Lung cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the lungs. The US CDC says there were 218520 new cases of lung cancer and 142080 related deaths in 2018. In 2020, worldwide, lung cancer was the 2nd most common cancer after breast cancer. There were 2.21 million cases recorded, along with 1.8 million deaths. But lung cancer is commonly misunderstood.
Myths about lung cancer –
The risk of lung cancer cannot be reduced – There are many ways to reduce lung cancer risks. First and foremost are smoking prevention and smoking cessation. People should limit exposure to secondhand smoke, which is sometimes called passive smoking. CDC says, “Nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or work increase their risk of developing lung cancer by 20-30%. Other smoking products are also considered to be a potential risk for lung cancer development.”
People who smoke develop lung cancer – This is not correct. CDC says, around 10-20% of people with the disease never smoked or have smoked fewer than 100 cigarettes in their lives in the US. Every year around 2900 deaths from lung cancer are from random exposure and 7300 deaths from nonsmokers.
Living in a polluted city is worst than smoking – Pollution generated by vehicles increases the risk of lung cancer. Exposure to sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, nitrogen dioxide, and delicate particulate matter is one of the risks for developing the disease. Among professional drivers, occupational exposure to air pollution increases and mortality of lung cancer. The comparison between smoking and pollution is difficult to make.
Only older adults develop lung cancer – This is not true. More than half of people detected with lung cancer are older than 65. But more people below the age of 50 also get lung cancers, especially women.
Surgery related to lung cancer makes cancer spread – This is not true. It is essential to have early surgery and the measures taken to prevent any spread. If in the early stage, it is detected, then it can be cured. If a tumor is large or has loco-regional dissemination, chemotherapy or immunotherapy before surgery will further reduce the risk of cancer cells in the blood.
Smoking cannabis doesn’t increase the risk of lung cancer – This is not true. According to health experts, it increases the chances of the disease. An association between lung cancer and cannabis epidemiological evidence is conflicting and limiting. The relation is challenging to study because people who smoke cannabis often smoke tobacco, too.
If a person is affected by lung cancer, they will have symptoms – This is not always true. It can be detected in totally asymptomatic cases or individuals with slight respiratory symptoms. This is one reason why lung cancer screening in high-risk people is so important.
Lung cancer is always terminal – This is not true. Detecting lung cancer early has a cure rate of more than 60%. In certain situations, even lung cancer is diagnosed in more advanced diseases today has better potential for long-term survival.
Antioxidant supplements protect against lung cancer – Antioxidant plays a vital role in protecting cells from DNA damage, including cancer-causing mutations. But in the clinal trial, most failed to demonstrate any conclusive protection against lung cancer.