makeup. As most people know, smoking is the main cause of lung cancer. Heavy smokers are in danger of getting lung cancer, and are encourage to quit smoking as soon as possible. Doctors generally feel that if people can stop smoking by the time they are 30 years old, their risk for lung cancer diminishes significantly. Over 90% of lung cancer cases involved smokers. Second hand or passive smoke also affects people, and on average about 3,000 people per year who have dealt with passive smoke were also diagnosed with the disease. Quitting smoking is perhaps the most important and significant thing one can do to prevent lung cancer.

Many famous people have passed away due to lung cancer. Recently, news anchor Peter Jennings, who was a lifelong smoker, passed away from lung cancer. Also, Dana Reeve, the wife of famous actor Christopher Reeve, also died of the disease. She, however, was not a smoker. It is important to know the various symptoms associated with lung cancer. These include shortness of breath, coughing up blood, constant chest pain, wheezing, coughing up sputum, hoarseness in the voice, and difficulty swallowing, to name a few. Lung cancer can spread rapidly if not treated, and can spread to areas of the body such as the liver, spine, or brain, making it a very dangerous and often fatal form of cancer. Early detection is very important, although often with lung cancer, it goes unnoticed because the symptoms are so closely related with symptoms of heavy smoking. A chest X-ray is the most common way the doctor will test for lung cancer, but CAT Scans and MRI tests, as well as biopsies are also performed to be sure. The severity, size, and how far the cancer has spread all determine what treatments will be needed. Scientists are constantly researching new ways to try to treat lung cancer since it is such a tough cancer to beat. The best advice for all who are concerned about getting lung cancer is to quit smoking as soon as possible, and try to get exercise so that you can live a long and healthy life that is cancer free.

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