It would be incredibly difficult to find a person who isn’t aware of lung cancer, and unless they smoke, chances are it is one of the furthest concerns in their mind. However, this perception might not be without its fault, and the reason can be found in the numbers.
While smoking does increase your chance of getting lung cancer, the numbers don’t just reflect people who do smoke, meaning that lung cancer is still the second most common cancer among men and women, and it still accounts for 14 percent of all new cancers.
This year alone there will be nearly 250,000 diagnoses of lung cancer among men and women in the United States alone. On top of that, another 160,000 will lose the battle to this devastating disease.
Lung cancer is not a young person’s disease, with less than 2 percent of cases occurring in people below the age of 45 and 2/3 of diagnosis being in people 65 years or older. Men are slightly more likely to contract lung cancer than women, come in at 1 in 16 to 13 in 1 respectively.
The 10 Warning Signs of Lung Cancer
A bad, hacking cough is perhaps the hallmark symptom of lung cancer, but it would also to be prudent to note that it is also the same of a cold, flu, chest infection, pneumonia, etc. Come to think of it, most people don’t ever think ‘maybe its cancer’ after a coughing fit. But if it starts to become prolonged, it might be worth a trip to the doctors.
While in the vast majority of cases, coughs are caused by colds and flu or other non-cancer-related symptoms, it can still be a sign of its presence. Be on the lookout for dry, painful cough, and not if you notice any blood or mucus manifesting in presence of phlegm. Anytime you notice blood where there shouldn’t be blood, it should warrant an automatic trip to the doctor.
Another reason that lung cancer is difficult to diagnosis is that coughing is often a very reasonable response to people. What this means is it is easy to misdiagnose during winter months or attributed it to allergies in the warmer months. This further compounds the difficulty of early detection.