Each year, thousands of people are diagnosed with lung cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, the average age of diagnosis is around 70. Unfortunately, more people die of lung cancer than breast, prostate, and colon combined. Thankfully, there is help available to encourage smokers in their journey towards becoming smoke-free.
Smoking Is The Primary Cause of Lung Cancer
Unfortunately, smoking not only leads to cancer but second-hand exposure can as well. This means smokers need to be proactive and not only protect themselves but others also. The sooner a person stops smoking, the better the chances of their lungs being protected against cancer.
Most smokers are not diagnosed with lung cancer until they are over the age of 65. Over years of smoking, tar builds up in the lungs. This destroys the cells of the lungs and causes mutations over time which can lead to cancer.
Cigarette smoke is full of carcinogens and when these are inhaled, they become trapped in the linings of the lungs. Although the body is able to repair the damage at first, over a period of years, the damage becomes too great and the body can no longer take care of the damage.
There are two major types of lung cancer:
- Small cell lung cancer – This is the least common type of lung cancer and is most often found in heavy smokers.
- Non-small cell lung cancer – This term covers several types of lung cancer such as squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma.
Smokers Need to Be Screened For Lung Cancer
It is imperative smokers go through lung screenings annually so they can be sure their lungs are as healthy as possible. Screenings allow doctors to discover lung cancer in its early stages when it is most treatable.
If you are a smoker, Lahey Hospital & Medical Center offers lung screening tests to help you protect your health. It is imperative you consider stopping smoking so you can avoid lung cancer in the future. To learn more, go to the Lahey Hospital Facebook page. You can also visit the website to learn more about the many medical services they offer their patients.