Lung cancer is the most deadly cause of cancer death and the second most common form of cancer in both men and women. Yet despite this, the federal response to lung cancer research and funding has not yet matched the urgent need presented by the disease.
Lung cancer research is of paramount importance, not only because of the number of Americans it affects, but also because it is still difficult to detect in its early stages.
Presently, only 15 percent of lung cancers are diagnosed in an early stage. By the time symptoms are recognized, the cancer has often progressed. For that and for other reasons, the lung cancer five-year survival rate (15.6 percent) is lower than many if not most other leading cancers.
One would believe that with the above stats Lung Cancer would be one of the foremost researched and followed cancers. However nothing is further from the truth! Try finding stats, whether in the US or UK. You have to go back to 2010 to find any credible lung cancer stats including both early diagnosed or survival rates. If you have lung cancer it is scary enough without wondering why you do not count. In 2010 Lung cancer was the leading cancer killer in the U.S, killing almost 160,000 people every year. Lung cancer has one of the highest incidence rates and one of the lowest survival rates.
Yes, smoking is the biggest cause of this disease, but exposure to second-hand smoke, air pollution, radon, asbestos, and other occupational hazards also cause this dread disease.
In 2010 there were 219,000 new cases diagnosed but tragically only 16 percent of lung cancers are diagnosed at an early stage – making most diagnoses a death sentence.
Advances in cancer prevention and treatment research have increased breast and colorectal cancer survival rates to 89 and 65 percent respectively, whereas lung cancer survival rates remain at a low 15 percent.
More must be done to increase lung cancer survivorship. Each of us has a role and we can reach out to those who we know are survivors, we can talk to our friends and maybe help with early detection or call attention to the need, and if the occasion arises we can talk to congressional folks or in public forums as a reminder. The things we take for granted may save someone's life and Increased national attention to lung cancer is long overdue!
At SP we have a team called Lung Cancer, Blessing or Curse drop by sometime.
This blog is not intended to be more than an awareness to a critical issue, “call for action of sorts”. And I think that I really needed to talk about this!