When you think about lung cancer, you probably have some preconceived notions. Some of those assumptions could be wrong, and they might be life-threatening.
Only smokers get lung cancer
This is simply not true. According to Lungevity, 10% of overall people and 20% of women with lung cancer have never smoked. What is leading to this diagnosis? It could be exposure to radon. What is radon? It is a colorless, odorless gas that is released during the natural breakdown of certain elements. According to the EPA and the Surgeon General, roughly 20,000 lung cancer deaths are attributed to radon every year. This is why local radon testing is so important. In fact, testing for radon in your home could save your life.
You can’t lower your risk
Some people think that all you have to do to avoid lung cancer is avoid smoking. Other than that, some people think there is no other way to reduce their risk of developing this cancer. Again, what is radon? It’s the second leading cause of lung cancer. You can test your home to reduce the risk of exposure. You can also keep up a healthy diet and regular exercise to lower your risk of lung cancer.
Lung cancer can’t be treated
It is true that lung cancer is not always curable, but it certainly can be treated. Your treatment options will vary depending on the type of lung cancer you develop. Your options include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, targeted therapies, immunotherapies, or a combination of these options. The five-year survival rate for someone with Stage 1 lung cancer is 75%, so there is hope.
You’re too young for diagnosis
Finally, some people think their age impacts their chance of getting lung cancer. While it’s true that elderly people are more likely to be diagnosed, 21.4% if people aged 55 to 64 have lung cancer. Young people and even children are at risk as well.
If you believed any of these myths, it’s time to face the facts. Any one of these misconceptions could put you at a higher risk of developing lung cancer. Make sure you are protecting yourself and visiting your doctor no matter how old you are, and no matter if you smoke or not. It just might save your life.