If this photo on lung cancer does not scare you...
Photo from Philippine Cancer Society
Maybe, just maybe, this will...
Photo from www.whyquit.com
Lung cancer is the leading cancer site for men and also the top killer cancer for both sexes. Nine (9) out of 10 men who die from it smoke cigarettes. In the past it was considered an extremely rare disease among non-smokers, but today people who are continuously exposed to tobacco smoke in enclosed places are also at risk.
Other risk factors of lung cancer include exposure to certain industrial substances such as arsenic, certain organic chemicals, and asbestos, radiation, exposure to occupational, medical and environmental sources.
Current estimates do not look good for the country. Lung cancer kills 55 Filipinos everyday and it is responsible for 20,000 deaths annually.
Cancer destroys the lung with an army of wildly multiplying cells. It begins most often with the constant irritation of the lining of the bronchi, most often by cigarette smoke. Cancer mass can block the bronchi, and prevents the passage of air. Quitting smoking is the best way to stay away from lung cancer.
The most common symptom of lung cancer is a persistent or chronic cough. Shortness of breath, blood-stained sputum (phlegm), chest pains and repeated bouts of pneumonia or bronchitis may also be indications of lung cancer.
In the later stages of lung cancer, a person may experience fatigue, loss of weight, extreme shortness of breath, hoarseness, difficulty in swallowing and a build-up of fluid in the chest cavity.
There may also be symptoms that seem unrelated to the lungs. These may be caused by spread of a lung cancer to other parts of the body.
Unfortunately, there is no effective early detection method for lung cancer. A chest x-ray will not always warn a person in time. Majority of patients are diagnosed at an incurable stage. It is also difficult to cure at any stage.
Quitting is the best way to stay away from lung cancer. Here are some quitting techniques that are proven helpful:
• Decide to smoke only once an hour. Or decide to stop smoking for an entire hour and start lengthening that time by half hours.
• Make it hard to get and smoke a cigarette. Wrap up the package and put elastic bands around it. Smoke with your left hand if you usually smoke with your right.
• Change to a brand you don’t like.
• If you always have a smoke with your coffee, switch to tea, juice or soda.
• Do something for your body. Get back in shape. Exercise is a great way to relax.
• Call up your friends and tell them you are going to quit.
• Save all the money you would have spent on cigarettes and buy yourself something. You deserve it.
•If you break down and have a cigarette, don’t worry. Some people take several tries before they make it. It’s worth quitting, no matter how many years you have smoked. So don’t give up.
Epidemiological studies have demonstrated that most cases of lung cancer are directly attributable to cigarette smoking. Only 5-10% of all of the lung cancers occur in patients without a prior history of cigarette smoking . Compared to non-smokers, smokers have a 10 fold greater risk of dying from lung cancer and in heavy smokers this risk increases by 15-25 folds.