Lung cancer is the primary cause of cancer deaths in the United States.It kills more than 1.3 million people a year.In about 40 % of people diagnosed with lung cancer, the diagnosis is made after the disease has advanced. In one third of those diagnosed, the cancer has reached stage 3.Some people with early lung cancer have symptoms like:
- A cough that doesn’t go away after two or three weeks
- Changes in a chronic cough or “smoker’s cough”
- Coughing up blood
- Breathing Changes (shortness of breath)
- An ache or pain when breathing or coughing
- Loss of appetite and losing weight without trying
- Persistent tiredness or lack of energy
- Bone pain
People who smoke have the highest risk of this type of cancer.According to Mayo Clinic, the risk of lung cancer increases with the length of time and number of cigarettes you’ve smoked. Smoking causes lung cancer by damaging the cells that line the lungs. When you suck in cigarette smoke, which is plentiful of cancer-causing substances (carcinogens), changes in the lung tissue begin almost immediately.The damage causes cells to act abnormally and eventually cancer may develop.
Risk factors for lung cancer:
- Exposure to secondhand smoke
- Exposure to radon gas
- Exposure to asbestos and other carcinogens such as arsenic, chromium and nickel
- Family history of lung cancer
Visit your doctor if you have any signs or symptoms that worry you.If you visit your doctor when you first notice symptoms, your cancer might be diagnosed at an earlier stage, when treatment is more likely to be effective.