miércoles, 28 de noviembre de 2012

CDC Features - Lung Cancer Awareness

CDC Features - Lung Cancer Awareness

Lung Cancer Awareness

Lung Cancer, the Number One Cancer Killer

Photo: A man blowing out candles on a birthday cake.Each year, about 200,000 people in the United States are told they have lung cancer and more than 150,000 people die from this disease. Deaths from lung cancer represent about one out of every six deaths from cancer in the U.S.

Risk Factors

Research has found several causes and risk factors for lung cancer. A risk factor is anything that changes the chance of getting a disease. Lung cancer risk factors include—

  • Smoking.

  • Secondhand smoke from other people's cigarettes.

  • Radon gas in the home.

  • Things around home or work, including asbestos, ionizing radiation, and other cancer-causing substances.

  • Medical exposure to radiation to the chest.

  • Chronic lung disease such as emphysema or chronic bronchitis.

  • Increased age.


Graphics: No SmokingYou can reduce your risk of developing lung cancer in several ways.

  • Don't smoke. If you do smoke, quit now.

  • Avoid secondhand smoke.

  • Have your home tested for radon and take corrective actions if high levels are found.

  • Be aware of your exposure to radiation from medical imaging. Ask your doctor about the need for medical tests that involve images of the chest.

  • Follow health and safety guidelines in the workplace when working with toxic materials.

  • Avoid diesel exhaust and other harmful air pollutants.

CDC helps support a national network of quitlines that makes free "quit smoking" support available by telephone to smokers anywhere in the United States. The toll-free number is 1-800-QUITNOW (1-800-784-8669), or visit smokefree.govExternal Web Site Icon.


Different people have different symptoms for lung cancer. Some people don't have any symptoms at all when first diagnosed with lung cancer. Lung cancer symptoms can be due to the direct effect of growth of cancer cells in the lung, or due to the effect of cancer cells that have spread to other parts of the body. Lung cancer symptoms due to growth of cancer cells in the lung may include—

  • Shortness of breath.

  • Coughing that doesn't go away.

  • Wheezing.

  • Coughing up blood.

  • Chest pain.

  • Repeated respiratory infections such as bronchitis or pneumonia.

These symptoms can happen with other illnesses, too. Talk to your doctor if you have symptoms that concern you.


Photo: A healthcare professionalLung cancer is treated in several ways, depending on the type of lung cancer and how far it has spread. Treatments include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. People with lung cancer often get more than one kind of treatment.
People with lung cancer may want to take part in a clinical trial. Clinical trials study new potential treatment options. Learn more about clinical trialsExternal Web Site Icon at the National Cancer Institute.


People who have been treated for lung cancer may continue to have symptoms caused by the cancer or by cancer treatments (side effects). People who want information about symptoms and side effects should talk to their doctors. Doctors can help answer questions and make a plan to control symptoms.
For more information about symptoms and side effects, visit the National Cancer Institute's Coping with CancerExternal Web Site Icon.
For information about finding or providing support for people with lung cancer and their caregivers, visit CDC's Cancer Survivorship.

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