Posts Tagged ‘lung cancer awareness’

Recap on Live Lung Cancer Chat with Dr. Suresh Ramalingam

Dr. Suresh Ramalingam, Professor/Chief of Medical Oncology from the Winship Cancer Insititute, recently conducted an chat pertaining to the leading cause of cancer deaths among both men and women, which is lung cancer.

As many of us are already aware, Dr. Ramalingam reminded participants that secondhand smoke is a known risk factor for the development of lung cancer. Given that exposure to secondhand smoke varies and is difficult to track, it’s also hard to quantify the exact risk second hand smoke has on a person. However, recent studies have shown that states in which laws are in place to restrict public smoking are beginning to report declines in lung cancer incidence.

During the live chat, Dr. Ramalingam also touched on lung cancer treatment options and noted that there is no one-fits-all approach to treating a disease like lung cancer. Ideal treatment methods vary based on the stage of the disease. For early stage lung cancer, surgery is considered the standard treatment, however Dr. Ramalingam noted that some researchers believe stereotactic radiation will one day replace the need for surgery. Dr. Ramalingam added that radiation can also be a very effective treatment option for patients who are not candidates for surgery due to medical reasons. Chemotherapy has shown effectiveness in nearly all stages of lung cancer.

There’s great news for former smokers and the concern of developing lung cancer. Once a smoker quits, the risk of lung cancer progressively decreases. (For a timetable on the benefits of quitting, check out our blog post here) Recently, lung CT scans have demonstrated the ability to save lives in patients who currently smoke, or who have a history of smoking. Dr. Ramalingam suggests that former smokers discuss their smoking history with their physician to see if a lung CT screening is appropriate.

If you would like more information about the causes, prevention and methods used to treat lung cancer you may review Dr. Suresh Ramalingam’s lung cancer chat transcript here.

For more information on lung cancer, check out the related resources below. To become a patient, you may visit the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University online.

Related Resources

2 Ways to Lower Your Lung Cancer Risk Today

Lung Cancer Awareness Month
More people in the U.S. die from lung cancer than any other type of cancer. Lung cancer is responsible for approximately 30% of cancer deaths in the United States. In fact, it’s actually the cause of more deaths than breast cancer, colon cancer and prostate cancer combined. November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month and we’d like to share with you some important information and tips for how you can lower your lung cancer risk.

Quit Smoking

Obviously, if you smoke, the most important step you can take to lower your risk for lung cancer is to quit smoking. Quitting smoking:

  • Lowers your blood pressure and your heart rate – Within 20 minutes of quitting, your blood pressure and heart rate are reduced to almost normal.
  • Repairs damaged nerve endings – Within 48 hours of quitting, damaged nerve endings begin to repair themselves, and sense of taste and smell begin to return to normal as a result.
  • Lowers your risk for heart attack – Within 2-12 weeks of quitting, your heart attack risk is lowered.
  • Lowers your risk for lung cancer – According to a 2005 study by the National Institute of Health, within 10 years of quitting smoking, your risk of being diagnosed with lung cancer is between 30-50% of that for the smoker who didn’t quit.

Smoking accounts for ~90% of lung cancer cases. If you smoke, this is the critical first step in lowering your lung cancer risk. If you have a history of smoking and are between the ages of 55-75, you may be a candidate for a Lung CT Scan.

Eat a Wider Variety and More Fruits & Veggies

In November 2007,  the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) and the World Cancer Research Fund published Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective, the most comprehensive report on diet and cancer ever completed. The study found evidence linking diets high in fruit and their ability to lower lung cancer risk to be probable. This is one of the core reasons that the AICR recommends consuming at least five portions a day of fruits and vegetables. After evaluating approximately 500,000 people in 10 countries in Europe, another study demonstrated intaking a variety of produce may also help lower lung cancer risk, so make sure to vary the color on your plate!

Chat Online with Dr. Suresh Ramalingam

Lung Cancer Web ChatIf you have specific questions about lung cancer, whether they’re related to prevention, risk factors, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, support, or otherwise, Dr. Ramalingam is hosting a free 1-hour online web chat about Lung Cancer on Thursday, November 17th. Dr. Ramalingam will also be fielding questions on the topic of Lung CT scanning, a lung cancer screening mechanism that studies have shown may help lower the risk of lung cancer mortality.

You can ask as many questions as you’d like in the chat, or feel free to sign up to check out Dr. Ramalingam’s answers to other participant questions. We hope to see you there! UPDATE: Lung Cancer Chat Transcript