Lung cancer is the most fatal cancer, responsible for the deaths of around 1.8 million people each year – and this number is climbing.
It’s also the most common lethal neoplasm in the world. Professor Gerard A. Silvestri (Medical University of South Carolina, SC, USA) highlights that, “lung cancer is the leading cause of death due to cancer worldwide.” An estimated 1.8 million new cases were diagnosed in 2012, making it “more common than breast cancer, colon cancer and prostate cancer combined… [killing] more women than all other female cancers combined.”
Its prevalence is attributable to many risk factors, including passive exposure to diesel exhaust fumes, workplace carcinogens, radon, asbestos and biomass fuels; but the overwhelming risk factor is smoking tobacco, which accounts for over 70% of cases.
Survival rates vary, with roughly 1 in 3 living for at least one year post-diagnosis and 1 in 20 making it past ten years. These rates differ broadly, with the early stage diagnosis vital to chances of survival. If left untreated and cancer spreads to other organs, 5-year survival is only around 13% – and advanced-stage lung cancer is incurable.
These stark facts aside, with greater awareness and knowledge, there are steps we can take to fight back and tip the scales.
That’s why we celebrate World Lung Cancer Day on 1 August 2022.
Started by the Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS) in 2012, this important day is dedicated to raising issues and reminding us that in its early stages, lung cancer is treatable (and curable) with curative-intent surgery and radiation therapy. Also, preventative steps can minimise the chances of developing lung cancer – on both personal and global levels.
Awareness on multiple fronts is vital, advocating for:
- advice on risk factors and how to minimize their impact (personally and globally)
- education on early screening and recognizing symptoms
- encouraging a global effort to address inequalities in care and access to treatments
- increasing funding towards better screening methods and improved therapies
touchONCOLOGY and touchRESPIRATORY support World Lung Cancer Day and aim to spread greater awareness about this common and fatal cancer. Learn about lung cancer by visiting our oncology and respiratory libraries of video interviews, conference highlights, journal articles and clinical trial updates.
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