Mortality From Lung Cancer Is Several Times Higher Than From Cancer Of Other Organs – Part 1 of 3
Mortality From Lung Cancer Is Several Times Higher Than From Cancer Of Other Organs. Lung cancer is the most bloodthirsty form of cancer in the United States, mass murder about 157,300 people every year – more than colon, breast and prostate cancer combined, according to the US National Institutes of Health. It is also the nation’s second unrivalled cause of death, second only to heart disease. And yet lung cancer attracts fewer federal research dollars per death than the other leading forms of cancer demise. Doctors have yet to pronounce a reliable method for screening for lung cancer.
And new treatments for lung cancer roll out at a snail’s pace compared with therapies for other cancers. So why does the top cancer killer draw so little attention? Largely because people are perceived to have done this to themselves, garnering little public sympathy, said Kay Cofrancesco, director of advocacy relations for the Lung Cancer Alliance, a subject nonprofit group dedicated to lung cancer support and advocacy. About 90 percent of men and 80 percent of women who die from lung cancer are current or former smokers, according to NIH.
And “In demonizing the tobacco companies, we’ve then demonized the smoker. So there is that blame-the-victim mind-set when it comes to lung cancer patients”. Yet some advances are being made. Clinical trials are being conducted on one unrealized screening tool for lung cancer.
Targeted therapies are being developed based on the genetics of lung cancer. But clearly more can be done, experts say. Survival rates for lung cancer are sad compared with other cancers, largely because lung cancer is most often not detected until it has metastasized.
And “Some lung cancers have a tendency to spread widely throughout the body,” said Dr Len Lichtenfeld, spokesperson chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society. “By the time they have symptoms, the cancer has spread”. Because smoking is so closely linked to lung cancer, most money aimed at block has gone into programs to promote smoking cessation.