Lung Cancer – Often Undetected Until It Is "Too Late"

According to the CDC’s November 11 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 68.8 percent of current smokers say they want to quit and 52.4 percent tried to quit during the past year. No matter how many people want to quit or attempt to quit, tobacco cigarettes are still creating an immense risk of many types of cancer including lung cancer.

Nancy Meenan shared her experience with losing her husband to lung cancer in a letter to the Editor at The following is her statement:

My husband passed away in July of small-cell lung cancer. He was told by the oncologist that small-cell is directly caused by smoking and is a very aggressive cancer. By the time he showed symptoms, it was too late. The doctor also said there has been no progress in finding a way to cure small-cell lung cancer in the last 20 years.

According to the Mayo Clinic:

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, among both men and women. It claims more lives than colon, prostate and breast cancer combined, yet is among the most preventable cancers. Early detection and treatment make a significant difference in life expectancy following lung cancer diagnosis. Smoking accounts for about 85 percent to 90 percent of lung cancer cases.

The Mayo Clinic treats more than 1,500 new patients diagnosed with lung cancer every year. Treatment possibilities depend on the health of the patient and  the type of cancer and stage. Treatment options include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, or a combination of treatments. Some patients have the opportunity to participate in clinical trials as part of their therapeutic medical care.

Most cases of lung cancer don’t have to be. Tobacco smoke is responsible for carrying over 4,000 chemicals into the lungs and body. Of those chemicals, at least 40 are known carcinogens; with some reports mentioning upwards of 70 cancer causing agents. By eliminating tobacco smoke from your life through cessation or a cigarette alternative, the risk of lung cancer drops considerably. After approximately 10-12 years smoke-free, the lungs of a former smoker are equivalent to those of a non-smoker.

Take the initiative to change your life today and quit smoking. You deserve a long, healthy life to share with your family and friends. Stub out your cigarettes before you find that it is “too late” like so many others have found.

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