More people die from lung cancer in the United States than any other type of cancer. According to the Center for Disease Control, 85 percent of those cases are caused directly by smoking.
Lung cancer is the second most diagnosed cancer in the United States. In its most recent figures, the CDC says 14 percent of all cancer diagnoses and 27 percent of all cancer deaths were due to lung cancer. Why? Lung cancer is hard to find. If it is found, it's often too late.
"Because your lungs are inside your chest and you have a bony cage around them, you usually, if you start developing symptoms, it's going to be pretty advanced," said Dr. Ian Makey, an assistant professor of cardio thoracic surgery with University Health System.
Those most at risk for lung cancer include smokers, those exposed to secondhand smoke, those with higher amounts of radiation therapy to the chest, and men with a family history.
Since smoking is the main culprit, many turn to vaping. But doctors say that vaping is probably not a good idea.
"Vaping has only been around for five years, so nobody really knows what happens 20 years from now," Dr. Makey said.
"I think it's important for men to go to the doctor regularly to talk about these types of things so they can understand and know what they are looking for in terms of signs, symptoms, warning signs, so that they can come to the doctor so we can evaluate it," University Health System physician Dr. Patrick Pierre said.
The best route to go could be getting a second opinion, a third, or even more.
"It helps to have multiple specialists weigh in on the treatment of lung cancer, and so at University Hospital, and also at the Health Science Center, we have those numbers of specialists who all can weigh in on the best treatment plan for a patient with lung cancer," Dr. Makey said.
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