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Lung Cancer’s Sobering Statistics in NJ [AUDIO]

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Flickr User Alexis Bellido

Each year, more than 6,000 New Jerseyans are diagnosed with Lung Cancer and more than 4,000 will die from the disease. Nationwide, 150,000 deaths are caused by lung cancer. As Lung Cancer Awareness Month gets underway, doctors in the Garden State want everyone to get the facts.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among men and women nationwide. “If you talk to people, they tend to believe that more women die from breast cancer any other cancer,” said Dr. Michael Steinberg, Director of the Tobacco Dependence Program at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey. “But actually, in the United States, more women die from lung cancer than breast cancer.”

90% of all lung cancers are caused by smoking. “People who use tobacco have as much as a thirty fold increased risk of developing lung cancer,” said Steinberg. “Quitting tobacco use is the single most important factor in reducing your risk of any cancer, but specifically lung cancer.”

One of the biggest problems with lung cancer is that it is generally diagnosed when it is already in a late stage. “The overall survival rate is very low, even with advances in treatment and new screening tests which is why the best way to deal with lung cancer is to prevent it in the first place,” said Steinberg.

Symptoms of lung cancer include persistent cough, change of color or blood in phlegm, wheezing and recurrent pneumonia or bronchitis. Unexplained weight loss, bone pain, aching joints and a tired feeling can also be symptoms of the disease.

 

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