This information is provided and sponsored by Spartanburg Regional Healthcare.
Put down the cigarette and take a deep breath of fresh air.
Throwing away the small, nicotine-filled stick could lower your risk of lung cancer. Lung cancer kills 19 people every hour and causes more deaths than the next three most common cancers combined including colon, breast and prostate.
Smoking contributes to 80 percent of lung cancer deaths in women, and the average age of diagnosis is 71.
Some may smoke one pack of cigarettes a day. In South Carolina, the average cost for a pack of cigarettes is $5.55, equating to $166.50 per month. That is more than twice the cost of a monthly YMCA gym membership, which is approximately $56 per month.
When a person breathes in secondhand smoke, it is like they are smoking themselves. In the United States, about 3,000 people who never smoked die from lung cancer due to secondhand smoke every year.
But it isn’t just cigarettes or second-hand smoke that causes lung cancer. Exposure to asbestos or radon also heightens the risk.
When a person has lung cancer, they have abnormal cells that cluster together to form malignant tumors. Unlike normal cells, cancer cells grow without order or control and destroy healthy lung tissue around them.
A tumor could be in the lungs without causing pain or discomfort. Symptoms that may appear include:
If lung cancer spreads to distant organs, it may cause:
The Lung Cancer Care Program is led by a registered nurse who specializes in the care of lung cancer patients. The Lung Cancer Nurse Specialist provides the patient and family with education, support and care coordination. This nurse coordinator supports the patient through every step in their fight against cancer and works hand-in-hand with physicians to ensure the needs of the patient and the families are met.
For more information, or to schedule an appointment with a physician to talk lung cancer, visit GibbsCancerCenter.org.