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November is Lung Cancer Month: Know the Latest Information About This Deadliest of Cancers
Date:10/27/2009

lung cancer are older than 65; fewer than three percent of all cases are found in people under the age of 45.(6)

Survival is improved the earlier a patient is diagnosed with lung cancer. With early detection, there is a 50 percent chance of surviving for five years. However, only 16 percent of cases are diagnosed at an early stage. Unfortunately, as the disease is often diagnosed at later stages, approximately 59 percent of those with lung cancer will die within the first year of diagnosis.(7)

The five-year survival rate for lung cancer has increased slightly over the last 30 years. In the mid-1970s the rate was 13 percent, as compared to the latest statistics which find the rate at 15.6 percent for the years 1999 - 2006.(8)

Symptoms

In the early stages of the disease, many people have vague or no symptoms. Persistent cough along with blood in the phlegm and shortness of breath are common symptoms of lung cancer. Sometimes, symptoms may seem unrelated to the lungs or breathing. As lung cancer is diagnosed mostly in later stages, the primary cancer may have already spread to other parts of the body. Depending upon where the cancer spreads and which organs are affected, symptoms may also include headaches, weakness of a limb, bone pain, weight loss and loss of appetite.(9)

If You are Diagnosed: What to Ask Your Oncologist(10)

  • What kind of lung cancer do I have?
  • Has my cancer spread beyond my lungs, or is it limited to my lungs only?
  • What is the stage of my cancer, and what does that mean in my case?
  • Are there other tests that need to be done before we can decide on treatment?
  • What treatment choices do I have?
  • What risks or side effects are there to the treatments you suggest?
  • How long will treatment last? What will it involve? Where will it be done?
  • What are the chances of recurrence of my cancer after trea
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SOURCE Eli Lilly and Company
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