New advances in diagnosis and treatment inspire new hope for survival for people living with lung cancer. Through Hope for Survival campaign, our goal is to share knowledge about lung diseases and to raise awareness among the public. A better understanding about the disease can help to reduce the barriers to seeking for early screening and diagnosis. Early detection and treatment can improve survival outcomes.

Do you know that lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women? Lung cancer begins in the lungs and may spread to lymph nodes or other parts of the body, such as the brain. Cancer from other organs on the other hand, may spread to the lungs. When cancer cells spread from one organ to other parts of the body, they are called metastases.1

Lung cancers are usually classified into two main types called small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Around 80% to 85% of lung cancers are non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) are sometimes called oat cell cancer, and occurs in about 10% to 15% of all lung cancers.2

Risk Factors and Causes of Lung Cancer

There are a number of factors that may increase your risk of lung cancer.3 Risk factors and causes of lung cancer include:

Smoking

Cigarette Smoking is leading cause of lung cancer. The more years a person smokes and the more cigarettes smoked a day, increases the risk of lung cancer. People who quit smoking, even after smoking for many years, can reduce the risk of developing lung cancer.

Exposure to secondhand smoke

Even if you don’t smoke, breathing in the smoke of others (called secondhand smoke) can increase risk of developing lung cancer.    Even if you don’t smoke, breathing in the smoke of others (called secondhand smoke) 

Previous radiation therapy

Previous radiation therapy to chest area for another form of cancer, may increase the risk of developing lung cancer.

Exposure to radon gas

Radon is produced by the natural breakdown of uranium of soil, rock and water that eventually becomes part of the air you breathe. Unsafe levels of radon can accumulate in any building, including homes.                  accumulate in any building, including homes.

Exposure to asbestos and other carcinogens

Workplace exposure to asbestos and other substances known to cause cancer – such as arsenic, chromium and nickel The greater the exposure to asbestos, the higher risk of developing lung cancer, especially if you’re a smoker.

Family history of lung cancer

People who have a parent, sibling or child with lung cancer may have a higher risk of developing the disease.

Signs and Symptoms

Lung cancer typically doesn’t display signs and symptoms in its earliest stages. Signs and symptoms of lung cancer usually occur when the disease is advanced.4 Some of the signs and symptoms to look out are:

  1. A new cough that doesn’t go away
  2. Coughing up blood, even a small amount
  3. Shortness of breath
  4. Chest pain
  5. Hoarseness
  6. Losing weight without trying
  7. Bone pain
  8. Headache

Is lung cancer preventable?

There’s no definite way to prevent lung cancer, but the risk can be reduced if you :

Don’t smoke!

If you’ve never smoked, don’t ever start.

If you’ve never smoked, don’t ever start.

If you’ve never smoked, don’t ever start.

If you’ve never smoked, don’t ever start.

Avoid secondhand smoke.

If you live or work with a smoker, encourage him or her to quit. At the very least, ask him or her not to smoke near you. Stay away from areas where people smoke, such as bars and restaurants, and seek our smoke-free options.

Eat a balanced and healthy diet with a variety of fruits and vegetables.

A healthy and balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables may help to lower your risk of lung cancer.6

Stop smoking…Now!

Quitting smoking lower your risk of lung cancer, even if you’ve smoked for long time. Talk to your doctor about strategies and stop-smoking aids that may be right for you. Options include nicotine replacement products, medications and support groups.5

Avoid carcinogens at work.

Take precautions to protect yourself from exposure to toxic chemicals at work which are carcinogenic. Also remember, your risk of lung damage from workplace carcinogens increases if you smoke.

 

Exercise.

Frequency is key. Try to exercise most days of the week.

Is it too late?

Never! Make an appointment with your doctor if you have any persistent signs or symptoms that worry you. And, if you smoke and have been unable to quit, make an appointment with your doctor who can recommend you strategies for quitting smoking. It always helps to have someone journey with you – be it to motivate you to quit smoking or to walk with you through the lung cancer treatment. The time to start is now. Take the first step today!