An Introduction To Lung Cancer, Part 2
Lung cancer is one of the most easily preventable type of all cancers. In fact studies show that eight out of every ten people with cancer have lung cancer. The disease is heavily associated with tobacco smoking. Tobacco is therefore a major driver of cancer of the lungs. This is also why it is easily preventable compared with all other cancers. By simply stopping smoking or never starting to smoke cancer of the lungs is effectively evaded. In 2010 an estimated over 220 000 cases of cancer of the lungs were estimated in the United States. There were an estimated over 155000 deaths. It has been observed that the number of people in America developing cancer of the lungs has decreased over the past 30 years. This is primarily attributed to a sharp decrease in adult smoking prevalence. A decline in smoking in general can be traced back to widespread smoking band targeting smoking in public places as well as a raise in tobacco tax and widespread awareness and access to information on the dangers of smoking. What is worrying however is that most adolescents who become regular smokers continue to smoke into adulthood. These become potential sufferers of lung cancer later in life.
Tobacco users will remain primarily at greatest risk of cancer of the lungs. The longer an individual continues to use tobacco the greater the risk of developing cancer of the lungs. Studies show that if a person who smokes stops smoking, there is a chance of complete lung tissue repair. Other risk factors of cancer of the lungs will include second hand smoke from tobacco cigarettes also known as side stream smoking. This is also the leading reason behind serious prohibitions across the world of smoking in public establishments such as pubs, restaurants, and other similar places across the world. Radon is a radioactive gas found in most homes. It has been identified as yet another risk factor for cancer of the lungs playing second fiddle to tobacco smoking. Asbestos is also another risk factor for cancer of the lungs. Individuals working in asbestos environments are also prone to lung cancer. The risk is even higher if the individual also smokes. In fact the UN has successfully campaigned for the banning of asbestos use. Other cancer causing agents include arsenic, vinyl chloride, coal products and diesel exhaust amongst others.
Cancer of the lungs undoubtedly reduces the quality of life for the patients. This will include difficulties breathing and constant need for medical care. In terms of treatment doctors might recommend lung transplant which will involve waiting for donors and may also be very expensive. This is one of the reasons why doctors emphasize prevention.