This year, more than 310,000 adults all over Europe will be diagnosed with lung cancer.
Lung cancer is literally the biggest cancer killer worldwide – causing more deaths than breast and prostate cancer put together all over the world. To sum it up every 30 seconds, someone, somewhere in the world dies of lung cancer.
The 5-year survival rate tells you what percent of people live at least 5 years after the cancer is found. Presently it’s approximated at 18 % respectively 15 %; for men, 21 % for women. Not surprisingly, lung cancer has the lowest 5-year survival rate of the other most common cancers: only 18 %, versus prostate at 99 %; breast at 89 %; and colorectal at 65 %.
While smoking is linked to more than 80 % of all lung cancer cases, many people that have never smoked or been exposed to passive smoke develop lung cancer.
Of those newly diagnosed with lung cancer, it is estimated that less than 40 % are current smokers, more than 45 % are former smokers, and 10 % to 15 % have never smoked.
Mentionable risk factors
- Tobacco smoke
- Indoor pollutants e.g. radon, coal smoke
- Asbestos and other carcinogens (wood dust, welding fumes, arsenic, industrial metals, beryllium and chromium)
- Air pollution (including, diesel exhausts)
- Family or personal history of lung cancer
- Radiation therapy
- Age – 65 and older
Having the following conditions can also increase your risk of developing lung cancer:
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Pulmonary fibrosis
- Head, neck or oesophageal cancer
- Lymphoma or breast cancer (treated with thoracic radiotherapy)
What are the symptoms?
- Cough and breathing difficulties
- Weight loss
- Pulmonary contusions
- Nausea, vomit
- Speaking difficulties
- Mouth sores
- Loss of hair