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Understanding and Preventing Lung Cancer

Understanding lung cancer and how it can be prevented and detected is critical to identifying it at an early stage.

There are two main types of lung cancer. Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) and Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC).

Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) constitutes 80-85% of lung cancers, with the main subtypes being adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and large cell carcinoma. These subtypes share similar treatments and prognoses despite originating from different lung cells. Treatment options, including surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, targeted therapy and immunotherapy, depend on factors like cancer spread, overall health, age and specific proteins present. Early detection increases the success of surgical removal.

Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC) represents 10-15% of lung cancers, characterized by rapid growth and spread. Although responsive to chemotherapy and radiation therapy, it often has a high likelihood of recurrence.

Symptoms for both lung cancers are similar and include:

  • A cough that doesn’t go away or gets worse over time
  • Coughing up blood
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Feeling tired all the time
  • Weight loss with no known cause

Ways to help prevent lung cancer:

  • Not smoke (Smoking is the number one cause of lung cancer)
  • Avoid secondhand smoke
  • Get your home tested for radon
  • Be careful at work (follow health and safety guidelines to avoid carcinogens)

The next thing to do is to take this quiz and speak to your primary care physician about your risks and concerns. You may qualify for a lung cancer screening.

To find a primary care physician, call the physician referral line at (419) 373-7613 or visit our provider search on our website.