Cancer Seems To Be The Least Talked About Cancer
And Yet Itís One Of The More Deadly Cancers."
2008, it was estimated that there would be 215,020 new cases
of lung cancer (114,690 among men and 100,330 among women).
Lung cancer will account for about 15% of all new cancer
American Cancer Society)
Cancer is the most common type of cancer in women in the U.S.
(Source: Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center)
During 2008, it was estimated that there would be 161,840 deaths from lung cancer (90,810
among men and 71,030 among women), accounting for about 29% of all
cancer deaths. More women die each year from lung cancer than
from breast, uterine, and ovarian cancers combined. Every hour of every
day, 19 people die from lung cancer and at least 15-percent never
smoked. Lung cancer is considered a silent killer, since
the disease is most often not detected until it is in a terminal
stage (see Early Detection section of our site).
(Source: American Cancer Society)
90% of all lung cancers occur among smokers and approximately
10% occur among non-smokers (MLF Note: Some recent
research indicates that approximately 8% of men and 20% of
women diagnosed with lung cancer were never-smokers--see
High Rates of Lung Cancer Found for Female Non-smokers).
Passive smoking contributes to the development of lung cancer
among non-smokers and certain occupational exposures such as
asbestos exposure are also known to cause lung cancer.
(Source: National Cancer Institute) A newly announced study
conducted at Brigham Young University and New York University
indicates that long term exposure to air pollution in major US
cities significantly raises the risk of dying from lung cancer
and is about as dangerous as living with a smoker. (Source:
MSNBC News) "Although
cigarette smoking is the most common cause of lung cancer, other risk factors
include industrial exposures to agents such as asbestos,
arsenic, uranium, nickel, and chromates as well as exposures
to the indoor air pollutants such as formaldehyde and radon
gas. There are a significant number of patients who do not
have the risk factors outlined above. Lung cancer is not
necessarily a self-inflicted disease by smoking. The incidence
of lung cancer in women without a history of prior smoking has
increased in recent years. Histologic types of lung
cancer are different between smokers and non-smokers. The
majority of patients with no prior smoking have a histologic
type of adenocarcinoma as opposed to either squamous cell
carcinoma or small cell carcinoma, common in patients with
prior smoking. Estrogens are known to act as tumor promoters
through a receptor-mediated mechanism in reproductive organs.
There are some reports of estrogen receptor expression in lung
cancer, and it is possible that the lung is an
estrogen-responsive organ and that women are more susceptible
to lung cancer than men, suggesting a role for estrogen in the
development of this disease." (Source:
Noah C. Choi, M.D., Distinguished
Scholar in Thoracic Oncology, Director of MGH Thoracic
Oncology Center, Head
of Thoracic Oncology Unit, Massachusetts General
Cancer funding by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) is
abysmal, as compared to its funding for other cancers. For
example, in 2007, the NCI funding per each new lung cancer
case was $10,553, as compared to $74,435 per each new cervical
cancer case, $67,950 per each new brain cancer case, $44,758
per each new ovarian cancer case, $31,033 per each new breast
cancer case, and $17,364 per each new colorectal cancer case.
Of the twelve cancers funded by the NCI, only stomach cancer,
at $5,581 per each new case, received a lower level of funding
than lung cancer in 2007.
- The one
year survival rate for lung cancer was 35% in 1975-1979 and
41% in 2000-2003, with the small increase largely due to
improvements in surgical techniques and combined therapies. The five year survival rate for all stages of
lung cancer combined is only 15%. This has not changed over
many years. For people whose cancer is found and treated early
with surgery, before it has spread to lymph nodes or other
organs, the average 5 year survival rate is about 49%. However,
only 16% of people with lung cancer are diagnosed at this
early stage. (Source American Cancer Society)
- The following is excerpted from
Gender And Your Health, cbsnews.com, June 19, 2002.
Per this report, the following information was compiled
from several medical studies held from 2000-2002:
- Women smokers are 70 percent more
likely to develop lung cancer than men.
- Lung cancer is the leading cancer
killer of women.
For each cigarette smoked, the danger is twice as high for women.
- Researchers claim estrogen is what
makes women more vulnerable.
Even non-smokers who develop lung cancer are 2 1/2 times more
likely to be female than male.
- Estrogen may heighten the effects
of exposure to tobacco smoke and other substances linked to lung
- Three-quarters of cancer patients
will survive at least five years if the tumor is caught at the
earliest stage; almost half will survive if it's caught before
growing beyond its local area.
- Only one in seven cancers are
detected that early, and most lung cancers attack more
aggressively and faster than other cancers.
- Symptoms often do not appear until
the lung tumor is large and sometimes not even until it has spread
to other parts of the body.
- Only 14 percent of lung cancer
patients survive for five years (down there with liver, esophageal
and pancreatic cancers)
- By comparison, the five-year
survival rate for breast cancer is 85 percent, prostate cancer 93
percent and skin cancer 88 percent.
|1 MSNBC Interview with Dr. Mark Kris
of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center