Only 1% of Women Know This About Lung Cancer

Lung cancer seems to be a silent epidemic. More than 224,000 Americans will be diagnosed with lung cancer this year. The five-year survival rate is only 16-18%, one of the lowest survival rates for cancer. Among women diagnosed with lung cancer, less than half will be alive in one year. Yet more than half of women surveyed incorrectly think that breast cancer kills more women. In the American Lung Association’s Women’s Health Barometer, a survey of 1,000 women, only 1% identified lung cancer as a “top-of-mind” cancer affecting women. The fact is, lung cancer is the number one cancer killer of women (and men, too).

While new cases of lung cancer have dropped by 35% in men over the past 35 years, they’ve doubled in women.

Anyone can get lung cancer. Smoking is a leading cause of lung cancer, but about 10% of cases occur in nonsmokers. Other factors include genetics, air pollution, and exposure to secondhand smoke or radon.

Symptoms include:

  • shortness of breath, wheezing
  • chest pain
  • coughing that doesn’t get better, coughing up blood
  • fatigue
  • weight loss

There are different types of lung cancer. Treatment depends on the type and the stage at diagnosis. If you have signs of lung cancer, see your doctor as quickly as possible. In general, early diagnosis and treatment results in a better prognosis.

How can you reduce your risk of developing lung cancer? Here are some tips from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

  • Donít smoke. Cigarette smoking causes about 90% of lung cancer deaths in the United States. The most important thing you can do to prevent lung cancer is to not start smoking, or to quit if you smoke.
  • Avoid secondhand smoke. Smoke from other peopleís cigarettes, cigars, or pipes is called secondhand smoke. Make your home and car smoke-free.
  • Get your home tested for radon. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends that all homes be tested for radon.
  • Be careful at work. Health and safety guidelines in the workplace can help workers avoid carcinogensóthings that can cause cancer.

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Photo: Digital Vision | Photodisc | Thinkstock

93 comments

Elena Poensgen
Elena Poensgen2 years ago

Thank you

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Dianne Robertson
Dianne Robertson2 years ago

My husband died of lung cancer. He had quit in the early 90s BUT had driven city busses for 30 years. He actually thought that driving bus through downtown Minneapolis every 2 hours was stress-free and that smoking kept him from getting fat. BAM!! LUNG CANCER! WOMEN , WISE UP!!

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Edo R.
Edo R2 years ago

Thanks for sharing

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Jennifer H.
Jennifer H2 years ago

Wow. This was a surprise to me. I thought breast cancer was the #1. Thanks for the information. I have spent a lot of time being a second hand smoker. My folks were both heavy smokers.

Best of care to you, Kelly M.

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Randi Eckstein
3 years ago

Thank You For This Information !!!

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Elena Poensgen
Elena Poensgen3 years ago

Thank you

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Kelly M.
Kelly Moses3 years ago

I was just diagnosed with lung cancer and I wish I had a chest XRay every year or two. I am an ex smoker but I smoked for over 20 years and I didn't know that a simple chest Xray could have shown I had the cancer before it became a large mass. I had every one of the above warning signs but only went to the doctor when I coughed up blood. It started with a dry cough once in a while. Then the shortness of breath followed by coughing up blood. It's almost symptom free in the early stages when you can battle it and win so get a chest X-Ray if you are a smoker or ex smoker just to be on the safe side!

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Janis K.
Janis K3 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Edo R.
Edo R3 years ago

Thanks!

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VIOLET Jackson
Past Member 3 years ago

ty

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