While November is often a time to give thanks for the things we are grateful for, it is also a time of the year dedicated to lung cancer awareness. In the United States, lung cancer is the second most common type of cancer (after breast cancer). However, it is the most deadly. The American Cancer Society estimates that 2017 will bring a total of 222,500 new cases of lung cancer and 155,870 lung cancer-related deaths. This estimate would account for approximately 30% of all cancer-related deaths.
There are three types of lung cancer: 1) Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (the most common), 2) Small Cell Lung Cancer, and 3) Lung Carcinoid Tumor. The type of cancer is crucial information for doctors as it can determine a patient’s treatment options and prognosis. Throughout the month of November, we will be sharing a series of posts on our blog dedicated to creating awareness for this life-threatening disease. We will explore each type of lung cancer, common causes (such as smoking and asbestos exposure), treatment options, and resources available for patients and their families.
Watch for Early Symptoms of Lung Cancer
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the symptoms of lung cancer can differ across patients depending on the stage of the disease or if it has spread to other parts of the body. However, it is important to see a doctor if these symptoms occur:
- Coughing that gets worse or doesn’t go away
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Coughing up blood
- Feeling very tired all the time
- Weight loss with no known cause
- Swollen or enlarged lymph nodes