Lung cancer is often diagnosed in the late
stages of the disease, largely because there are few or no symptoms in the
early stages. Having an awareness of the risks and reducing them, plus early
detection, can change a person’s outcome.
the Risk of Lung Cancer
The most common cause of lung cancer is
cigarette smoking, which is linked to 80 to 90 percent of lung cancer cases. People
who quit smoking have a lower risk of lung cancer than if they had continued to
smoke, but their risk is higher than the risk for people who never smoked.
Quitting smoking at any age can lower the risk of lung cancer.
UT Southwestern offers a nicotine cessation
program to help anyone quit smoking or stop using other nicotine products. Our
program offers a supportive, educational environment that provides options,
resources, and support at no cost to help people overcome nicotine addiction. Call 888-980-6050 for details.
Secondhand smoke also contributes to lung
cancer and should be avoided.
Inhaling chemicals such as radon at a workplace
can also cause lung cancer. People who work around chemicals should take safety
precautions and use breathing equipment or masks.
The odds for developing lung cancer are
higher for those who have a family history of lung cancer or a history of lung
Early detection and diagnosis of lung cancer are
major factors in treatment strategy and can improve a person’s chances for a
For those at high risk for lung cancer,
UT Southwestern, in partnership with MD Anderson Cancer Center, offers
a computed tomography (CT) screening test, possibly at no cost to the
patient, that can detect lung cancer early.
This screening program is for patients who:
- Are 55 years of age or older
- Smoked at least the equivalent of a pack of
cigarettes a day for 30 years
- Have no recent history of lung cancer
- Do not have symptoms of lung cancer
identified by a doctor