Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login

Lung Cancer Awareness Month

Mon Nov 1, 2010, 10:22 AM
As you may or may not know, the month of November is dedicated to Lung Cancer Awareness.

Everybody by now (I hope!) has seen campaigns about breast cancer or testicular cancer - enough to get the gist of what these are and what you should look out for. But how many of us really know anything at all about lung cancer? How many of us know what is myth... and what is reality about lung cancer?

I hadn't known until I went to medical school. Here are some things I think you should know about lung cancer.


Why should we be bothered about lung cancer?

Among all cancers, lung cancer is the commonest cause of death due to cancer in both men and women in the UK and the US. The 5-year survival rate (i.e. how many people will be alive 5 years after diagnosis) is < 15% in both the UK and the US. This means that out of 10 people you know who have been diagnosed with lung cancer, 9 will be gone within 5 years.




What is lung cancer?

A "cancer" is a growth of abnormal cells. These cells have forgotten how to stop replicating, so they continue multiplying and growing and growing. Ultimately, they take up the body's resources and replace the tissue that they originated from. When they start in the lungs, they replace the ordinary lung tissue.

At some point, the body is unable to keep compensating. There is just not enough original tissue left, or the tumour is causing a blockage somewhere, or the body's resources have been used up.

Worse, cancers spread, and this vicious cycle is repeated at other sites. Lung cancer can migrate to the brain, liver and bones.




How to recognise lung cancer?

Lung cancer is a killer because symptoms do not develop until the cancer is advanced. You have heard that the key to surviving a cancer is early detection. In lung cancer... this is illustrated. Lung cancer is so damning because it presents late. You just don't know you have it until it is huge.

The symptoms are often non-specific or not alarming. They include:
:bulletwhite: Weight loss
:bulletwhite: Fatigue
:bulletwhite: Shortness of breath
:bulletwhite: Persisting cough and sputum (sometimes containing blood)
:bulletwhite: Hoarseness

As you can imagine, somebody with a couple of the above symptoms may well believe they've got nothing really wrong with them... and wait for months before they think they should see their doctor. So the cancer, that was already advanced enough to produce symptoms, progresses even more.




What causes lung cancer?

There are so many myths about this. Here are the facts: there are several types of lung cancers and some are not caused by smoking. I have seen so many comments, and lately stamps, about how lung cancer and smokers deserve each other.

Educate yourself before being so cruel and stupid.

Smoking causes 80-85% of lung cancers. The remaining may be caused by asbestos, radon (present in the atmosphere and in homes) and viruses. In many people, we just don't know why they have lung cancer.

All smokers do not get lung cancer. This sentence is something many smokers use to defend their choice to continue smoking. Here are the facts: a third of smokers will develop COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary lung disease - which shortens life by 15+ years), the other third will develop serious heart disease and the remaining third will develop lung cancer. I am not making these figures up - they have been quoted to me by many lung specialists. If you smoke - the reality is that you will develop a serious problem of some kind somewhere along the line.

Only heavy smokers get ill from their smoking. Myth. Sad myth. I have personally met people who smoked 5-10 cigarettes from their late teens until their 30s, who have serious lung disease. Your risk of developing a problem does increase with cigarette consumption. But don't take it as an absolute.




What I want you to think about

Lung cancer is a rapid and terrible downward spiral that you want to avoid: yourself, and those you love. As of now, screening for lung cancer by the use of scans (X-Ray, CT) has not proved beneficial - by the time your cancer is big enough to be spotted... it is big enough that your prognosis is not good.

Therefore, it is important that you realise that smoking is the single cause of lung cancer that can be reduced - the main way you can ensure you do not get lung cancer.

And to finish, there is one thing I want to say: to the insensitive jerks, SHUT UP about "oh, you got lung cancer, it serves you right for smoking!" You're ignorant. And you do many irresponsible things that predispose you to early and horrible deaths - you wouldn't like me to tell you, when you come to A&E (or ER) bleeding to death: "oh, serves you right for doing so-and-so." Be human. Instead of a brainless git.




Please spread the word. November is the Lung Cancer Awareness Month and only with your support can people learn more about the top killer among cancers.

:heart:
Exillior

Add a Comment:
 
:icon2-of-hearts:
2-Of-Hearts Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2010
I also thank you for posting this. For the past few months my family has been dealing with my Aunt's sudden diagnosis of stage 4 lung cancer. I have learned more than I ever want to know over the course of only a few short weeks about this wretched disease.

So again, thank you for posting this. :)
Reply
:iconexillior:
Exillior Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
I know what you mean. I've also learnt far more than I'd ever want to know about some diseases in a similar fashion.

:hug:
Reply
:icon2-of-hearts:
2-Of-Hearts Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2010
Well that is just fartish the way that goes.

:hug:

At least we can take some sort of consolation in the mere fact that we are not alone in these struggles?
Reply
:iconseanfhocal:
seanfhocal Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2010
I love that someone like you, with many followers, is doing something like this. As the realative of 2 lung cancer patiants, I thank you.
Reply
:iconexillior:
Exillior Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
I have the education, and it would be mean of me to keep it to myself. This is the least I can do!

:heart:
Reply
:iconsamaelsevanhadar:
samaelsevanhadar Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2010   Artisan Crafter
Whoa. This had quite an impact on me.
Reply
:iconexillior:
Exillior Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm glad to hear that. It had a big impact on me too when I learnt this.
Reply
:iconnamenotrequired:
namenotrequired Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2010  Student Interface Designer
Thanks so much for this. As someone with a granddad and a 17 year old friend who suffer from this (although in my granddad it was 'just' one of his metastases from prostate cancer), I appreciate it a lot :hug:
Reply
:iconexillior:
Exillior Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
The lung's a major site for metastases, sadly :( Blood from all parts of the body goes through the lungs, so cancers tend to send secondaries to the lungs quite a lot.

I must say, though, I am very surprised to hear you have such a young friend with it! What type of cancer does he have, if I may ask? (if you know, of course)
Reply
:iconnamenotrequired:
namenotrequired Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2010  Student Interface Designer
I don't know much, she said she has lung cancer as well as another serious disease I don't remember (I don't want to talk about it a lot) ^^; but it wasn't a cancer, so it was actually originally lung cancer rather than a metastasis, if that's what you mean?
Reply
:iconsuzaku009:
suzaku009 Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2010
Thank you for spreading the word :heart:
Reply
:iconexillior:
Exillior Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
It's the least I can do. :heart:
Reply
:iconmode-de-vie:
mode-de-vie Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2010  Student Writer
On my birthday, I was the first baby born in that hospital to non-smoking parents. I was in the newspaper. ;)

Wonderful work with all the information and awareness, my dear! :heart: Definitely pimping this later.
Reply
:iconexillior:
Exillior Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
:lol: That is actually funny! But true, in those days, everybody smoked. Okay, well, not everybody as such, but a lot of people. It wasn't known, back then, how harmful it could be.
Reply
:iconmode-de-vie:
mode-de-vie Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2010  Student Writer
:nod: Very true.
Reply
:iconcarpenoctem410:
carpenoctem410 Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2010  Student General Artist
This was very interesting, haven't known most of these facts already, and I'm glad I know the truth now! I'm glad I've never smoked, not even a single cigarette. I also don't smoke the water pipe, although most people around here do at parties and stuff. But I'm not even interested to try.
Reply
:iconexillior:
Exillior Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Well, I have no idea whether shisha (I presume that's what you mean) is bad for the health, too, but... I just personally can't face inhaling something. :noes: Other than clean air.
Reply
:iconcarpenoctem410:
carpenoctem410 Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2010  Student General Artist
same here. and yes, I mean shisha ^^ we sometimes also say water pipe :)
Reply
:iconloqutor:
loqutor Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2010
Sadly, I have never seen any testicular cancer awareness stuff here in the US. About a year ago, California had a prostate cancer awareness month, but that's it.

I agree, though. It's lung cancer that needs the most awareness, since it's doing the most damage to both men and women.
Reply
:iconexillior:
Exillior Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
DA recently did some awareness journals for testicular cancer, though - which is how I get all my news, these days. :XD: But yeah, I have never actually seen any awareness programs in real life for any cancer other than breast. There should be regular campaigns for every cancer, methinks.
Reply
:iconloqutor:
loqutor Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2010
Or just cancer in general. I think it would be a lot better if more funding were given to research into early detection than researching a cure.
Reply
:iconexillior:
Exillior Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
I am sure that's something that's invested in as much as cure. I certainly know there are a lot of studies on the efficacy and accuracy of available imaging / other investigative measures, for different cancers.

In the UK, there are a lot of screening programs, like the one for cervical cancer (women above a certain age are invited to go for a smear test every three years, I believe). Public funding is what supports those, for the most.

But these things are something you only get with a public healthcare system. And one where the government isn't stingy, at that.
Reply
:icon3wyl:
3wyl Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
I have known a few statistics concerning lung cancer... I think it's partly because we do learn it in school... somewhat. :shrug:

With something like lung cancer, it could be even worse... I mean, you might not even notice it. At least with breast, you can feel it... you know? =/

My Uncle died from lung cancer... he didn't smoke and he wasn't that old either. It really brings home the fact that it can hit anyone sometimes... or rather, we all have the potential to suffer? :(

Thanks for raising awareness and giving us statistical data there. It helps. :nod:
Reply
:iconexillior:
Exillior Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Some people don't notice it until it's spread somewhere else. :nod: You can't always feel it with breast cancer... but certainly you stand a much better chance of feeling it than with lung cancer.

I just hope the word gets to lots of people. I do feel, from the prejudiced comments I see around all the time on dA, that people just don't know much about lung cancer.
Reply
:icon3wyl:
3wyl Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Mm-hmm. :nod:

I don't think one can connect with it as much as with... breasts? O.o

Crude, but still. :shrug:
Reply
:iconrydi1689:
rydi1689 Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I just have no words :heart: I'll spread the word in and out of dA
Reply
:iconladylincoln:
LadyLincoln Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
:+fav:ing the Lung Cancer Alliance Support Article is a good place to start. More awareness and support helps to increase my mother's chances for survival.

:heart:
Reply
:iconrydi1689:
rydi1689 Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:salute:

Best wishes for your mom, dear :hug:
Reply
:iconexillior:
Exillior Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you, Rydi. :tighthug:
Reply
:icongwenavhyeuranastasia:
GwenavhyeurAnastasia Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2010
Thanks for posting the medical information behind this, Exi, and really trying to inform people. You're beyond awesome. I never knew there was a lung cancer awareness month til i heard it from `LadyLincoln, but i'm glad there is one. Not enough is known about it, as made obvious by your journal here. You do such good in this community by spreading the knowledge. :heart:

It also means a lot to me personally because my grandfather, who i love more than anyone else, has it, as well as COPD, due to asbestos exposure from his Navy years. It saddens me to see him in such pain every day. If only they had known such things fifty years ago.
Reply
:iconexillior:
Exillior Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
I've seen so many patients ill from asbestos exposure. :( It makes me so sad, that, because if only, if only they had known, back then.
Reply
:iconburningfrost888:
burningfrost888 Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2010
:#1:
Reply
:iconladylincoln:
LadyLincoln Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you for doing this.

You know it means the world to me to know that others care enough to help spread the word: and make others realize how equally important awareness of this cancer is. I cried again this morning. For mom, and for those other countless poor souls who I have encountered who are fighting the good fight - not just with this - but with so many other things, too.

Love for my dear Exi always,
:heart:
Reply
:iconexillior:
Exillior Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
:hug: You have no idea how much I wish I could do more, that could actually help those dear to me, instead of just spreading information. But I can do that part, at least... and every little counts. I am happy to be of any service at all.
Reply
:iconladylincoln:
LadyLincoln Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
Just some of the wonderful things you have done thus far have helped a great deal. :heart:
Reply
:iconjohannesviii:
JohannesVIII Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks to you, I've learned a lot of things reading this.

One of my grand-grandmothers died of lung cancer. She had never smoke during her entire life, but her two sons used to smoke a lot at home. That may have caused it. So yeah, if people don't want to stop smoking to reduce the risks for themselves, at least they could do it for their families.
Reply
:iconexillior:
Exillior Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
It's said that people who are around smokers get more harm from it than the smokers themselves, since most of the toxins aren't absorbed by the smokers. But well, that's not a proven fact. I do know, though, that some of the patients I've seen with COPD, which is something only smokers get, didn't actually smoke themselves.
Reply
:iconomegablue69:
OmegaBlue69 Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2010
It's a common cancer, due to the large amount of people who smoke or work around hazardous material. My grandfather had it because of smoking and asbestos exposure.

The cancer I'm most concerned about is Pancreatic cancer. Less than 5% who get diagnosed will live past five years (at least those are the numbers in the US).
Reply
:iconexillior:
Exillior Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
I am lucky in that nobody in my family has it, but I've seen it through my father's patients (my father is a chest physician) in my earlier life, and now as a medical student, I have seen a few myself. Also, the relatives of people I know have been affected. For such a serious condition, it is so common and yet so misunderstood as yet.

Very true, that. It's a lot rarer so it gets overlooked a lot. But like lung cancer, it presents very late (even later). I checked and this month is also Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month (and stomach cancer as well) so I'll post an educational journal about those later on this month. Drop me a reminder if the end of the month nears without me having done one.
Reply
:iconomegablue69:
OmegaBlue69 Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2010
Alright, if I remember to remind you :lol:
Reply
:iconexillior:
Exillior Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Hopefully one of us will remember! :XD:
Reply
:iconomegablue69:
OmegaBlue69 Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2010
Yeah hopefully! :XD:
Reply
:iconkoeltje:
koeltje Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2010  Professional Photographer
Thank you for posting this (especially as I didn't know this was Lung Cancer Awareness Month!). I will definitely spread the word as best as I can.
Reply
:iconexillior:
Exillior Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
I didn't know it either until `LadyLincoln brought it up - dA spreads awareness wonderfully! Thank you.
Reply
:iconnutonthenet:
NutOnTheNet Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2010
Don't forget that secondhand smoke (the puffs of smoke that smokers give out, and always has a bad smell) is almost if not equally bad as smoking yourself. (I read about it in a medical journal) So try to steer away from any cigarette smoke around you. Also smoke from cars is a bad thing (but I guess we cant really do much about that directly).
Reply
Add a Comment:
 
×

More from DeviantArt



Details

Submitted on
November 1, 2010
Link
Thumb

Stats

Views
916
Favourites
0
Comments
45
×