23 Interesting Facts about Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is by far the deadliest cancer diagnosed by medical science today. Being told that you have lung cancer or are exposed to a high risk of developing one, can leave you with many emotions and questions. While there’s so much information and misinformation flooding the internet today, knowing exactly what you must and mustn’t believe can be a task. So, here, in this article, we’ve compiled a list of 23 facts about lung cancer after speaking to some of the leading lung cancer specialists and many lung cancer survivors that would help you understand the anatomy of the disease.

Facts about Lung Cancer

  1. Lung cancer is evidently the most common and dangerous type of cancer known to medical science. Nearly three-fourth of lung cancer patients lose their lives to this fatal disease.
  2. In the United States of America, lung cancer stands as the second most common type of cancer. Prostate cancer in men and breast cancer in women, make the leading cause of cancer deaths in the USA.
  3. In the year of 2017alone, nearly 10 million lung cancer cases were registered across the globe. Of these, it is estimated that only a quarter of patients could be saved and given a new life to live.
  4. Comparatively, the rate of new lung cancer cases registered every decade has gone down by 2 percent. However, the stats are quite poor as compared to other known fatal cancer types.
  5. Lung cancer does not showcase any signs of its existence. This means that the cancer type is often only diagnosed when it enters its advanced stage.
  6. Chronic cough is most commonly thesymptom of the presence of cancer in the lungs. This cough worsens over time making it difficult for the person to handle.
  7. A tumor present on top of the lungs can severely affect the facial nerves, causing many grave symptoms like dropping of the eyelids, not sweating on one side of the face, etc.
  8. Smoking is one of the leading causes of lung cancer. Nearly 80 percent of the people with this condition die as a result of heavy smoking.
  9. People aging between 55 and 80 years, who’ve smoked for almost 30 years in their life, or those who’re either still smoking or had quit smoking nearly 15 years ago, are still at the risk of developing lung cancer. They must get themselves screened every now and then to know about their exposure and risk.
  10. People who do not smoke, but are exposed to secondhand smoking,can also develop lung cancer. It is estimated that nearly one-fourth of the overall lung cancer patients are a victim of passive/indirect smoking.
  11. Quitting smoking significantly reduces a person’s chance of developing lung cancer.
  12. Besides smoking, an exposure to radon, which is a naturally occurring gas, is stated as the second most common cause of lung cancer. It is believed that breathing radon can expose one’s lungs to small amounts of radiation, which in turn can cause the body’s cells to turn cancerous in nature.
  13. African-American men are more likely to get lung cancer as compared to white and brown men.
  14. Studies and surveys have shown that the risk of suffering from lung cancer increases with an increasing age. This means that people over the age of 60 years are more likely to have lung cancer than those in their 40s.
  15. Typically, X-ray or CT scan tests are used by physicians for testing and assessing the health of a person’s lungs, and identifying the presence of unknown/unexpected mass(s) in and around the lungs, which could be a cancerous in nature.
  16. Many physicians recommend genetic testing of tumors found in the lungs. This is because, such testing is quite effective in finding specific ways the DNA in the tumor has mutated or changed, and the kind of medications that could help cure the disease.
  17. Over the years, medical science has introduced many effective treatments for lung cancer. These typically include, chemotherapy, surgery, radiosurgery, radiation therapy, and targeted drug treatments.
  18. Most oncologists recommend four major types of surgeries for lung cancer. While one type of surgery is only focused on removing the tumor and a small part of the tissues surrounding it. Another onemay be used for removing one of the five lobes of the lung owing to the condition of the patient. If in case the tumor is present near the center of the chest, surgeons may feel the need to remove an entire lung.
  19. Immunotherapy is one of the best means used by oncologists to treat non-small cell lung cancer. It’s a type of treatment that blocks cancerous cells from attacking the immune cells or T-cells of the body. When t-cells get activated, they recognize cancerous cells as “foreign elements” to the body and attack them. Looking at the success of the therapy, scientists are running many clinical tests on immunotherapy to check whether it would work on other types of lung cancersas well.
  20. Three main types of lung cancers are recognized by medical science. These are: non-small cell lung cancer, small cell lung cancer, and lung carcinoid tumors. Of these, non-small cell lung cancer is the most commonly occurring disease.
  21. Lung carcinoid tumors, as compared to its counterparts, make up less than 5 percent of the total lung cancer cases registered every year.
  22. Cancer stages typically detail upon depth of the disease. While stage 1 indicates the very beginning of the disease. Stage 4, on the other hand, indicates an advanced stage, wherein the disease has spread to other parts of the body as well. Post this stage, a person cannot fully recover.
  23. Small cell lung cancer primarily has two main stages. While the first is limited, wherein the cancer cells are only present in one of the lungs of the body. They may also be in some surrounding lymph nodes. On the other hand, the second stage is an extensive one. Here, the cancer has spread to the other lung, the fluid enveloping the lungs, and possibly to other organsas well.