While lung cancer used to be mostly a disease of men, as more women became smokers, more developed lung cancer. Smoking is also associated with emphysema, heart disease, stroke, and other cancers and diseases.
Risk Factors for Lung Cancer
|Secondhand smoking (also called passive smoking), which results from being in the environment of smokers, even if one is a non-smoker.|
|Being African-American because they are at a higher risk of developing lung cancer.|
|Asbestos exposure, which is associated with an increased risk of a type of lung cancer called mesothelioma.|
|Other industrial carcinogens (cancer causing substances).|
|Radon gas – an odorless gas that’s released into the air from the breakdown of uranium in the soil and water. It’s a good idea to have the home checked for radon, especially if one lives in an area where high radon levels often occur.|
Symptoms of Lung Cancer
By the time a person with lung cancer develops symptoms, the cancer is often advanced.
However, the symptoms of lung cancer are:
|Weight loss and loss of appetite|
|Shortness of breath|
|Fever of unknown cause|
|Repeated periods of bronchitis or pneumonia|
Diagnosis and Treatment
- Examination of the sputum for cancer cells;
- Chest X-ray
- CT (‘cat’) scan
- Bronchoscopy, where a small tube is inserted down the throat to look at the airways, or do a biopsy.
- Radiation Therapy