by Hotosa Ebrahimzadeh M.D.
It is shocking to find that with all the up-to-date information we now have about smoking and its connection to lung cancer, the statistics on women with lung cancer is at a record high. Lung cancer deaths for women have skyrocketed to 150% over the past two decades, while the numbers for men are decreasing. Even more disturbing is the fact that lung cancer is the number one cancer killer for women. Lung cancer kills more women every year than any other cancer. The numbers are astounding; lung cancer killed 68,510 women this year – more than breast and ovarian cancer deaths combined. With all the knowledge we now have about smoking and cancer, why is this so?
Studies show that women are socially finding it more and more acceptable to make smoking part of their lives. Tobacco companies have found new ways to infiltrate the market on new female smokers, appealing to them through ads and free samples provided in bars and clubs. Over time, both society and cigarette manufacturers have lessened the social norms against women and smoking, in the process creating new generations of smokers, and with it, higher numbers of women finding themselves inflicted with lung cancer.
An estimated 1 out of every 4-cancer deaths is lung cancer, for men and women combined. That is an estimated 1 out of every 8 for women. Survival rates decline with age at diagnosis and the advancement of age. Although most lung cancer found at the early stages is quite treatable, research tells us that only 15% of lung cancer cases are found at the localized early stage. After that, survival rates decline dramatically after the cancer has spread to the other organs.
The following are some rather shocking smoking facts presented through www.lungcancer.org
• Research shows that women are approximately 1.5 times more likely to develop lung cancer than men.
• The risk of dying of lung cancer is 20 times higher among women who smoke two or more packs of cigarettes per day than among women who do not smoke.
• The risk of lung cancer increases with quantity, duration, and intensity of smoking.
• The risk of lung cancer mortality increases with the number of cigarettes smoked.
After all of this rather horrifying information – what is amazing is the number one method of preventing lung cancer: Stop Smoking. Lung cancer can be avoided by quitting smoking as soon as possible. Current smokers or former smokers should then find out all the information they can about early detection techniques. Online sources such as lungcancer.org provide up to date information on the methods of prevention and detection now available. Physical examinations by doctors can detect for signs of swollen lymph nodes in neck or collarbone area. Chest examination will provide information about abnormal breathing sounds or patterns. From there, medical equipment such as CT scans can be utilized to provide two-dimensional imaging of the lungs from multiple x-rays.
Luckily, in this era, the technology exists to assist you in every aspect in quickly seeking out signs of cancer early. However, the greatest protection of all is the decision to quit smoking. Nothing is more powerful than that, and lucky for all of us, it is the one thing we have the power to control. Why not take advantage and save a life: your own. b
For more information contact Dr. Ebrahimzideh @ 369-6993