Lung cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed types of cancer affecting close to 2 million people every year worldwide, and killing approximately 75% of those who have are affected. Although studies have proven that there has been a decrease in incidence of lung cancer cases since the mid 1980’s, present epidemiology is still alarming.
According to the surgeon general lists of the United States, 21 deadly diseases are caused by smoking, including lung cancer. Even though most smokers know what would be the effect of smoking, they are still addicted and continue using the tobacco products or the primarily industrially manufactured, the cigarettes. Approximately half a million smoking-related deaths, including both direct and secondhand smokers, have been reported every year, and out of that half a million, about 437,000 of those are direct smokers.
With 2 million people diagnosed to have lung cancer every year including 150,000 Americans, people may ask how likely one could acquire the disease? Basically, this disease could be acquired through exposure to carcinogens. It could be environmental or occupational. Smoking remains to be the number one risk factor for developing this cancer. Almost 80% of the lung cancer cases are projected to tobacco smoking and exposure to secondhand. Other possible causes of cancer are exposures to asbestos, halogen ether and chromium.
Genetic susceptibility is another factor that predisposes a person to acquire this lethal disease. Studies have shown that patients have an oncogene specific for developing this type of cancer, although further studies are still ongoing in order to solidify this theory.
What is really peculiar about lung cancer is that it may develop unnoticed until it reaches the later stages of the disease. A person could feel a wide variety of symptoms ranging from cough, back pain, weight loss, anorexia, generalized weakness and even fever. If anyone has these signs and symptoms, it is recommended to seek professional help.
Doctors and scientists have developed different ways of treating this cancer. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been a definite cure up to this date. Management such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy are currently being practiced worldwide to help patients have a good quality of life in the face of carrying this burden. Aside from medical and surgical approach, there are also organizations that offer financial, psychological and emotional support to victims of lung cancer.
Lung cancer is certainly a dreadful disease that continues to be a worldwide burden, but with the development of new medical and surgical treatments as well as support from different cancer organizations, the fight against cancer is getting stronger.