November 13, 2018
More people die each year from lung cancer than any other cancer. Some of the risks factors associated with lung cancer may be related to family history or genetics. But many risk factors such as smoking, air pollution or exposure to asbestos are in your control. Learn more about your specific risk factors by visiting the Lung Cancer Foundation of America’s (LCFA) webpage.
Early signs of lung cancer are easy to ignore. In fact, people can have a great quality of life without ever knowing they have lung cancer. Because of this, over 80% of lung cancer patients are diagnosed when the cancer is already at an advanced stage. Unfortunately, it’s much harder to treat lung cancer at an advanced stage. And because of this, the LCFA reports that “for every 100 people diagnosed with lung cancer, only 17 will still be living 5 years later.” If patients are diagnosed in the earliest stages, that survival rate more than triples. Because of this, if you meet certain eligibility risk factors such as a 30-pack year smoking history, are a current or former smoker, and are over the age of 55, it’s recommended that you receive an annual low-dose CT scan (LDCT) in order to increase your chances of early detection. You can learn more about LDCT here.
Around 2007, The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) discovered that no two tumors are alike. This discovery led to new ways to understand and treat cancer. Once a tumor’s unique mutations or “biomarkers” are identified, then treatments can be customized for those specific biomarkers. Similarly, patients can now also receive “targeted therapies.” According to the LCFA, “Once the tumor’s unique biomarkers are identified, targeted therapies work to shut down or inhibit mutations that would otherwise make the cancer cells grow and divide.” If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with lung cancer, it is recommended you learn more about the latest developments in biomarker testing and targeted therapies today.
When you donate money this November, make sure your donation is going to an organization or charity you trust. A great recommendation is to visit Charity Navigator, an independent website that ranks various charities. Choose an organization that matches your lung cancer research funding goals and together we can fight for new treatments and protocols for lung cancer patients.References Carrol M. It’s Time To Get Rid of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The Week Website. Accessed November 11, 2018. Cancer: The Harsh Story of Lung Cancer vs Breast Cancer. CancerGeek Website. Accessed November 11, 2018. November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. Lung Cancer Foundation of America Website. Accessed November 11, 2018. Goldman L. The Big Business of Breast Cancer. Marie Claire Website. Accessed November 11, 2018. Critical Thinking On Breast Cancer. Breast Cancer Consortium Website. Accessed November 11, 2018.