Must Know Myths and Facts About Lung Cancer

5 Must Know Myths and Facts About Lung Cancer

Like other cancers, lung cancer has its own share of myths. So sifting fact from fiction is important to understand how lung cancer works.

What are different lung cancer myths?

Some of the more enduring myths include:

  1. Only Smokers Can Get Lung Cancer

    The link between smoking and lung cancer is well-established. It’s a probably a little too well-linked so much so that lung cancer has come to be associated exclusively with smoking.

    Fact – One in seven cases of lung cancer is not attributed to smoking.

    Non-smoking factors that enhance risk of lung cancer include exposure to second-hand smoke as also substances such as asbestos and radon gas.

  2. Lung Cancer Can't be Treated

    Lung cancer is treated by many as fatal, a disease that can end only in one way – death.

    Fact – Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in some countries, like the United States for instance. This is in part because it is detected at an advanced stage. Over half of all lung cancer patients die of the disease within a year of diagnosis.

    On a positive note detection and treatment of lung cancer have improved over the years. Habitual smokers between the ages of 55 and 80 should get an annual CT scan to check for signs of lung cancer. Early stage detection of lung cancer can help treatment.

  3. There is a Blood Test to Detect Lung Cancer

    There are media reports that there is a blood test to detect lung cancer.

    Fact – At this stage it is premature to assert that a blood test can detect cancer. Although studies / research is underway, it is at an early stage.

    Blood of people with cancer contains traces of the cancer which enters the blood after some of the tumour cells naturally die. But the blood also has DNA from the normal non-cancerous cells. So it’s difficult to detect the cancer from the blood.

  4. Antioxidant supplements protect you from cancer

    Antioxidant supplements are believed to safeguard from cancer among other general health benefits.

    Fact - Studies conducted over decades have failed to show any conclusive link between antioxidants and lower disease risks. As a matter of fact, recent studies show that antioxidants may actually increase the spread and severity of some cancers. This is particularly true in case of smokers.

  5. Exercising does not affect lung cancer

    Lung cancer is considered so fatal that even exercise is deemed pointless in reversing its effects.

    Fact – Healthy eating habits and regular exercise have enormous health benefits. However, they cannot neutralize the harmful effects of smoking. Some studies show that regular physical activity can reduce the risk of lung cancer. However, it is not clear if it produces the same results in smokers.

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