Although lung cancer is the number one cancer in the United States, this type tends to be missed from public consciousness than other cancer types.
We talked with Quynh-Nhu Nguyen, MD, an assistant professor of radiation oncology at the University of Texas’s MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and now we have got 10 critical data associated with lung cancer:
1. Lung cancer is the number one cancer in the world, according to the American Lung Association, and this type tends to target people aged 55 years or older. This cancer is rare in patients aged less than 45 years.
2. Smoking is the biggest causing factor of lung cancer.
3. Most cases begin with genetic changes in the cells of the lungs, including the alveoli, bronchioles and bronchi. The early stages are difficult to detect with X-rays and usually do not cause any symptom.
4. Lung cancer can spread very quickly and form a variety of new blood vessels that serve for feeding the tumor. The danger occurs when cancer cells break away from the original tumor and spread to other organs or metastasizing.
5. Lung cancer has very small life expectancy rates, as 90% of patients with lung cancer will die less than five years.
6. Screening is less effective in preventing most cases of cancer, and quitting smoking is the most important step. However, some people have taken advantage of screening, according to the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). The USPSTF found that low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) can reduce the risk of death of persons at high risk such as smokers who had quit for last 15 years, people aged between 55-80, and smokers with a pack of cigarettes over the last 30 years or 2 packs of cigarettes over the last 15 years.
7. Three general risks of screening are false-positive results, over diagnosis, and repeated LDCT that actually can cause cancer on healthy people.
8. If you are a person with a high risk, then you are advised to undergo the CDC, but if you are aged 81 years or older and do not smoke for last 15 years, you do not need to do the screening.
9. MD Anderson Cancer Center is using proton therapy, which is effective to emit radiation to the tumor with great accuracy so as not affecting the surrounding healthy tissue.
10. So far proton therapy is provided only by no more than 15 places in the United States and as other cancers, the earlier you detect cancer, the more opportunities to recover you can get.