The American Cancer Society estimates that about 234,000 people will be
diagnosed with lung cancer in the United States this year. If you’re
a current or former smoker, or someone at risk for developing lung cancer,
that can be a startling statistics. Dr. Angel Yu, physician at CaroMont
Hematology & Oncology in Gastonia, shares eight facts about lung cancer.
FACT: Lung cancer is the most common form of cancer in the world.
Nearly 14% of newly-diagnosed cancers will be lung cancer.
FACT: Despite advances in cancer care and treatment, the mortality rate
for lung cancer is still high.
More people die as a result of lung cancer than colon, breast and prostate
cancers combined, accounting accounts for approximately 27% of all cancer
deaths. This high mortality rate could be attributed to later diagnosis,
both in the stage of the disease and/or the patient’s life, as well
as the aggressive nature of the disease.
FACT: People younger than 45 are rarely diagnosed with lung cancer.
The average age of a patient diagnosed with lung cancer is 70.
FACT: Smoking is the leading risk factor, but there are other causes that
can put you at risk.
Smoking is the single greatest contributing factor to the development of
lung cancer, but other factors such as air pollution, second hand smoke,
genetic susceptibility and exposure to other hazardous chemicals can increase
your risk of developing lung cancer.
FACT: Small cell lung cancer is the most aggressive form of lung cancer.
While Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC) is the most aggressive form of lung
cancer, it is also the least common. It is rare that a non-smoker is diagnosed
FACT: On average 16 North Carolinians die of lung cancer every day.
And, 22 people are diagnosed with lung cancer every day in North Carolina.
FACT: Some symptoms of lung cancer can present as other illnesses.
Persistent cough, shortness of breath, back or chest pain, hoarseness and
unexplained weight loss could all be symptoms of lung cancer. If you have
any of these persistent symptoms, it is important to visit your primary
care physician as soon as possible.
FACT: Screenings are available and covered by most insurances for high-risk
If you’re a smoker of more than 30 years, talk to your primary care
doctor about your risk factors to determine if a CT Lung Screen is right
for you. This painless screen can help identify lung cancer, or lung nodules
that could become cancer, sooner, when cancer is most treatable. CaroMont
Health offers a comprehensive lung screening program that includes a multi-disciplinary
team of Pulmonologists, Radiologist and Oncologists. This expert team
works to actively identify and monitor issues to help patients get the
treatment they need, when they need it. To learn more about CT Lung Screening,
please talk with your primary care physician or visit caromonthealth.org.
Dr. Angel Yu is board certified in Hematology and Oncology. She is currently
accepting new patients in the Gastonia office. Read more about CaroMont
Hematology & Oncology and our comprehensive, compassionate approach
to cancer treatment.