November: Lung Cancer Awareness Month
People all around the globe observe November as the lung cancer awareness month. Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in both men and women (not counting skin cancer). In men, prostate cancer is more common, while in women breast cancer is more common. Lung cancer mainly occurs in older people. Most people are diagnosed with lung cancer at the age of 65 or older, while a very small number of people diagnosed are younger than 45. The average age of people when diagnosed is about 70 years. There are 2 main types of lung cancer: Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), which counts to 80% to 85% of lung cancers, and Small cell lung cancer (SCLC). The main subtypes of NSCLC are adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and large cell carcinoma. These subtypes, which start from different types of lung cells are grouped together as NSCLC as their treatment and prognoses are often similar. This type of lung cancer tends to grow and spread faster than NSCLC. About 70% of people with SCLC have their cancer already spread at the time they are diagnosed. Smoking is by far the leading risk factor for lung cancer. About 80% of lung cancer deaths are thought to result from smoking and this number is probably even higher for small cell lung cancer (SCLC). It’s very rare for someone who has never smoked to have SCLC. Among the other modifiable risk factors for lung cancer are: secondhand smoke, exposure to radon, exposure to asbestos, and arsenic in drinking water. Most lung cancers do not cause any symptoms until they have spread. The most common symptoms of lung cancer are: A cough that does not go away or gets worse, coughing up blood or rust-colored sputum (spit or phlegm), chest pain that is often worse with deep breathing, coughing, or laughing, and infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia that don’t go away or keep coming back.
Source: 1. Cancer.Org. Lung Cancer Guide – What You Need To Know. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/lung-cancer.html. Accessed 1 Nov 2020.