Lung Cancer is Serious: 3 Key Things Everyone Should Know
By: Dr. Thomas Incledon
Lung cancer is responsible for approximately 200,000 deaths in the United States each year. This accounts for the most cancer-related deaths across genders. One of the main reasons for this is that by the time patients get to the doctor, they are typically already in the late stages of cancer progression making successful treatment difficult.
Besides not smoking, avoiding air pollutants, and eating a healthy diet, Causenta’s Founder and CEO Dr. Tom Incledon has three key pieces of advice about lung cancer.
- Get regular physicals
Common symptoms of lung cancer can often be passed off as everyday issues like allergies or a cold. Minimal coughing, wheezing, chest pain, or specks of blood in saliva are things to look out for as possible signs of lung cancer. If you have sporadic occurrences of these symptoms or times when they linger, it is important to see a doctor.
A good checkpoint for your health is regular check-ups with a physician. This will help you monitor heart and lung health and give you an understanding of whether changes you are experiencing are a normal part of aging or something more serious.
Dr. Tom urges patients to look at their health as an investment that can add years and quality to life. If your doctor recommends an extra test to be sure you are healthy, do it. It can be the difference in experiencing happy times with friends and family or not being there.
These physicals can help lead you to an early diagnosis; with lung cancer, this is key for long-term survival. Patients with lung cancer discovered in Stage 1 (when the disease is still localized within the lungs) have a 56% chance of being alive in five years. However, 84 percent of lung cancer cases are diagnosed at an advanced stage. For distant tumors (spread to other organs) the five-year survival rate is only 1-5 percent. Most people with lung cancer will die within one year of being diagnosed.
- Ask the right questions
Today’s understanding of cancer is no longer based on where in the body it is anymore. Since 2017, treatment responses and outcomes are based on data that has been collected, along with a better understanding of genetic and genomic aspects of cancer. For instance, knowing what proteins are inside your cancer cells and if you have any genetic connections to cancer, can affect treatment options and their success.
Once you are diagnosed with lung cancer, ask how your doctor will treat the cancer in your body. Listen for an answer about you specifically, not just as a type of cancer or a location of the cancer. Follow that up with finding out what your provider will you do when the first treatment does not work. Because cancer has defense mechanisms, one therapy rarely works on its own.
- Take action
Once you know you have lung cancer, act with immediacy. While it can be overwhelming and emotional to receive a cancer diagnosis, taking action to start the fight is imperative. There is a lot of medical jargon involved in a cancer diagnosis and there is a lot of misinformation available online, which can make moving forward confusing.
It is important to find a care team that is there for you as a person and knows about your cancer’s nuance and details. Keep in mind that treatments should be regularly tested for their effectiveness so that the strategies can change as needed. If you have not had an evaluation within a month or so of beginning treatment, you should ask for one.
You don’t get a second chance with lung cancer, so be your own advocate and listen to your body.
If you are interested in learning more about lung cancer treatment with Causenta, schedule a free 30-minute consultation.
About the Author
Dr. Thomas is the founder and CEO of Causenta Wellness, and the Causenta Cancer Treatment Center in Arizona. From working with NFL, MLB, MMA, World Class athletes and even the White House, his reputation of personalized medicine and cutting-edge technologies has put him on the map, caring for some of the most powerful people in the world, making him one of the most sought-after healthcare professionals of all time.