In 2019, 229,000 new cases of lung cancer will be diagnosed and approximately 143,000 people will die from the disease according to The American Cancer Society (ACS). November is recognized as Lung Cancer Awareness Month, and Arizona Oncology, a leading provider of advanced comprehensive cancer care and an affiliate of The US Oncology Network, is encouraging those at high risk for lung cancer to talk to their doctor about screenings and to learn the preventative measures they can take to minimize their chances of being diagnosed with the disease.
Dr. Harshita Paripati, a medical oncologist who specializes in the treatment of lung cancer, specifically warns against the dangers of vaping. The liquid in e-cigarettes contains known cancer-causing agents, including nicotine and other harmful chemicals and flavorings. Even worse, most e-cigarette users are below age 35 as vaping has generally been marketed to a younger audience.
Although lung cancer takes time to develop, there have already been multiple reported cases of lung injury, called EVALI (e-cigarette and vaping-related lung injury). Some of these cases have even resulted in death. The CDC has identified Vitamin E acetate as a chemical of concern in patients with EVALI. Vitamin E acetate is an additive used in THC containing e-cigarettes. Vitamin E acetate has been identified in all of the BAL fluid samples (bronchoalveolar lavage, or fluid samples collected from the lungs) of patients with EVALI tested by the CDC.
“Vaping products are harmful, and should not be used. E-cigarettes contain carcinogens and can cause lung damage and EVALI. The FDA does not even recommend vaping be used as a method to quit smoking. It does not just contain nicotine, but other harmful chemicals that can cause serious lung injury and death,” said Dr. Paripati.
Because vapes are significantly newer than traditional cigarettes, long-term studies have not been completed. Still, the short-term effects show that abstaining from smoking altogether is the best move.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women, and more people die
from the disease each year than from colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined. Lung cancer is
generally divided into two types: small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. Non-small cell lung cancer accounts for 85 percent of lung cancer, while small cell lung cancer accounts for the remaining 15 percent.