Lung and bronchus cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States, with over 225,000 new diagnoses in 2012, and an estimated 87,750 and 72,590 deaths predicted to occur in men and women, respectively. This is nearly as many cancer deaths and prostate, breast, and colon cancer combined.
85% of all cases are non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), with most patients diagnosed after the disease has advanced.
Lung cancer has a mortality rate that has changed very little, getting slightly worse over the last 40 years.
In the United States 85-90% of all cases are due to tobacco smoking, making this a very preventable condition.
Smoking increases the risk for lung cancer by a factor of 10-30 fold compared to “never-smokers.”
Second-hand smoke is also thought to contribute to nearly 20% of lung cancer cases among non-smokers, raising lung cancer risk approximately 30% versus those with no exposure.
Because smoking is responsible for such a large percentage of lung cancer cases, it is often ignored that non-smoking causes of lung cancer are still one of the top 10 causes of cancer mortality. This includes occupational exposure to known lung carcinogens, such as asbestos, arsenic, nickel, and radon, as well as environmental air pollution, such as that caused by fossil fuel combustion.
Dietary factors also influence the risk of lung cancer, as diets higher in fruits and vegetables are protective, especially cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, etc.
Screening CT scans May be of benefit for those at high risk, such as older individuals with a long history of smoking.
Imaging Including CT, MRI, and positron emission tomography Likely be used to monitor treatment efficacy and detection of recurrence.
Vitamin D levels Vitamin D levels have been associated with both risk of developing lung cancer and survival among lung cancer patients.
C-reactive protein levels Elevated C-reactive protein levels have been associated with a greater risk of early death, and may help guide appropriate anti-inflammatory treatments.
Multiple nutritional supplements have been associated with reduced cancer incidence and/or cancer progression. The list below contains those with the greatest evidence-base and benefit, though it is not necessary that they all be included.
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