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Lung Cancer
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Lung cancer is the #1 cancer killer in the US. But the good news is that it doesn't have to be. 90% of all lung cancers could be prevented if everyone quit smoking. To access your Lung Cancer Risk completely, at ScienceofLife we have produced a general questionnaire with a fair knowledge of risk Factors and related knowlegebase.

Questionnaire : To estimate your risk of lung cancer, take about 2 to 3 minutes to answer some questions about your health, lifestyle and personal background. Please fill in these questions to access your risk of Lung Cancer.

1. What is your sex?  
2. What is your age?    
Years
3. Have you ever had any type of cancer (except for non-melanoma skin cancer)?  
4. Do you eat 3 or more servings of vegetables a day? 1 serving is about 1 cup of raw leafy greens or ½ cup of other vegetables, raw or cooked.  
5. Do you eat 3 or more servings of fruit a day? 1 serving is about ½ a grapefruit or ½ a large banana.  
6. Do you smoke cigarettes? 
 No, I never smoked cigarettes
 I used to smoke cigarettes, but I quit
 Yes
7. Have you smoked one or more cigars a day for the past year?  
8. Have you lived in or near a large city for at least 10 years of your life?  
9. Have you ever worked with asbestos?  
10. Have you ever worked with any of these chemicals? Radon, Cadmium, Chromium, Beryllium, Aluminum, Silica, Sulfuric acid mist, Bis(chloromethyl) ether and chloromethyl ether Coke Mustard gas  
11. Have you ever been involved with any of the following processes? Arsenic smelting, Coal gassification,  Iron or steel founding  
12. Has your brother, sister or parent ever had lung cancer?  

 

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Risk factors : Most scientists agree that these things affect the risk of lung cancer. Some may apply to you, but others may not.

Age and lung cancer : The risk of lung cancer goes up with age. Rates of the disease are low in people under 40; they then increase significantly from age 40 until after 75.

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Vegetables and lung cancer : People who eat at least 3 servings of vegetables a day have a lower risk of lung cancer. Vegetables contain cancer-fighting antioxidant vitamins, like vitamins A and C. 1 serving of vegetables is:
  • 1 cup of raw leafy greens like lettuce or spinach
  • 1/2 cup of other vegetables, raw or cooked
  • 1/2 cup of cooked beans or peas
People who eat vegetables also have a lower risk of colon cancer, diabetes and stroke. And women who eat vegetables have a lower risk of breast cancer.

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Fruits and lung cancer : People who eat at least 3 servings of fruit a day have a lower risk of lung cancer. Fruits contain cancer-fighting antioxidant vitamins, like vitamins A and C. 1 serving of fruit is:
  • 1 medium-sized piece of fruit or 1/2 cup of small or cut-up fruit
  • 1/3 cup of 100% fruit juice
  • 1/4 cup of dried fruit
People who eat fruit also have a lower risk of stomach cancer, heart disease, diabetes and stroke.

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Smoking cigarettes and lung cancer : People who smoke cigarettes have a much higher risk of lung cancer. In fact, 90% of lung cancer occurs in people who smoke. Cigarette smoke contains chemicals that damage the genetic structure (DNA) of the body's cells. DNA damage causes cells to become cancerous. It doesn't matter how much a person smokes. Even if someone smokes one cigarette a day, she still has a higher risk of lung cancer than a non-smoker. The more a person smokes, the higher the risk. Soon after quitting, the risk begins to drop. People who smoke cigarettes also have a higher risk of cancers of the bladder, kidney, pancreas, lip, mouth, tongue, larynx, throat and esophagus. Women who smoke have a higher risk of cervical cancer. People who smoke even have a higher risk of other diseases like diabetes, bone loss (osteoporosis), emphysema, and bronchitis!

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Smoking cigars and lung cancer : People who smoke cigars have a higher risk of lung cancer. Like cigarette smoke, cigar smoke contains chemicals that damage the genetic structure (DNA) of the body's cells. DNA damage can cause cells to become cancerous. The more a person smokes and inhales, the higher the risk. Soon after quitting, the risk begins to drop. People who smoke cigars (even if they don't inhale) also have a higher risk of cancers of the voice box, esophagus and oral area (lip, mouth, tongue and throat). And they have a higher risk of heart disease and stroke.

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Second-hand smoke and lung cancer : People who are able to avoid secondhand smoke have a lower risk of lung cancer. Secondhand smoke contains chemicals that damage the genetic structure (DNA) of your body's cells. DNA damage causes cells to become cancerous.

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Air pollution and lung cancer : People who live in a city for 10 or more years have a slightly higher risk of lung cancer. Pollutants in the air -- like car exhaust and factory emissions -- are probably the cause.

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Workplace chemicals and lung cancer : People who are exposed to certain workplace chemicals have a higher risk of lung cancer. This is because some chemicals can damage the genetic structure (DNA) in the body's cells. DNA damage causes cells to become cancerous. Workplace chemicals linked to lung cancer include asbestos, radon and chromium. Processes like arsenic smelting are also linked to lung cancer. WARNING: If you are a smoker, some chemicals like asbestos can mix with the smoke you inhale and massively raise your risk of lung cancer.

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Family history and lung cancer : People who have a mother, father, brother or sister with lung cancer have a higher risk of the disease. This is because some lung cancer is linked to mutations in the genetic structure (DNA) of the body's cells. These mutations can be passed on from generation to generation. With many diseases, people who have a family history have a higher risk. A family history raises the risk of several cancers like breast, bladder, kidney, stomach, skin cancer. It also raises risk of diabetes, bone loss (osteoporosis) and stroke.

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Fact Analysis

What is lung cancer? Lung cancer occurs when cells in the airways to the lungs grow out of control. The cells clump together and form a malignant (cancerous) tumor. The lungs are sponge-like organs that bring air in and out of the body through the trachea. The trachea divides into tubes called bronchi, which divide into bronchioles. Lung cancer usually starts in the lining of the bronchi.

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How common is lung cancer? Lung cancer is the second most common cancer among men and women in the US, and it's more common among older men and women. It's also the leading killer. About 160,000 Americans die of lung cancer each year. To compare this with other cancers.

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Who is at risk of getting lung cancer? Anyone can get lung cancer, but it usually strikes smokers over age 50. And the risk goes up with age. 90% of lung cancers occur in people who smoke.

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How do you prevent lung cancer? The single best way to prevent lung cancer is not to smoke. If you smoke, quit for good as soon as possible. Not long after you quit, your risk of lung cancer begins to drop. After 10 years of not smoking, the risk of lung cancer is about 50% lower compared to continued smokers and continues to decrease with time. In addition to not smoking:

  • Eat more fruits and vegetables
  • Avoid second-hand smoke (smoke from other people's cigarettes and cigars)
  • Avoid exposure to chemicals (like asbestos) that can cause lung cancer
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What is the screening test? There is no good screening test for lung cancer.

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What are the symptoms of lung cancer? Lung cancer often does not cause symptoms for many years. But as the cancer grows, symptoms may include:
  • persistent cough
  • Chest pain
  • Hoarseness
  • Weight loss and loss of appetite
  • Spit or phlegm that is bloody or rust-colored
  • Shortness of breath
  • Repeated bouts of pneumonia or bronchitis
These symptoms may also be caused by something less serious like an infection. Only a doctor can know for sure. If you have any of these symptoms, talk to a doctor immediately.

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