Lung cancer is the largest killer among the cancers and surprisingly, people continue to harbor many myths surrounding the disease. While some of these may not have an effect on a lung cancer patient or his survival rates, there are others which can affect a person’s ability to chose a treatment option or try on a new kind of remedy. I thought busting a few of these common beliefs would help…
- Lung cancer is a smoker’s disease
This is the most common myth that I found while I asked people about what they knew about the disease. Now, this is partly true, but the fact remains that non-smokers have joined the bandwagon of lung cancer patients. Smoking continues to be The Prominent cause of lung cancer, BUT, not the only cause. Non-smokers are equally prone to getting the disease.
- Lung cancer cannot be treated
This is sad, but not entirely true. There are plenty of therapies, using various drugs, which are helping people with lung cancer improve their survival rates. The rise of the myth is from the fact that most lung cancer cases are detected late. By, the time the symptoms make their appearance, cancer would have spread making it difficult to control and treat. New research is continuously being done and new drugs and treatment options are being made available every other day. Lung cancer research is a happening area.
- Lung cancer kills fewer women than breast cancer
This myth comes as a surprise since everywhere you look women too are succumbing to this equal opportunity disease. More women die of lung cancer than of breast cancer. According to statistics, in the year 2005, over 69,000 women died of lung cancer while only about 40,000 died of breast cancer. Bronchioloalveolar cancer (BAC) especially affects non-smoking women.
- There is no use of quitting to smoke, once you get lung cancer
Kicking the habit can increase chances of survival. The success rate of surgeries and therapies are higher if the patient has stopped smoking.
- Lung cancer spreads on exposure to air
This myth has led many Americans to say NO to life saving lung cancer surgeries. The myth is extremely popular and is especially prevalent among the African-Americans. Surgery does not cause lung cancer to spread and in cases where the cancer has been detected early, a surgery may well save the life of the patient.
There are plenty more of these and if you find any that seem interesting, please do let me know too…