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What is Lung Cancer?
Lung cancer is a disease in which abnormal or cancerous cells grow in the lungs.The abnormal cells no longer do the work of normal cells. Instead the cancer cells replace and destroy healthy tissue in the lungs.
- The primary CAUSE of lung cancer is smoking; radon is the leading cause of cancer in non-smokers. Up to 16% of people with lung cancer never smoked a day in their lives.
- Doctors estimate that the smoker's high RISK FOR LUNG CANCER IS LOWERED TO ALMOST NORMAL just 10 years after he or she stops.
- Finding lung cancer at the earliest, most curable stage is difficult. There MAY BE NO SYMPTOMS IN THE BEGINNING to warn a person to see a doctor.
- Signs which suggest something's wrong - A CHRONIC COUGH, WEEZING, CHEST PAINS, COUGHING UP BLOOD - which can also occur in other chest diseases.
- Lung cancer can be TREATED IN THREE WAYS: surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.
- LUNG CANCER IS THE LEADING CAUSE OF CANCER DEATH for both men and women.
- The primary cause of lung cancer by far is SMOKING.
- RADON gas build-up in homes is the second leading cause of lung cancer. For smokers, there is a 30% risk of lung cancer with a lifetime exposure to high radon levels (800Bq/m3 or higher). Learn more about radon here.
KEY Prevention stratEgies
The risk for lung cancer changes if the person stops smoking.
Some experts believe that about 80% of cases could be prevented, if people were to avoid cigarette smoke and other things that are known to cause cancer.
- Resources to help you quit smoking:
1. The Lung Association’s Lung Health Information Line at 1-888-344-LUNG (5864)
2. Our workbook to help you quit smoking, Journey 2 Quit
3. Canadian Cancer Society’s Smokers’ Helpline: 1-877-513-5333
Click here to learn more about lung cancer.