November is officially Lung Cancer Awareness Month. The event started back in 1995 as Lung Cancer Awareness Day. As the lung cancer community and the lung cancer movement grew, the awareness activities increased and the day matured into Lung Cancer Awareness Month. During the month, people throughout the country come together to support the lung cancer community and raise awareness about the disease.
Lung cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in one or both lungs. These abnormal cells do not carry out the functions of normal lung cells and do not develop into healthy lung tissue. As they grow, the abnormal cells can form tumors and interfere with the functioning of the lung, which provides oxygen to the body via the blood.
According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer is the second most common cancer in both men and women and accounts for about 27% of all cancer related deaths. Each year, more people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined. The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be about 221,200 new cases of lung cancer diagnosed in the United States in 2015, with 10,540 of those cases being diagnosed in Pennsylvania.
Although smoking is the main cause of lung cancer, lung cancer risk also is increased by exposure to secondhand smoke; environmental exposures, such as radon, workplace toxins (e.g., asbestos, arsenic), and air pollution. The risk of lung cancer can be reduced by quitting smoking and by eliminating or reducing exposure to secondhand smoke and environmental and workplace risk factors.
At the Cancer Treatment Center at Hazelton, we use radiation therapy to treat lung cancer. Radiation therapy for the treatment of lung cancer uses powerful, high-energy X-rays to kill cancer cells or keep them from growing. The radiation is aimed at the lung cancer tumor and kills the cancer cells only in that area of the lung. Radiation therapy is delivered safely, painlessly, and does not involve surgery. Treatments do not require hospitalization and only take about 10 to 15 minutes. Side effects are minimal, and are usually mild and manageable.
The physician team and staff at the Cancer Treatment Center at Hazelton have extensive experience treating patients with radiation therapy. Combined with the linear accelerator’s technology, Cancer Treatment Center at Hazleton’s expert team delivers quality care in a compassionate manner.
If you, or a loved one, has been diagnosed with lung cancer and would like to speak to a patient coordinator about your treatment options, please click here.