As with many diseases, there are many misconceptions about lung cancer. Since it is such a prevalent issue both in the United States and around the world, it’s important to arm yourself with the facts. Do you know what causes lung cancer? Do you know how fatal it is? What age group do you suppose is most often diagnosed with lung cancer? If you stay informed, you can best know the steps to take to help prevent yourself from developing it. Read on to discover these ten important facts and statistics.
1) Recent estimates suggest that 6.94% of people born today will develop lung or bronchus cancer in their lifetime. That translates to one out of every fourteen people—you probably walk past several people with lung cancer each day, and may even know one or two people affected by the disease.
2) Lung cancer is so widespread that it is responsible for 1 out of every 3 cancer deaths. It is the deadliest cancer in the world.
3) The majority of diagnoses—31%—between 2004 and 2008 were in people between the ages of 65 and 74. This does not mean that younger or older people do not develop lung cancer, however.
4) About 0.2% of lung cancer diagnoses were in patients between the ages of 20 and 34, but that number increases eightfold to 1.6% between 35 and 44 years of age, then skyrockets up to 8.8% between 45 and 54, and then more than doubles to 20.9% in patients 55 to 64 years of age. After the majority group, patients 85 and older comprised 8.3% of the diagnoses.
5) Males are much more likely to develop lung cancer, with an incidence rate of 75.2 per 100,000 men, compared to females at 52.3 per 100,000 women.
6) The same study found that overall, black men are the most likely demographic to develop lung cancer: 99.8 out of every 100,000 men were diagnosed between 2004 and 2008.
7) About 170,000 people are diagnosed with lung cancer in the United States every year—though of course that number varies. In 2007, 78% of people who were diagnosed with it died.
8) Smokers have a lung cancer risk 20 times higher than that of nonsmokers. Smoking also increases the negative effects of other lung cancer risks, but not only smokers are prone to lung cancer…
9) Secondhand smoke causes about 3,000 lung cancer deaths every year. The ill effects of cigarette smoke do not end with the person holding the cigarette.
10) Lung cancer isn’t just caused by smoking. Environmental hazards like asbestos, arsenic and radon gas, all of which may be present in your home, contribute to many cases of lung cancer ever year. Radon alone causes about 21,000 deaths from lung cancer annually, and it’s the single biggest culprit for fatal lung cancer in nonsmokers.
Now that you know this information, please share it with your friends and family. We must all work to reduce the widespread horror of lung cancer.