6 Common Lung Cancer Myths And Facts That Everyone Should Know
Lung cancer is the 2nd most common cancer affecting people and the leading cause of cancer death worldwide. Although, many myths still exist about lung cancer. In lung cancer, symptoms often occur in advanced stages, and only 15% of the cases are diagnosed at early stages. Hence it is important to understand facts about lung cancer. Let’s look into six common lung cancer myths and facts behind those myths.
Lung Cancer Myths And Facts To Know About:
Myth 1: You Cannot Get Lung Cancer If You Do Not Smoke
There is a stigma that lung cancer is a smoker’s disease. Though cigarette smoking is the number one risk factor for lung cancer and accounts for about 90% of lung cancer cases, non-smokers can also get lung cancer from various causes. Exposure to secondhand smoke is one of the major risk factors.
Exposure to the naturally occurring gas called radon that comes from dirt and rocks is the second leading cause of lung cancer. Work exposure to carcinogens (such as asbestos, arsenic), infections (such as HIV), lung disorders, and medical radiation can also increase the risk of lung cancer.
Myth 2: If You Have Lung Cancer, Quitting Smoking Is Pointless
No matter how much or how long you have been smoking, quitting is always better. After a diagnosis, quitting can help treatments work better and increase survival. It can ease the treatment side effects and make it easier to recover from surgery.
Smoking can cause cancer in almost any part of the body. Quitting helps to reduce the risk of other cancers and health conditions linked to smoking and improves the quality of life.
Myth 3: Lung Cancer Is Always Deadly
Lung cancer is not always fatal. Treatment and detection of this cancer have improved a lot in recent years. A test called a low dose CT scan helps detect lung cancer early and is recommended for people at high risk. This test uses low radiation doses to detect the possibility of cancer.
This test is recommended for adults between the ages of 50 and 80 who have quit within the past 15 years or currently smoke and have at least 20 pack-year smoking history. A pack-year is smoking an average of 1 pack of cigarettes each day for one year.
Myth 4: Only Elderly People Develop Lung Cancer
Many people think that “I am too young to get lung cancer” and avoid visiting a physician even if they experience any symptoms. Though the typical age of getting diagnosed with lung cancer is around 70, about ten percent of lung cancers occur in individuals under 55. Common cancer affecting adults under 35 is adenocarcinoma.
One way which lung cancer differs in young people is that young women are affected more by lung cancer than young men. Also, younger adults have more advanced cancer at the time of diagnosis. Despite this, the recovery tends to be better than that of older people with the same cancer type and stage.
Myth 5: There Is Nothing People Can Do To Decrease The Lung Cancer Risk
It’s not true. There are many things you can do to reduce the lung cancer risk, and of course, the first thing that tops this list is smoking cessation. Avoid secondhand smoke as working or living with a person who smokes regularly can increase a non-smoker’s risk of this cancer by twenty to thirty percent. There are ways to test and decrease high-radon levels in the buildings. Get your home tested for radon.
Follow the workplace precautions to protect yourself from exposure to carcinogenic substances. For example, if you are given a mask or any protective clothing to wear, always wear it without fail. Even though there is no strong evidence, research shows a diet rich in vegetables and fruits may decrease the incidence of lung cancer by approximately 25%. Being physically active can help keep the lungs healthy.
Myth 6: Smoking E-Cigarettes Is Safe
Experts say that smoking e-cigarettes or vaping is less harmful than smoking, but it’s still not safe. It may also raise the risk of lung cancer.
Learn Your Choices And Hope:
Learn about some essential facts about lung cancer. Get screened if you are at high risk of lung cancer. Preventing the risk factors and screening are the best ways to stay away from lung cancer and its impact.