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Advances in health and medicine.
Marjorie Bekaert Thomas
Advances in health and medicine.
General Health Channel
Reported November 13, 2007

The Most Deadly Cancer

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Women worry about breast cancer. Men worry about prostate cancer. But lung cancer is actually the top cancer killer, accounting for more deaths than breast, prostate, colon and pancreas cancers combined.

As the nation marks Lung Cancer Awareness Month this month, researchers from the University of Michigan offer nine facts everyone should know about the disease:

1. Lung cancer strikes about 213,000 people every year and more than half of them -- 160,000 -- will die from it.

2. Early symptoms include coughing, shortness of breath, weight loss, fatigue, and coughing up blood. Since these symptoms are common in smokers, the disease often goes undetected until it has reached a deadly stage.

3. Late symptoms include chest pain, weakness in a limb, or bone pain. About 75 percent of lung cancer is diagnosed only after the disease has reached this advanced stage.

4. About 90 percent of cases are in smokers or former smokers. The best way to avoid the disease is not to smoke.

5. Lung cancer patients often feel stigmatized, partly because they believe they brought the disease on themselves by smoking.

6. Lung cancer risk is also raised by exposure to radon, asbestos, and hydrocarbons. A few occupational hazards, such as firefighting, have been directly linked to the disease.

7. Lung cancer is difficult to treat, because of the large number of carcinogens in cigarette smoke and the multiple mutations they cause.

8. An effective screening test for lung cancer has yet to be developed.

9. Lung cancer is a worldwide health concern, taking 1.2 million lives every year.

This article was reported by, which offers Medical Alerts by e-mail every day of the week. To subscribe, click on: /newsalert/.

SOURCE: University of Michigan

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