Despite the serious prognosis, some people with earlier stage cancers are cured. This is why it’s very important to know your risks as well as the signs and symptoms. Early detection is key in the treatment of lung cancer.
Risk factors include:
- History of cigarette, cigar or pipe smoking
- Exposure to excessive amounts of second hand smoke
- Exposure to asbestos, radon, Agent Orange, or other known cancer causing agents
- A family history of lung cancer
Although the majority of people who develop lung cancer have smoked, there are many who haven’t – and don’t have any other risk factors. That’s why knowing these signs and symptoms are crucial:
- Persistent coughing (the most common symptom)
- Wheezing and difficulty breathing
- Coughing up blood
- Pains in the chest, shoulders, back, ribs or arms
- Exhaustion and fatigue
There have been significant advancements in lung cancer treatments and outcomes. Many new treatments and technologies, such as Lung Brachytherapy and CyberKnife, are now creating options for many patients, as well as providing them with treatment alternatives that produce better outcomes with fewer side effects.
Learn more about treatment options with this short video:
This article first appeared in the November 2013 edition of the HealthPerks newsletter.