Just Breathe Pt. 2

Dec 23, 2021 Welcome back to UHC’s House Call on WDTV. West Virginia has one of the highest incidence rates of lung cancer in the United States. November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month and joining us tonight is Andi Hasley, Program Manager for Mountains of Hope. This is part two of our four part interview series on lung cancer and the importance of a lung cancer screening. Mountains of Hope is WV’s Comprehensive Cancer Coalition facilitated by the WVU Cancer Institute.

1). What are some of the risk factors that we should be aware of when it comes to lung cancer?

There are four main risk factors that contribute to lung cancer:
  • Smoking
  • Exposure to certain toxins in the environment, such as radon
  • Family history
  • Secondhand smoke

2). What are the symptoms that often occur before a diagnosis?

Possible signs of lung cancer can include:
  • Cough that does not go away and gets worse over time
  • Constant chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing or hoarseness
  • Swelling of the neck and face
  • Repeated problems with pneumonia or bronchitis
  • Coughing up blood
  • Loss of appetite or weight loss
  • Fatigue

3) What is the likelihood that you will be diagnosed with this disease?

Overall, the chance that a man will develop lung cancer in his lifetime is about 1 in 15; for a woman, the risk is about 1 in 17. These numbers include both people who smoke and those who do not smoke. For people who smoke the risk is much higher, while for those who do not, the risk is lower.
  • Black men are about 15% more likely to develop lung cancer than white men. However, the rate is about 14% lower in black women than in white women.
  • Black and white women have lower rates than men, but the gap is closing. The lung cancer rate has been dropping among men over the past few decades, but only for about the last decade in women.
Statistics on survival in people with lung cancer vary depending on the stage of the cancer when it is diagnosed. Despite the very serious prognosis of lung cancer, some people with earlier-stage cancers are cured. For people who currently smoke or have smoked in the past, lung cancer screening can detect cancer early and is an easy screening test using low dose CT. If you would like more information please go to Mountains of Hope’s website at www.moh.wv.gov.

This content was originally posted on the WDTV News website here.

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