What do you know about lung cancer?

What do you know about lung cancer?

November is lung cancer awareness month. According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer is the second most common cancer in both men and women, accounting for about 13% of all new cancers. The ACS is projecting approximately 221,200 new cases of lung cancer diagnosed for 2015 in the U.S. with an estimated 158,040 deaths (approximately 27% of all cancer deaths). The average age at time of diagnosis is 70 years old (primarily a disease affecting the elderly).

There are 2 primary classifications of lung cancer. Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and small cell lung cancer (SCLC). NSCLC is the most common type of lung cancer, contributing to 80-85% of all cases. NSCLC does not grow or spread as fast as small cell lung cancer, which can rapidly spread to other parts of the body. The most common forms of non-small cell lung cancer include adenocarcinoma (30% of lung cancer diagnoses), squamous cell carcinoma (30%), and large cell carcinoma (9%).  Lung cancer will often have no symptoms until it has spread. The Lung Cancer Alliance has a good list of what you should look for.

Lung cancer is serious business and is largely attributed to smoking. The American Lung Association reports on their website that active smoking is responsible for close to 90% of lung cancer cases (estimated). According to the American Lung Association and based on a report from the U.S. Surgeon General, “Smoking, a main cause of small cell and non-small cell lung cancer, contributes to 80 percent and 90 percent of lung cancer deaths in women and men, respectively. Men who smoke are 23 times more likely to develop lung cancer. Women are 13 times more likely, compared to never smokers.” Stopping smoking at any age may lower the risk of lung cancer.

Finding support

If you need help quitting smoking or support in the fight against lung cancer, the American Lung Association has some very good resources.

How Science Care donors are helping

Science Care donors have helped in the fight against cancer and lung disease in many ways. Recently, donors have contributed to research to help develop methods of early detection of lung diseases including cancer and COPD.

Ways to get involved:

  • Become an advocate
  • Volunteer
  • Participate in an event
    There are numerous events going on around the country throughout November. To find an event near you, visit www.lungcanceralliance.org or www.lung.org
  • Make a donation to the American Lung Association, American Cancer Society, Lung Cancer Alliance or other charitable organization.
  • Register as a Science Care donor and help researchers find new cures and better treatments
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