About Lung Cancer
Your Cancer Treatment Center in Pasadena, CA
At Pasadena CyberKnife Center, we understand how difficult it is to be diagnosed with cancer – and we’re here to help. We’re proud to provide world-class radiation therapy and cancer treatment from our state-of-the-art cancer treatment facility in Pasadena, and Our team of doctors and cancer specialists works with each patient individually to personalize treatment plans. Lung cancer is one of the three most common cancers in the world, but with CyberKnife, there’s more hope than ever for treating it.
What is Lung Cancer?
Lung cancer occurs when abnormal cells grow in the lungs and multiply, eventually forming malignant tumors. Often, lung cancer doesn’t show symptoms until it has already spread into other parts of the body, which makes early detection critical for treating lung cancer. For both men and women, lung cancer is the second most common form of cancer, with only prostate cancer being more common in men and breast cancer being more common in women. It’s particularly prevalent for people over 60 years old who have either smoked in their life or been exposed to secondhand smoke or other toxins. In the US, more than 25% of cancer deaths are attributed to lung cancer, making it the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the country.
Unfortunately, lung cancer has a relatively low five-year survival rate: 17.8%. That said, the survival rate increases greatly when the condition is diagnosed early on, before it has metastasized (spread) to other areas of the body. Symptoms of lung cancer include chest pain, rapid weight loss, coughing, and chest pain.
Most cases of lung cancer fall into two main types. The recommended treatment options are different for each type, so you and your oncologist will determine the best treatment for you based on which form of cancer you have:
- Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: Also known as NSCLC, this accounts for roughly 4 in 5 lung cancer cases. It spreads relatively slowly, and may be found in the outer lung (adenocarcinoma), center of the lung close to an air tube (squamous cell carcinoma), or as large cell carcinoma, which may develop anywhere in the lung and spreads more quickly than the other forms of NSCLC.
- Small Cell Lung Cancer: Also called SCLC, this is the form of lung cancer that most commonly comes from cigarette smoking. SCLC may take the form of small cell carcinoma or combined SCLS, which is a combination of small and large cells.
There’s also a third form of lung cancer called carcinoid tumors, but this is less common than the other two forms. Carcinoid tumors develop more slowly than other forms and are usually treated through surgical methods.
Risk Factors for Lung Cancer
There are a number of risk factors that affect your chances of developing lung cancer. While some are hereditary and can’t be controlled, others are lifestyle choices, which may help you prevent developing lung cancer.
- Smoking: By far, the main risk factor for lung cancer is cigarette smoking. Cigarette smoking is linked to some 80% of lung cancer cases in women and 90% in men, and men and women who smoke are 23 and 13 times as likely to develop lung cancer as nonsmokers, respectively. Pipe tobacco and cigar smoking also increase risk. The reason for this is that smoking tobacco exposes the lungs to more than 7,000 chemicals, many of which are severe carcinogens. Quitting smoking slowly lowers the risk of lung cancer, but the more a person smokes in their life, the more at-risk they are for lung cancer.
- Secondhand Smoke: Even if you don’t smoke, you still may be at risk for lung cancer due to smoking. Secondhand smoke, which is smoke you inhale from someone else who is smoking, can increase your chances of getting lung cancer by 20% to 30% if you’re exposed to it at work, at home, or at school. In all, secondhand smoke is responsible for some 7,300 non-smoker deaths annually.
- Radon: Radon is an odorless, colorless gas that occurs naturally in the earth and acts as a carcinogen in humans. Radon is a byproduct of the radioactive decay of uranium in soil, so your exposure to radon is largely dependent on where you live. Roughly 7% of homes are thought to have excessive levels of radon, making it the second most common cause of lung cancer. Because it’s impossible to detect naturally, the USDA recommends that everyone test their home for radon. When radon exposure is combined with smoking, mortality rates increase significantly.
- Personal or Family History: A history of lung cancer in your immediate family increases your risk of developing lung cancer, and if you’ve had it before and still smoke, the chances that it reappears are increased.
- Diet: Research has found that smokers taking beta-carotene supplements are at an increased risk for lung cancer, and low-level arsenic from well water has also been linked to cancer.
Contact Your Pasadena, CA Cancer Treatment Center
Receiving a lung cancer diagnosis – either for yourself or for a loved one – is an incredibly difficult experience, but at Pasadena CyberKnife Center, we are here to help. We’re proud to offer world-class cancer treatment to patients throughout Pasadena and the Los Angeles area, and no matter what you’re facing, we’ll work with you to design a treatment plan and beat your cancer. No matter how serious your cancer diagnosis, there’s always hope – so don’t wait. Call us today at 626-768-1021 or reach out to us at our contact page to find out how CyberKnife can help you overcome cancer and reclaim the health and the life you deserve.