The “Silent Killer” Lung Cancer Is Treatable if Detected Early

  • Lung cancer is the third most common form of cancer in the US.
  • The disease is the leading cause of cancer deaths.
  • Lung cancer is divided into two sections: small cell and non-small cell.
  • Scientists believe the cancer is treatable if caught soon enough.

( – The Lung Cancer Research Foundation reports that one in 16 people will be diagnosed with lung cancer in their life. It is the third most common form of cancer in the US, and roughly 130,180 people die from the disease every year. And annually, there are more than 236,000 new cases of lung cancer.

Though deadly, scientists think there could be a much higher rate of survival if people with the disease are diagnosed earlier.

Silent Killer

More than 65% of patients who doctors diagnose with lung cancer receive the news when they are in the late stages of the disease. That’s because the people who fall ill with the disease have nearly no symptoms.

Whether or someone develops symptoms of the cancer depends on where the tumors are in their body. Those who have the curable version of the disease are almost always diagnosed too late because of their lack of symptoms.

A 2020 study that was published in the European Society for Medical Oncology Open involved almost 10,000 patients and analyzed the symptoms of non-small cell lung cancer. They found that the most common symptom experienced was coughing, but still, only 1.8% of them actually had a cough. When the disease progressed to stage IV, the number of people who experienced symptoms was still very low, with only 17.9% of people developing a cough.

Survival Rates

According to the American Lung Association, the five-year survival rate is 18.6%. However, if the disease is found when it is still localized to the lungs, it has a 56% survival rate. But, only 16% of cases are detected at an early stage. When the tumors spread to other areas of the body, there’s only a 5% rate of survival. Sadly, more than half of the people who fall ill with lung cancer will die within one year of receiving a diagnosis.

When lung cancer is caught early enough, there are medications that can help treat the disease and put people into remission. The treatments come with very high survival rates if caught on time. Chemotherapy is used to treat small cell when it is caught in stage one, but as mentioned, that doesn’t happen often enough.

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