According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States , with about 222,500 new cases and 155,870 deaths each year. Fortunately, lung cancer deaths have begun to decline, due to a decrease in smoking. The field of cancer care has also advanced faster than most fields in medicine, and major progress has been made in lung cancer treatments, including surgery (delivered by thoracic surgeons), radiation treatments for lung cancer (delivered by radiation oncologists) and systemic therapies (delivered by medical oncologists).
What is the American Cancer Society's Great American Smokeout? It's an annual event, held the third Thursday of every November, a date on which smokers nationwide are asked to give up smoking. This year, 2017, that mean it’s on November 16th. Quitting for just one day helps you take action toward a healthier life, and reduce your lung cancer risk.
There are a number of prescription and over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapies that can help greatly when stopping the use of tobacco. But quitting typically takes more than that. It requires a change in your lifestyle. It can be done! Here are four things you can do to get on the path to reducing your risks of lung cancer, heart disease, and stroke.
1. Prepare before you quit smoking.
Preparation is the key to success in any new endeavor. Decide on a specific date to quit smoking, make a plan, and then stick to it. Don’t try to pick a date if you’re in the middle of a major life change such as starting a new job or the death of a loved one. You may end up reverting back to your smoking habit quickly which can be discouraging.
The risk of developing cancer in one’s life is 1 in 2 for men and 1 in 3 for women. Cancer screening is available to detect several types of cancer. The intent of this screening is to find and treat early stage cancers. People whose cancers are found early are more likely to survive these cancers than are those whose cancers are not found until symptoms appear. For people who have a family history of cancer, screening becomes even more important, since that population is at a higher risk of developing the disease. The information below is meant to be used as a guideline. Individuals experiencing any of these symptoms should consult their physician.
One aspect of cancer treatment is clinical research. While it’s not the recommended treatment plan for all patients, clinical trials through the Arizona Oncology cancer research program bring new options for cancer treatment to patients who aren’t having success with other treatments or have a unique type of cancer that has a treatment option under investigation.
With a community-based cancer research trial, patients don’t have to travel long distances to access these latest treatments being studied not only by oncologists in Phoenix, but across the country, to try to bring newer and better options to all patients.