Smoking Greatly Increases The Risk For Lung Cancer

By: RHendersen
Lung cancer is the most deadly of all cancers. It is the leading cause of cancer death for both men and women, according to the American Cancer society (ACS). More people die of this than of colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined. The ACS predicts that in 2007 there will be about 213,380 new cases. Of this number, about 160,390 people will die.

Sadly, this can be prevented if people would stop smoking. Smoking is the root cause of eight out of 10 lung cancer cases diagnosed in the United States. The risk for getting this increases if a person has been smoking more than a pack of day for several years.

The risk is lowered if the person stops smoking before lung cancer is developed. Stopping smoking will allow the tissue to slowly return to normal.

And it is not just cigarettes that increase the risk. Cigar and pipes are also likely to increase the risks. Second hand smoke is just as dangerous. If your husband or wife smokes, you have a 30 percent greater risk of developing lung cancer than a person with a husband or wife that does not smoke.

However there are other risk factors, according to the AMS. They are:

* Exposure to asbestos. Mesothelioma, another type of cancer that can begin in the lining of the lungs, is also linked to asbestos.
* Arsenic, which is often found in drinking water.
* Exposure to radon, which is found in the soil. Radon is odorless, colorless and is invisible to the naked eye.
* If you smoke marijuana, you may not know that marijuana cigarettes have more tar than regular cigarettes.
* If you have had a family member who has suffered from lung cancer, you are at a higher risk for being diagnosed yourself.
* Follow your mom's advice and eat your fruits and vegetables. A diet that is low in fruits and vegetables may increase your risk.

Most often people do not know they have it until it has spread. Early diagnosis increases your chance of surviving. According to the ACS, the most common symptoms are:

* A cough that does not go away
* Chest pain, often made worse by deep breathing
* Hoarseness
* Weight loss and loss of appetite
* Bloody or rust-colored sputum (spit or phlegm)
* Shortness of breath
* Infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia that keep coming back
* Wheezing

According to the ACS, there are two types of lung cancer. Non-small cell is the most common type, accounting for about 85 percent. Both types of usually begin on the bronchi, even though in some cases tumors may being elsewhere in the lungs.

Treatment for lung cancer can include surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Your personal physician can advise you on the best treatments.
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