Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers globally affecting 2,09 million people in 2018.1 Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death with 1,76 million deaths worldwide in 2018.1
Smoking and lung cancer
People who smoke cigarettes are 15 to 30 times more likely to get lung cancer or die from lung cancer than people who do not smoke.2
The best way to reduce your risk of lung cancer is to not smoke and to avoid second hand smoke.3 Quitting smoking at any age can lower the risk of lung cancer.2
Signs and symptoms of lung cancer6
- Changes in a chronic cough or ‘smoker’s cough’
- A cough that gets worse or does not go away
- Coughing up blood, even a small amount
- Shortness of breath or wheezing
- Constant chest pain – especially when coughing
- Frequent chest infections: wheezing/hoarseness
- Swelling of the neck and face
- Fatigue (feeling very tired all the time)
- Loss of appetite/losing weight without trying
- Bone pain
Early detection is an important strategy for high-risk patients and can improve outcomes:4,5
- In most cases, lung cancer is not detected early; about 16% of patients are diagnosed at an early stage.5
- 5-year survival rates increase from 4% (stage 4) to 55% (stage 1) if detected earlier.5
- World Health Organisation. Cancer. Available at https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/cancer. Accessed on 10 September 2020.
- Centres of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Lung Cancer. What Are the Risk Factors for Lung Cancer? Available at https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/lung/basic_info/risk_factors.htm. Accessed on 10 September 2020.
- Centres of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Lung Cancer. Who Should Be Screened for Lung Cancer? Available at https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/lung/basic_info/screening.htm. Accessed on 10 September 2020.
- Medscape. CDC Expert Commentary. Early Detection Means It’s a Promising Time for Lung Cancer. Available at https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/870462. Accessed on 10 September.
- LCAM.org. Lung Cancer Awareness Month. Importance ofearly detection for Lung Cancer. Available at https://lcam.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/IASLC-PPC_Early-Detection_5x7.pdf 2020. Accessed on 10 September 2020.
- CANSA. Cancer Association of South Africa. What you need to know about Lung Cancer. Available at https://www.cansa.org.za/files/2015/05/2015-CANSALung-Cancer-Infographic-Eng.pdf. Accessed on 10 September.
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