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November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month

What You Need to Know

  • Lung cancer is the second-most common cancer, and the leading cause of death in men and women.
  • Deaths from lung cancer exceed the number of deaths from breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colon cancer combined.
  • Smoking is the primary cause of lung cancer, and quitting smoking is essential to prevention and treatment.
  • Common symptoms of lung cancer include: coughing, wheezing, chest pain, shortness of breath, and bloody sputum.
  • You can learn more about lung cancer in the Johns Hopkins Health Library. 

Ask the Expert: Phillip Dennis, M.D.

What can I do to lower my risk of lung cancer?

Dr. Phillip DennisDr. Phillip Dennis

Smokers and former smokers make up more than half of new lung cancer cases, so the best thing to do is stop smoking. Other risk factors include secondhand smoke, radon, asbestos, air pollution and family history.

How can I tell if I have lung cancer?

If you have a chronic cough, chest pain, or unexplained weight loss, you should seek medical attention. In addition, if you are between the ages of 55 and 80 and have smoked a pack of cigarettes per day for 30 years or two packs a day for 15 years, you may benefit from annual lung cancer screenings using low-dose CT scans.

What are the benefits of lung cancer screening?

Lung cancer is the most deadly cancer in the United States and will kill over 200,000 Americans this year. The high mortality of lung cancer is related to the fact that lung cancer is often diagnosed at a late stage when it is incurable.  

The benefits of lives saved by screening far exceed concerns over radiation exposure and costs of medical procedures needed to diagnose an abnormality seen on CT scan. Learn more about lung cancer screening recommendations from the Cancer Matters blog

I’ve been diagnosed with lung cancer. What treatment options are available?

Lung cancer treatment depends on how early it is diagnosed, but can involve one or a combination of surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. 

Advancements in Lung Cancer Research

Genome Wide Scan Maps Mutations in Deadly Lung Cancers

After completing a comprehensive map of genetic mutations linked to an aggressive and lethal type of lung cancer, researchers have found an alteration in a gene, SOX2, which is associated with early embryonic development.

Find out why SOX2 is an important clue in finding ways to treat small cell lung cancer

Innovations in Lung Cancer Treatment

Drs. Malcolm Brock and Stephen Yang discuss innovative research and surgical options being used to advance treatment for patients with lung cancer.

Find a Lung Cancer Specialist

Since opening in 1973, the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center has led the world in deciphering the mechanisms of cancer and new ways to treat it. No matter where you are on your journey, our team of experts can help.

Request an Appointment

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