Cancer screening at an early stage, before it has had a chance to spread, is an incredibly high factor in a patient’s chances for survival. Although the symptoms of early cancer are hard to spot, early detection does lead to a greater number of treatment options, the possibility for less invasive surgery and generally higher survival rates. Recently, early diagnosis of cancer that was still localized meant a five-year survival rate of almost 50% of patients.
Unfortunately, though, no proven screening tests for lung cancer exist which significantly improves the chance of survival from or detection of the disease in a localized form. Nevertheless, methods to develop screening for the early detection of this cancer need to occur because symptoms at an early stage are so subtle, if apparent at all. Only in the late stages of this cancer do symptoms such as persistent coughing, chest pain, voice changes, and recurring pneumonia or bronchitis arise.
With such low detection rates, it is then especially important to avoid habits or chemicals which may lead to this particularly difficult-to-spot cancer. Besides obvious lifestyle choices, like choosing not to smoke, there are other precautions one can take to minimize the risk of developing this cancer, such as knowing what chemicals may be lurking in and around your home, avoiding them or having them professionally removed. Of course, if you do have any worries, then it is also worth visiting a cancer treatment centre, such as Cancer Treatment Mexico (https://www.cancertreatmentmexico.com/).
One such chemical that exemplifies the dangers of lung cancer, asbestos, is commonly found in older homes and responsible for many cases. This chemical is a mineral found naturally in nature and used heavily in the 20th century for construction. However, it poses huge risks to those exposed. Used in a variety of household and industrial applications, this material poses a serious lung cancer threat when broken, jagged or shredded, which allows it to be released into the air and breathed into the lungs.
Even with stricter regulations about its use, asbestos’s pervasiveness in past construction makes it a continuing problem, especially as older homes, schools and businesses are renovated and the aged mineral is exposed or thrown into the air as dust. Mesothelioma disease is the cancer that results from exposure to this fractured chemical. If exposure occurs, there are four different types of this disease, with the most common one develops in the lung lining. Worse still, mesothelioma symptoms usually don’t show up until 20 to 50 years after initial exposure to asbestos. Because of that delay in detection, the prognosis for those who have acquired mesothelioma disease is particularly poor.
Radon exposure, the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking, is a gas lacking colour and odour that is generated by the breakdown of radioactive radium. It too is a naturally-occurring cancer threat because it is the generated by the breakdown of uranium, which is found in the Earth’s surface. The EPA lists this chemical a cancer risk to homeowners, with an estimated 1 in 15 homes in the U.S. possessing radon levels above the recommended allowance.
Although several treatment options including surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy exist for lung cancer, its hidden nature makes it a statistically-difficult cancer to beat. Because screening for this cancer is also currently ineffective, it remains especially important for patients to recognize the warning signs early and act quickly. The specific treatment of lung cancer depends on the specific cell type, where it’s spread and the patient’s general wellbeing. Until better screening options for this particular cancer exist though, the success of these treatments is sure to remain low.