Day 30 – LUNG CANCER ~ 30 Days of Lung Cancer Facts in a Nutshell!
There are 2 primary types of lung cancer:
- Small Cell Lung Carcinoma: 15% of all lung cancers, VERY aggressive, typically responds well to the first rounds of chemotherapy and radiation, typical life expectancy is 2-12 months without treatment and with treatment, respectively. Emerging therapies are being tried for this disease for the first time in decades!
- NON Small Cell Lung Carcinoma (includes Adenocarcinoma, Squamous cell lung cancer, Large cell lung cancer and very rare lung cancers): 85% of all lung cancers, typically not as aggressive as small cell, treatment tends to extend quality and quantity of life, and therapies such as immunotherapy and targeted therapy, emerging since 2014, show promise and good results, screwing the current 5-year statistics, which is great!
- ***It is so important to know your diagnosis because your treatment options and prognosis will be different based on which type of lung cancer you have!***
Lung Cancer kills more people each year than breast, prostate, colorectal and pancreatic cancers COMBINED. Stigma and symptoms commonly attributed to other illnesses (such as coughing, wheezing, etc) are some reasons why diagnosis might be delayed, resulting in most lung cancer being detected after it has already spread (metastasized). This decreases life expectancy. The number of younger people diagnosed with lung cancer has increased significantly in the last decades!
Smoking is not always the cause. Radon, chemicals in the air and water, family history and genetics are now thought to also cause or correlate with this disease. *****MY QUESTION REMAINS: IF 85-90% OF PATIENTS WITH LUNG CANCER HAVE SMOKED FOR DECADES, BUT ONLY 10% OF SMOKERS GET LUNG CANCER, ARE WE ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS??*****
Chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, immunotherapy and targeted therapy are the ‘go-to’ medical treatments against lung cancer currently. Clinical trials are underway for pharmaceuticals and diagnostic testing for both types of lung cancer. Treatment depends on the stage of the cancer and where it has spread. Cancers’ symptoms and treatments’ side effects are not the same for everyone. Treatment has a goal: are they trying to cure it (curative), shrink/stabilize it, or lessen your pain/symptoms (palliative).
Your treatment choices are yours, and you can change your mind at any point. Advance Directives can help you identify the person/s who you would like to be your advocate if you cannot make a decision about your care, and will tell doctors the type of treatment and care you do or don’t want for your body.
You might have lung cancer, but you are not lung cancer. Your words and perspective matter. You matter. I encourage you to live intentionally ~ good gravy, shouldn’t we all?! We are not promised tomorrow!! …You are not alone in this journey; while a dangerous and potentially terrifying disease, you have a wealth of information available online, and support with your friends here at OddlyGrateful.com. Here’s to you!