Each year, less money is spent on lung cancer research than on research on
other cancers. In 2007, the National Cancer Institute estimated it spent only it
spent only $1,415 per lung cancer death compared to $13,991 per breast cancer
death, $10,945 per prostate cancer death, and $4,952 per colorectal cancer.
Although lung cancer is not as distinguished in terms of funding, it is
extremely dangerous, and must be valued as such.
1. Signs & Symptoms: An individual experiencing lung cancer, will endure
shortness of breath, coughing up blood, chronic coughing, wheezing, chest pains,
fatigue, weight loss, hoarse voice, or difficulty swallowing.
2. Causes: The main causes of lung cancer are carcinogens, ionizing
radiation, and viral infection.
Smoking – The most notorious of all of these causes is smoking. Cigarettes
contain over 60 known carcinogens, which are released every time an individual
inhales. Of course not every individual who smokes will obtain lung cancer, but
the risk is much higher. The most frightening discovery is that individuals can
actually become stricken with lung cancer from an overexposure to cigarette
smoke. Currently, 10%-15% of individuals with lung cancer have never smoked a
Radon Gas – The United States Environmental Protection Agency, currently
estimates that one in 15 homes in the U.S., has radon levels over the
recommended amount. This colorless and odorless gas is created through the
breakdown of radioactive radium or uranium.
Asbestos – This material is the catalyst for several different types of
cancer. Although it only accounts for 2%-3% of deaths from lung cancer, it is an
extremely dangerous material.
3. Treatments: Patients with lung cancer, depending on the severity, have a
multitude of options for treatments. If the cancer is caught early enough, the
patient can request a surgery to attempt at removing the actual tumor. On the
other hand if the cancer has spread, he/she can participate in chemotherapy
sessions. Along with these two forms of treatment, scientists and doctors have
developed adjuvant chemotherapy, radiotherapy, interventional radiology, and