FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 17, 2006 Contact: Victoria Tedeschi
Public Relations Specialist
Adventist Midwest Health
Lung Cancer Awareness Month
Glendale Heights, IL – In 2005, lung cancer was the leading cause of cancer deaths, according to the American Cancer Society. It is estimated that in 2006, lung cancer will kill more people than breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, liver cancer, kidney cancer and melanoma combined.
November is Lung Cancer Awareness month, which provides an opportunity to talk about prevention, said Greg Sharon, M.D., an allergy immunologist who treats patients at Adventist GlenOaks Hospital. “We are seeing more lung cancer than ever before,” Sharon said. “We are actually seeing resurgence in smoking in younger people. Smoking greatly increases an individual’s chance of developing lung cancer.”
Individuals with increased risk for developing lung cancer include long-time smokers both those currently smoking or those who have quit; individuals who have been exposed to asbestos or radon; those who have been exposed to prolonged second-hand smoke; and possibly those with a family history of lung cancer, said Michael Quaranta, regional director of radiology and oncology for the Adventist Cancer Network.
“All the above are risk factors and can influence an individual’s chance of developing lung cancer,” Quaranta said. “The problem has been that by the time lung cancer is found, it is usually in a fairly advanced stage.”
Those who feel they are at risk should first consult with their family physician, Sharon said. Lung cancer symptoms include a chronic cough, smoker’s cough that worsens, coughing up blood, chest pain, unusual shortness of breath, repeated bouts of pneumonia and ongoing hoarseness, he added.
The first key to prevention is to quit smoking, Sharon said.