FAQs About Lung Cancer

Each year in the U.S. about 220,000 people are diagnosed with lung cancer — learn more about this disease and how it can be prevented.

Lung Cancer Awareness month is recognized each November to raise awareness and promote prevention.  Get the answers to your questions here. 

What is lung cancer?
Lung cancer is caused by abnormal cells that grow and spread from the lungs to other parts of the body. Lung cancer spreads quickly to the adrenal glands, liver, brain, and bones in particular. This disease is difficult to treat since it can spread so quickly.

What causes lung cancer?

  • 90% of lung cancer cases are linked to smoking or tobacco use
  • Secondhand smoke exposure
  • Asbestos or radon in the home or workplace
  • Family and personal history of lung cancer
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • Air pollution accounts for a small percentage

What increases risk for lung cancer?

  • Smoking or those exposure to secondhand smoke
  • Living or working around radon gas, asbestos, ionizing radiation, or other carcinogens
  • Radiation to the chest area
  • Chronic lung disease including emphysema or chronic bronchitis
  • Advanced age

What are the symptoms of lung cancer?

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Persistent coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing up blood
  • Chest pain
  • Frequent respiratory infections
  • Symptoms may not appear in all cases

How is lung cancer diagnosed?

  • Physical exam and medical history
  • X-ray
  • CT scan
  • MRI
  • PET scan
  • Bone scan
  • Biopsy
  • Blood test
  • Surgical procedure in some cases

How can you prevent lung cancer?

  • Quit smoking and avoid all exposure to secondhand smoke
  • Have your home tested for radon and treated if found
  • Avoid unnecessary chest x-rays and radiation
  • Live a healthy lifestyle including nutritious diet and exercise

What are the treatment options for lung cancer?

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation
  • Other breakthrough clinical trials for new treatments may be available

What is the prognosis for lung cancer?

  • The outcome depends on the size, location, symptoms, and other factors. Survival rates are much lower with lung cancer than other cancers. The best bet is to prevent lung cancer.

Lung cancer has long been associated with smokers, but it can also affect those who don’t smoke. Learn more about lung cancer in the Regional Medical Center’s online health library. Learn about how screening and quitting smoking can help you reduce your risk for lung cancer. To find out more about our services here at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point, visit us online today.

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