You live a healthy lifestyle, you don’t smoke, exercise regularly, eat properly, sleep well-…so…you should not have to worry about getting lung cancer right?
Unfortunately, that’s not the case anymore. According to new research, non-smokers now account for a growing percentage of aggressive lung cancer cases in the United States and in the United Kingdom and the numbers continue to increase. Lung cancer is the deadliest form of cancer for men and women.
In one study, British researchers found that over a seven year period, the never-smokers with non-small cell lung cancer jumped from 13 percent to 28 percent.
Similarly, a study of lung cancer patients at three U.S. hospitals reported that never-smokers accounted for a growing percentage of non-small cell lung cancer patients between 1990 and 2013. In this study, these nonsmokers with lung cancer were more likely to be women.
As many as 20% of people who die from lung cancer in the United States are non-smokers. This means that about 16,000 to 24,000 non-smoking Americans die every year. So why are so many never-smoking people getting lung cancer?
The leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers is exposure to radon gas. Secondhand smoke inhalation is next. Our environment and some of our work places are filled with cancer-causing agents like asbestos and diesel exhaust and while our government has implemented laws to protect workers, dangers are still present. Although smoking rates have declined, more people are being diagnosed with lung cancer who have never smoked.
Being proactive with your health can be life-saving and often a persistent cough is the first symptom, so listen to your body and seek medical attention even if you think it’s nothing. Routine lung screenings, early diagnosis, and intervention is critical for survival.
There are several treatment options for lung cancer such as surgery, standard radiation, chemotherapy and immunotherapy treatments which boost the body’s natural abilities to fend off disease. At CyberKnife Center, of Miami we offer an alternative treatment option called CyberKnife Radiosurgery Therapy. The CyberKnife system destroys tumors with pinpoint precision while leaving healthy tissue untouched. It is non-invasive, painless, no or little side effects, and it can be done in only 5 treatments as compared to 42 treatments with standard radiation. CyberKnife Radiotherapy is also used for those patients who are not candidates for open surgery and CyberKnife treatments can work in conjunction with surgery and chemotherapy as well. CyberKnife therapy gives hope to patients when they have none.
Getting a lung cancer diagnosis is devastating and we hope that never happens to you, but always know your options so that you and your family can make the best choice for optimal care. Salud!